Nov 8, 2017 in Narrative

Measuring Performance and Outcomes: Motivating and Empowering

Introduction

Performance and outcomes measuring is a management tool used to clarify the goals to be met, document the contributions made by the employees to achieve these goals, and state the benefits of the strategy to the clients and organization at large. It also helps to ensure that the money spent on motivation and empowering is beneficial to the organization. It therefore measures the progress of the empowerment program and indicates what benefits the organization is acquiring based on the results of measuring outcomes. Historically, organizations mainly measure their performance through the financial performance especially by the profits made. However, this kind of performance measuring does not provide the support needed by the organization to improve their future because it does not include customers’ satisfaction. Within a successful organization, performance should also measure the improvement noted by the customers and the results delivered to various stakeholders like the shareholders. This paper seeks to evaluate the performance and outcomes measuring process and their relevance to the organization.

According to Hatry (2006), improvement in the performance of an individual or an organization cannot be realized unless there is a specific way of getting a feedback on the performance. The results of work should therefore be communicated to the work group or organization a large. For a single employee, measuring the performance creates a link between the goals of organization and behavior of an individual. For the entire work unit, performance measuring provides a link between organizational goals and decisions made by the management. Anything that needs to be improved, should therefore be qualified. It does not make economic sense to invest billions of dollars in a program that does not provide for positive returns to the organization. For instance, if the organization invests in performance appraisal, it should be able to record an improvement in achievements of the organization.

Since the management invests so much money in the empowerment and motivation of employees, they expect to produce more goods. Ideally, high investment should contribute to high returns (Hatry, 2006). Organizations that are mean with their resources are likely to be less successful. Performance measures spell out the goals set by the organization and will therefore determine the quantity and quality of the performance measure. The quantity of work is not always as important as its quality. Although numbers are more important in business, the quality of the work performed by employees should be of high quality. Nonetheless, employees should be able to dedicate a lot of their time to working towards the objectives of the organization. Quantity in performance measurement is regarded in terms of the amount of investment put into achieving the set goal. If the organization needs to compete among the best, it should be willing to sacrifice and invest a lot in the infrastructural development.

Quantity is also viewed in terms of the amount of money or rewards that the employees get. Successful organizations pay their employees reasonably depending on the amount and quality of the work they do. Organizations that exploit their employees interfere with the organizational culture. For instance, companies in China have been accused of exploiting workers because of the desperation of the poor citizens. Hatry (2006) alleges that the population level is very high but the employment rate is low. People are therefore willing to work for less pay as long as they remain employed. As much as companies get huge returns, they do not satisfy their employees. Sometimes customers can develop bad attitude towards such companies and boycott their products. Ultimately, employees should be appreciated for their efforts.

Measuring the quality of a job is not simple because the process involves many components. Similarly, there is no common definition of the quality of work, which makes it difficult to define what a good job would be. However, there are indicators of the job quality. However, these indicators are subjective because they rely on survey data. Nevertheless, there are two ways of conceptualizing the job quality. First and foremost, the job is evaluated in terms of specific dimensions such as the promotion opportunities, financial earnings, and security. According to Poister (2003), all these are then combined with the overall indicators of the job quality. The second approach would be to inquire from the workers of their feelings about their jobs. The best way would be to ask workers about their level of job satisfaction. Generally, a high quality job is that of high satisfaction to the employees. However, this approach assumes that employees can relate various characteristics of the job to provide an overall assessment of its quality.

Employee performance is related to their job satisfaction levels. Mostly, if an employee is not satisfied with his/her job, he/she will not be committed to the job and therefore will not work hard. This mostly occurs when employees feel unappreciated (Poister, 2003). The quality of work will therefore depend on the amount of investment contributed by the organization to satisfy the needs of employees.

The measuring process should ensure that there is frequent availability of information so that all the decisions made are based on this information. It is therefore necessary that organizations conduct frequent measurement processes. The decision-making process should be based on the current data. Additionally, the process should be performed over a specific period of time so that the decisions made are valued within a specific time. Additionally, employees should always be reminded of their objectives based on the outcomes of the evaluation report. Organizations should therefore conduct frequent appraisal meetings to reward for the good performance. It is not appropriate to wait until the end of the year to reward the best performance. Poister (2003) alleges that employees should always be kept alert about their performance so that they can adjust in areas where their efforts are insufficient. Waiting till the end of the year might make some to be preoccupied with other activities and forget to keep track of their performance.

