Monday 10 September 2012

Stage 1 – Planning for Success (Part 6 of 10 of HRSG’s Guide to Performance Management through Competencies)

This is the first in a series of three that examines the Performance Planning cycle in depth starting with the Planning stage.

At the beginning of the cycle the employee and manager should meet to discuss and agree on:
  • Measurable goals and targets – “what” the employee must accomplish
  • Specific competencies employee needs to accomplish the job and work goals for the performance cycle, as well as
  • the learning and development activities the employee needs to undertake to be successful in the job
When setting performance goals, they much meet the SMART criteria:

Specific: Manager and employee share exactly the same understanding of what is to be achieved and to what standards

Extent to which they can be objectively observed and measured

Achievable: Should be attainable and yet, provide a stimulating challenge to the employee

Realistic / Relevant:
Within control (authority & resources) of the employee and related to the employee’s job

Time Bound: Set within reasonable time frames

Key Indicators are the measures that are used to assess whether the end results have been achieved. They are observable or quantifiable measurements of performance defined in four ways:

For any one objective, one or more of these four types of performance indicators may apply.

Work Plans

A performance plan clearly lays out the goals, criteria, and often the competencies necessary to achieve the goals. However, for complex goals involving several actors and steps, a work plan may be required describing what will be done to achieve the performance objectives to the standards required. For each performance objective there should be a step-by-step plan, which identifies:
  • HOW the employee plans to achieve the performance objective
  • WHO is responsible for the activities (if more than one employee)
  • WHEN these activities will be carried out, and
  • WHERE these activities will be carried out (if appropriate).
Competencies to be measured

Competencies are included in the performance management process because they provide a description of how the employee is expected to behave in performing their work. But, different types of competencies can be incorporated in the system depending what the organization wishes to reinforce. For example, competencies that are core to the success of the organization are typically are included to focus everyone on the strategic goals of the organization and to reinforce the required behaviour change needed to achieve the vision. The table below provides a description of different types of competencies that can be included and rationale for doing so.

In the next in our series of 10 blogs, we will discuss managing performance and providing feedback based on competencies. Sign up to our blog’s mailing list through the form on the right-hand side to receive the rest of the series in your inbox.

HRSG is a leader in competency-based performance management solutions and training. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

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