Business planning and performance management go hand-in-hand, one defining an organisationís objectives, the other reflecting how well those objectives have been met. But while managers focus hard on traditional performance metrics, particularly financial indicators, their approach to workforce performance management is often patchy. In many cases, individual performance management is seen as an HR and line management responsibility, while business planning is the domain of senior executives.
This Briefing Paper argues that to be effective, performance management should take all of these components into account, from long-term strategic planning to individual employee appraisals. Advocating an integrated but pragmatic approach, it:
- Suggests that traditional performance management techniques are no longer appropriate for a fast-moving, highly-responsive business climate. Rather than being viewed as a formal review process, performance management should be seen as an integral part of day-to-day operations
- Points to the strengths of the latest generation of performance management software, but warns that these applications will expose poor quality metrics. As a result, organisations may need to reappraise the business metrics they use and slay sacred cows
- Demonstrates how the smartest executive decisions can be undermined if strategic objectives arenít aligned across different divisions, and argues that senior management objectives need to be cascaded down the organisation
- Points out that effective performance management depends on data extracted from multiple parts of the business. Performance management both feeds from and influences disciplines such as learning, competency management, reward and compensation
- Suggests that organisations look for opportunities to maximise their existing IT investments, supported by tactical purchases
- Recommends key criteria for building an integrated performance management infrastructure