Table of Contents
Problems at Australian Travel Insurance Company in Relation to Performance Management
Two Practical Recommendations to Improve Employee Performance
Undertaking Employee Performance Improvement (epi)
Performance management is a concept introduced to manage human resource productivity in organizations. The requirement of it in today's era is to manage the dynamic employee behaviour and attitude towards an organization. Performance management refers to the process of evaluating an employee's performance over a period of time to deliver constructive criticism to attain maximum productivity. Organizations adhere to different models and strategies of managing employee performance based on the company's work environment, internal and external factors, and most importantly organization's objective. This research will further analyse the case study and evaluate drawbacks in the performance management strategy of the company ‘Australian Travel Insurance co.’ and recommend constructive amendments based on different theories of performance management.
Employee performance is highly dynamic and interdependent on employee satisfaction and motivation. The concepts are interrelated cannot function without each other. The productivity of any employee can be evaluated by analysing an employee's job engagement. According to the vroom theory of performance management 'motivation is the key factor to achieve effective productivity, which depends on employee eagerness to achieving goals, expectancy, and rewards. In the present scenario, employee motivation has suffered drastically due to continuous remote work. Subsequently, highly flexible work hours in the company have led to deteriorating employee engagement. The work environment is an internal factor that influences an organization's employee engagement, although the flexible working condition is required, 3 days remote per week has resultantly decreased employees' willingness to work effectively. The Harvard analytical framework of human resource management theory gives a very high value to the evaluation of internal and external factors of an organization before framing any strategies, to assess accordingly and establish best-suited policies. Harvard analytical framework gives equal footing to every aspect of forming performance strategy and supports the formation of a policy that fulfils stakeholders' interest in an organization, is conclusive of cost-effective techniques, keeps the employee motivated through rewards and compensations, and increases the probability of achieving the organizational aim. According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory, ‘an unfulfilled desire is what pushes employees to work harder’. This implies that to keep employees engaged motivated and loyal towards their organization, it requires that their needs are kept from getting fulfilled. This will increase the employee's willingness to achieve and thrive for needs.
Moreover, there have been considerable alterations in the company’s performance management strategy. The reviewed strategy lacks the essence of goal achievement. Comparing the previous strategy with the recent one it can be concluded that the previous one was based on 'Goal-setting theory', this theory seeks to provide employees an individual goal to fulfil personal as well as organizational requirements (Neisig, 2020). The recent strategy lacks in implementing and executing this, as evident from the case study the team leaders are more engaged in providing one on one sessions to employees discussing performance and have not been able to discuss monthly goals achieved or decide individual goals respectively. According to goal-setting theory employee performance is improved when challenging tasks are allotted, this also keeps employees engaged as they thrive to achieve perfection in small tasks. Assigning easily achievable tasks often creates a casual approach of employees towards work. According to (ODUBUKER, 2014), tasks and goals which are to be achieved by the employee should be moulded conferring to employee's competencies, however should not compromise on competitiveness. Contrary to this, the present approach has the essence of an authoritative and controlling management. Although the company offers enough flexibility, a personal session every six weeks is not very flexible. The present practice showcases a reflex of Control theory, which pursues to maintain work standards by opting for strategies that call for continuous evaluation of employees, to further reduce chances of ignorant behaviour.
The traditional approach providing feedback is the one that encourages personal feedbacks from superiors. Irrespective of its essentiality, personal feedbacks not always motivate employees (Tavis, 2016). Sometimes, the employee gets demotivated by hearing constant negative feedbacks and accepts a resisting behaviour, which further reduces employee productivity.
In complete contradiction to the theory of universality, the contingency theory of performance management suggests to apply and implement policies with respect to the subjective work environment. Flexibility in work has proved to be a positive approach for increasing employee engagement. However, in this particular case study, flexibility has shown a negative impact on employee engagement and the company's productivity. Herzberg's two-factor theory suggests that to achieve maximum productivity it is essential that employees remain motivated and satisfied with their job (ODUBUKER, 2014). The theory proposes that excessive supervision and unsatisfying work conditions are demotivating factors. This decreases employee morale and increases uneasy and unacceptable behaviour in the workplace. The theory proposes achievements, responsibilities, work, and growth opportunities as motivating factors.
