Fundamentals of Human Resource Management Study Set 11

Business

Quiz 8 :

Developing Employees for Future Success

Quiz 8 :

Developing Employees for Future Success

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How Google Searches for Performance Measures If there's one thing Google knows, it's how to use software to wade through massive amounts of data and find what is most relevant. So it should come as no surprise that when the information technology powerhouse wanted to develop better managers, it started by looking at the data. As it turns out, Google found plenty to learn. Like most businesses, Google had files of data about managers-results of performance reviews, surveys measuring employee attitudes, and nominations for management awards. Unlike most businesses, Google figured out how to analyze all that data to come up with a profile of the kind of manager whose team is most successful. The company's people analytics group (which brings together psychologists, MBAs, and data-mining experts) analyzed 10,000 observations about managers in terms of more than 100 variables, looking for patterns. The initial finding was a surprise to some at a company that had once operated without managers: teams with good managers outperform teams with bad managers. But what makes a good manager? Under the leadership of Google's HR vice president, Laszlo Bock, the company distilled its findings into a list of the behaviors that get results: 1. Be a good coach. 2. Empower your team, and don't micromanage. 3. Express interest in team members' success and personal well-being. 4. Don't be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented. 5. Be a good communicator, and listen to your team. 6. Help your employees with career development. 7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team. 8. Have key technical skills so you can help advise the team. Perhaps those points sound obvious. But keep in mind that someone hired as a programming or analytic whiz and later promoted to a managerial role might not have given much thought to, say, cultivating the ability to express interest in team members' success, which ranks far above technical skills. Seeing this on a list identifies the behavior as something statistically related to superior performance not just in general, but at Google specifically. Furthermore, this is a behavior that can be measured (for example, by asking employees if their supervisor expresses interest in them), and it can be learned by managers who want to improve. By building performance measures in the eight key areas, Google was able to evaluate its managers' performance and identify those who needed to improve in particular areas. It developed training programs in the eight types of desired behavior. Before and after providing performance appraisals, training, and coaching, Google conducted surveys to gauge managers' performance. It measured a significant improvement in manager quality for 75% of its lowest-performing managers. But Bock isn't resting on that success. Google intends to keep crunching the data, in case the criteria for a successful Google manager change at some point in the future. One thing is for sure: Google will continue to follow the data. Suppose you are responsible for delivering performance feedback to managers at Google. How would you present the information so as to promote the managers' success at the company?
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Managers should motivate entire team and imbibe work culture. No manager can do all the work all by himself and thus he needs a very strong team to support him. If he handles his team well, his team will perform better. But, if he is rude and non-supportive then he will face problems.
While giving feedback, one should explain what is expected out of his performance and what employee's actual performance is. Also, one should always be ready to reward his team members if they have performed well.
One should also explain the skills and trainings required for their development. One should also represent how the work of managers helps the company to achieve its desired objectives. This in turn will portray that managers are responsible for company's success and hence deserve success.

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Performance Measurement for Public School Teachers Public schools have a major responsibility to their communities: preparing children to become good citizens, productive employees, and smart consumers. Unfortunately, trends such as test scores, dropout rates, readiness for work and college, and persistent differences between ethnic and economic groups suggest that schools often fail to deliver. Meeting the goals requires talented, motivated teachers who understand what behaviors are associated with successful instruction and have the necessary resources. A basic tool for achieving this should be a school's performance management system. However, efforts to design measures for teacher performance suggest that it is complicated. Certainly, politics plays a role, but performance measurement for schools is challenging even from a strictly HR point of view. The traditional approach has been to identify the teachers with the longest tenure and greatest education, then to reward these teachers with job retention and pay. The rationale is that the measures are objective (a teacher has a master's degree or doesn't and has clearly worked for some number of years), so they can be applied equitably. In addition, an experienced, highly educated teacher logically would have skills that a new college graduate has yet to learn. Still, former students would say the teachers who inspired them most are not always the oldest ones. An approach to measuring performance that has recently been emphasized is students' performance on standardized tests. This measure focuses on results, but test scores have their drawbacks. First, they raise the question of how much control a teacher has over scores. If a teacher's class contains many students with behavioral problems, learning disabilities, or poor preparation in previous grades, should the teacher's evaluation take that into account-and if so, how? Standardized tests also need to measure the outcomes that matter most. Should the school only be preparing students to recall facts on a multiple-choice test-or also to express their reasoning in writing? Further, standardized tests usually are relevant only to certain teachers. Most states test only reading and math skills. A few states test students in science and social studies. Some subjects, including music and physical education, lack standardized tests. Even where a test exists in a subject area, should a science teacher be penalized if students don't read well enough to perform well on a science test? Furthermore, as a school superintendent in New York pointed out, it is expensive to create or buy a rubric specifying learning goals in each subject area for every grade. Despite these challenges, some school districts have pursued more comprehensive testing, with results influencing bonuses paid to teachers. In Florida, Hillsborough County Public Schools developed tests for every subject in every grade level. Tennessee relies only on math and reading scores but ties those scores to evaluations of teachers in all subject areas. However, the Memphis school district allows music, drama, and dance teachers to compile portfolios showing the progress of their students. North Carolina has been developing standardized tests for all subjects, but in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, parents revolted when they learned that much classroom time in kindergarten was being devoted to one-on-one tests of the young students. Iowa has considered yet another approach. The state had required that, every three years, a supervisor would evaluate experienced teachers (those who have been working more than two years). The state's education director proposed a policy that these reviews be supplemented with peer reviews each year in between, so teachers receive more timely feedback, enabling them to identify and work on areas of improvement. Bill Gates, Microsoft's founder, has yet another idea. Gates suggests that researchers investigate why some teachers get better outcomes than others. He proposes observing teachers with practical skills such as bringing order to a classroom and engaging a student who is lagging behind, to identify exactly what these teachers are doing. Then those behaviors could be measured in other teachers and taught to those who lack the skills. Teachers can be trained to give peer reviews based on this type of model. The Bill Melinda Gates Foundation funded a survey of teachers, to get their perspective on what would help them perform better. According to that survey, teachers want to receive more evaluations, from more sources. Most agree that the best measure of their success should be the progress students make during the school year. How well do the ideas meet the five criteria for effective performance management?
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The ideas can fit the criteria for effective performance management in the following way:
1) Fits with the strategy - A well defined performance management system will fit with the overall goals and objectives of the organization. As per the case, the teachers and the students worked towards their respective goals and got continuous feedback on their tasks. It enabled them to focus on areas where they are experts and on areas where they lack. Strategies were made to improve the performance and policies to get the plans into action.
2) Validity- The reports gathered from analyzing the performance should not only be accurate and up-to-date but also be valid. The information that one gets is important but the excess of it finally leads to contamination. The analyzer should focus not on quantity but on quality as well. On the other hand, less information does not lead to effective performance appraisal.
3) Reliability- Reliability refers to the consistency in the results of the performance. Efforts should be made to provide the similar results of the same performance even when analyzed at different points of time.
The performance of the teachers and the students should be consistent with time. It helps to make effective strategies for the future and helps to analyze the mistakes in the past. If there are different results at different point of time, it would be difficult to find out what went wrong at what point of time.
4) Acceptability- All the members with whom the results/reports are shared should be ready to accept them. It should not appear as a task for them wherein they are asked to analyze the results at the earliest. The reports should be kept as simple as possible so that even a layman understands them.
5) Specific Feedback- The feedback provided to the teachers as well as students must be specific. When standardized tests are undertaken to evaluate the individuals, the results should be precise.