Good performance measures should be cost effective. The organization should not spend more money than required on measuring the performance. The measures justify the amount of time used and the effort put into the process to collect and analyze the data. However, as indicated above, the organization should not be shy of investing in its employees since they are the best assets (Hatry, 2006).

Creativity in employee empowerment is also very significant. Employees should be encouraged to be innovative to help in improving the organization. This can be achieved through trainings or seminars. For instance, a prize can be allocated for any employee who comes up with innovating and unique ideas that would give the company a competitive edge within the industry. Similarly, the organization should be creative in awarding the best performance. It should not be obvious what the best performance would get. Sometimes it is good to keep employees guessing on what the prize would be. It does not have to be monitory. Some corporations pay their employees to go on holiday with their families. Poister (2003) affirms that such a reward can be very enticing and could make other members to work hard to expect better rewards. Additionally, the performance measurement model used by the organization should be creative.

Appraisals are very useful in motivating the employees as they boost their self-esteem. Whenever an employee is appreciated for his/her efforts, he/she will take greater efforts to maintain his/her self-esteem. Similarly, other members will work hard to get appraisals the next time. Hatry (2006) asserts that awarding the junior staff would encourage them to remain committed to the organization. The organization can also sponsor employees to advance in their careers so that they would be able to become future managers of the organization. Mentorship and coaching programs can be very effective in instilling the values of the organization among the junior employees. Similarly, the organization will save a great deal of money that would have been used in hiring new managers. Employees who pass through the coaching and mentoring programs would perform better than new recruits.  

Incentives are used to motivate employees by making them feel as part of the organization. For instance, monetary prizes can be given to the best employees to encourage them work even harder. It is therefore an act of promise that if an employee performs better, he/she will be rewarded. Additional remuneration can be used to increase productivity or enhance commitment in the employees. Psychological satisfaction will lead to job satisfaction and hard work.  The most commonly used incentives are monetary values. Money is a great source of satisfaction. It also helps people to fulfill their social needs (Hatry, 2006). Most organizations therefore introduce bonuses to encourage hard work.

There are some non monetary incentives that can promote hard work too. These incentives mainly satisfy the self-esteem of the employees. They may be in the form of security of service. If an employee is sure that he/she will not be sacked the following day, he/she will put enough efforts into the job to ensure that the organization succeeds. The employee also gets rid of mental tension about job security. Praise or recognition for job achievements is also an incentive for hard work. It satisfies the self-esteem and the employee would respond by trying to prove that he/she is worth to be praised. He/she will also feel that his/her efforts have been recognized by the management and therefore, work harder. Promotion opportunities can also uplift the working spirit in the employees. If the organization provides employees with the opportunity to advance their careers, they will become committed and work harder.

However, not all incentives are positive. Negative incentives are used to correct the mistakes committed by employees. For instance, fines or demotions can be used to penalize employees who performed worst in their departments. This will make them work harder to avoid any further penalties. Incentives therefore measure the performance of an employee in terms of outcomes of their work. Positive incentives imply that the work was commendable while negative incentives demonstrate poor work (Poister, 2003).

The concept of motivation and empowering has been used by most organizations to improve the performance of employees. Through the process, hardworking employees are rewarded for their contributions. Whether the economy is shrinking or growing, the management is always concerned with finding the ways to motivate their employees. However, before deciding on what method to use, the management should understand the impact on the organizational culture. Most organizations use reward systems to motivate their employees.

Employees feel appreciated when they are given the ability to come up with decisions and stand accountable for them. Empowering employees also equips them with necessary skills to achieve the set goals. For instance, if they are not well trained, they will not perform their tasks satisfactorily. There are various ways of empowering employees. One of such ways is through leadership roles. If an employee is given a leadership role, he/she works hard to show the manager that he/she is worth the position. Most people feel appreciated when they are appointed leaders or supervisors. An employee will be motivated if his/her contributions are rewarded. For instance, prizes can be awarded to the most improved staff to encourage everyone to work harder. This can be done on a monthly basis. Empowering employees ensures their performance in measured in a way. The fact that one gets promoted will mean that they did something positive. When more people are promoted, it would mean that most of the employees are working hard. The promotion should however be based on merit. Managers should have the capacity to identify dedicated employees based on their desires and strengths, and award them with more responsibility. Empowerment contributes to increased productivity.