The work environment often portrays a positive impact on any employee's potential. Proper working conditions encourage and motivate an employee to achieve assigned targets. Working remotely from home can increase employee's performance in certain situations like employees will avail fewer leaves, and might start completing tasks in time. Yet this does not guarantee a similar outcome from every individual. Social Cognitive Theory suggests that the work environment along with employee's actions and willingness to achieve suffice the requirement of motivation in an organization (Petra, 2016). Nevertheless, the work environment remains a very essential element that is sometimes not there when employees work remotely. Respectively the major drawbacks in the strategy are excessive work flexibility, control, and excessive supervision (not properly executed), decreasing employee motivation, and negative response to constructive criticism.
The traditional approach of performance management recommends the employer to discuss employee’s strengths and weaknesses personally. Which is a good approach as the conversation remains confidential. Yet many times employees encounter biased or unfair treatment or presume a constant negative feedback as an unfair feedback. This can create demeanour issues among employees and management which can lead to a communication gap (Komm, 2016). In the present scenario, a similar situation has developed which might be a cause of the above-mentioned ground.
as suggested by the name this is a technique used by many organizations to provide feedback to its employees. The unique aspect is that this technique enables every person including the supervisors, subordinates, and colleagues to provide feedback to an employee anonymously. The benefit of this is that there is anonymity which will not lead to grudges and communication gap, feedbacks are not restricted to superiors and most importantly is time-saving. The situation of vulnerability and subjectivity in this scenario is very less as the integrity of employees are prioritized by keeping anonymity. Similar methods of employee performance evaluation can be used for instance management by objective is a very effective management tool that ensures complete goal achievement and plans implementation through employee support.
The most crucial step for any business or organization is to assess the achievement of organizational goals and employee performance. It is undeniably a fact that the former cannot be fulfilled without fulfilling the latter necessity. Management has to be very active with respect to the fulfilment of the latter necessity as that is the only asset of an organization that generates the profits. Employee performance improvement is a very crucial tool that can simplify the whole process and provide the desired results. The tool can effectively shape an extreme-performance work environment, increase the profitability of the business, and achieve targets without hassles. EPI focuses on only two facets: performance and behavior. EPI is a systematic process that is open to scientific theories of management and varied methods of goal achievement. The process successfully points to the performance gaps in companies and helps to prepare a roadmap for future activities. The EPI model includes performance assessment, cause assessments, intrusion, application, change management, and estimation. In the process of evaluation, the major gap of performance management is assessed, a proper verdict is framed and the areas of concern are addressed in the further steps of implementation. Therefore, this enables any organization to properly address every single facet where the company is lacking in the performance management of employees and provides a proper strategically plan to address the issues.
The above discussion was done on the basis of the information provided in the case study. The facts of the case were evaluated critically through the understanding of various theoretical concepts of performance management. The major deficiency of the business was in extremely controlled supervision which had created a communication gap between the team leaders and the employees. Moreover, this led to decreased motivation among employees and extreme flexibility was evaluated to be a core reason for this. The 36-degree feedback model resolves the issue of motivation, extreme time consumption, attitudinal concerns of employees, and negative response to criticism. After the implementation of a 360-degree model, EPI will eliminate the few remaining concerns if any. Also, EPI will form a highly dependable structure of plans and strategies which will undeniably decrease any kinds of discrepancies in the effective and efficient functioning of the company.
Komm, B. E. (2016, May). Ahead of the curve: the fututre of performance management. Retrieved from https://www.veruspartners.net/wp-content/uploads/old_articles/Ahead_of_the_curve.pdf
Neisig, M. (2020). When Motivation Theories Create Demotivation And Impair Productivity. Nordiac Journal of studies in education policy. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/20020317.2019.1708062
ODUBUKER, D. G. (2014, may-june). USING HERZBERG’S TWO FACTOR THEORY TO DEVELOP A CONSTRUCT VALIDITY FOR MOTIVATION OF EMPLOYEES IN UGANDA’S NATIONAL AGRICULTURALRESEARCH ORGANISATION (NARO): A PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS. Global Journal of Commerce and Management Perspective, 3(3), 59-65 . Retrieved from https://www.longdom.org/articles/using-herzbergs-two-factor-theory-to-develop-a-construct-validity-for-motivation-of-employees-in-ugandas-national-agricu.pdf
Petra, R. R. (2016). Strategic Performance Management System and Corporate Sustainaibility Concept. specific journal from the field of management and economics, 8(3). Retrieved from https://www.cjournal.cz/index.php?hid=clanek&bid=archiv&cid=228&cp=
Tavis, P. C. (2016). the performance management revolution. Harvard Business Review .
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