According to Taticchi (2010), giving employees additional responsibility makes them feel empowered. However, there is also a need to train them before giving them more responsibility. For instance, hardworking staff can be trained and promoted to managerial levels. This process also helps to identify potential managers among the staff.

Enabling on the other hand ensures that employees have an ability to perform better. Providing them with the resources they need to work better is also a way of enabling employees to perform better through increasing their capacity. It will be difficult for an employee to defend his/her poor performance when all the resources are provided. Psychological motivation is a way through which every employee is made to feel responsible for the success of the organization. They should feel appreciated. Training also enables employees to gain the capacity to perform better.

An assessment center is made up of standardized evaluation of the employees’ behavior based on various inputs. Trained observers are required to assess the performance of the employees. Simulations are used to bring about relevant behaviors that are relevant to the positions being assessed. The dimensions are identified before the assessment center. The analysis procedure identifies the motivation, behavior and the knowledge needed to achieve success. The job simulation therefore brings out the behavior of the employees being assessed in the target dimension (Poister, 2003).

A traditional assessment center comprises of six participants and is held for less than three days. The assessors observe the participants as they work through the simulations. They observe the participants and take note of observations and record them in a form. Later one, the assessors spend some time sharing information on what they observed and agreeing on evaluations. Sometimes, interview data is integrated in the assessment and the decision-making process. A final report is written to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of every employee. This process therefore measures the performance of every employee and gives a report to back up the findings (Taticchi, 2010). The most important feature of the assessment center is that it relates to the future performance rather than the current job. Based on the report, the employer will be able to know, which employee would be promoted to a certain position when the chance arises. This therefore ensures that the empowering process is fair and beneficial to the organization.

Additionally, an organization that runs an assessment center to improve its accuracy in the selection of employees gets indirect benefits from the process. For instance, the employees will trust the promotion process because they will consider it to be accurate and fair. They will therefore work hard knowing that promotions will be based purely on performance rather than corruption. Managers who are trained to be assessors also improve their management skills such as handing performance appraisal (Poister, 2003).

 For the most employees within the modern business environment, it is normal to find the non-managerial employees being reminded of the goals and objectives of the organization. Employees are also invited to gain control over the decision making process by giving their opinion on what the organization should do. They are also reminded of how their activities contribute to the performance of the organization. This approach in management is referred to as the management by objective system. To improve the performance of the organization, this system seeks to ensure that the goals of employees are in line with the organization’s goals. It makes it clear to all the members of the organization on what is required of them for the organization to succeed. When everyone works in unity, it is likely that the organization will run smoothly. When employees focus on what the organization wants to achieve, they will be able to prioritize their work to ensure that the most important tasks are completed in time. For instance, sales department is supposed to supply some goods to a client before a certain date, they will put everything aside and ensure that they deliver the goods on time.

There are five steps involved in the management by objectives strategy. The first step is to set or review the objectives of the organization. If it is not clear what the organization needs to achieve, no employee will have clear goals. Secondly, the objectives have to be cascaded down to employees (Poister, 2003). The organization must set goals that should cascade down to every organizational level so that everyone is aware of them. Thirdly, every member of the organization should be involved in setting up the objectives of the organization. This will enhance ownership. Fourthly, the progress of the organization has to be monitored. A monitoring system has to be put in place to signal when some activities are off the track so that they can be corrected. However, the system has to be timely to ensure that any wrong steps are corrected in time. Lastly, an evaluation and reward system has to be identified to improve performance at every level of the organization. Employees should be reminded of the organization’s goals so that they work towards achieving these goals.

Conclusion

The concept of measuring the performance and outcomes at work place is very significant in achieving individual and organizational objectives. It is therefore a process that the organization should be willing to invest in. However, the process should be creative and cost effective to be productive. The quality of work would determine how comfortable the employees feel and the effort they will invest into their jobs. Management by objectives is a unique but very effective process of motivating employees because it reminds them of their objectives and calls for commitment. This is a worthwhile process that every organization should invest in.

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