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Suppose you were recently promoted to a supervisory job in a company where you worked for two years. You genuinely like almost all your coworkers, who now report to you. The only exception is one employee, who dresses more formally than the others and frequently tells jokes that embarrass you and the other workers. Given your preexisting feelings for the employees, how can you measure their performance fairly and effectively?
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If I were recently promoted to a supervisory job in a company where I have worked for two years. I like almost all your co-workers, who now report to me. The only exception is one employee, who dresses more formally than the others and frequently tells jokes that embarrass me and the other workers. Given my preexisting feelings for the employees, I have to measure their performance fairly and effectively.
As It is the ethical responsibility of every manger or supervisor to measure the performance of the employees fairly without any discrimination or favoritism. For the effective use of the performance management system for the benefit of my organization I have to leave my grudges aside and focus on the actual performance and expectations so, that I can provide effective performance feedback that lead to their growth and will ultimately lead to improve the performance. For that I have to treat every employee equally. I will use the valid performance measure to rate their performance accurately. I will use the training and coaching approach for the employee who is not behaving properly but on basis of my feelings towards the employee I will not simply be unfair in measuring the performance of that employee.

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Performance Measurement for Public School Teachers Public schools have a major responsibility to their communities: preparing children to become good citizens, productive employees, and smart consumers. Unfortunately, trends such as test scores, dropout rates, readiness for work and college, and persistent differences between ethnic and economic groups suggest that schools often fail to deliver. Meeting the goals requires talented, motivated teachers who understand what behaviors are associated with successful instruction and have the necessary resources. A basic tool for achieving this should be a school's performance management system. However, efforts to design measures for teacher performance suggest that it is complicated. Certainly, politics plays a role, but performance measurement for schools is challenging even from a strictly HR point of view. The traditional approach has been to identify the teachers with the longest tenure and greatest education, then to reward these teachers with job retention and pay. The rationale is that the measures are objective (a teacher has a master's degree or doesn't and has clearly worked for some number of years), so they can be applied equitably. In addition, an experienced, highly educated teacher logically would have skills that a new college graduate has yet to learn. Still, former students would say the teachers who inspired them most are not always the oldest ones. An approach to measuring performance that has recently been emphasized is students' performance on standardized tests. This measure focuses on results, but test scores have their drawbacks. First, they raise the question of how much control a teacher has over scores. If a teacher's class contains many students with behavioral problems, learning disabilities, or poor preparation in previous grades, should the teacher's evaluation take that into account-and if so, how? Standardized tests also need to measure the outcomes that matter most. Should the school only be preparing students to recall facts on a multiple-choice test-or also to express their reasoning in writing? Further, standardized tests usually are relevant only to certain teachers. Most states test only reading and math skills. A few states test students in science and social studies. Some subjects, including music and physical education, lack standardized tests. Even where a test exists in a subject area, should a science teacher be penalized if students don't read well enough to perform well on a science test? Furthermore, as a school superintendent in New York pointed out, it is expensive to create or buy a rubric specifying learning goals in each subject area for every grade. Despite these challenges, some school districts have pursued more comprehensive testing, with results influencing bonuses paid to teachers. In Florida, Hillsborough County Public Schools developed tests for every subject in every grade level. Tennessee relies only on math and reading scores but ties those scores to evaluations of teachers in all subject areas. However, the Memphis school district allows music, drama, and dance teachers to compile portfolios showing the progress of their students. North Carolina has been developing standardized tests for all subjects, but in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, parents revolted when they learned that much classroom time in kindergarten was being devoted to one-on-one tests of the young students. Iowa has considered yet another approach. The state had required that, every three years, a supervisor would evaluate experienced teachers (those who have been working more than two years). The state's education director proposed a policy that these reviews be supplemented with peer reviews each year in between, so teachers receive more timely feedback, enabling them to identify and work on areas of improvement. Bill Gates, Microsoft's founder, has yet another idea. Gates suggests that researchers investigate why some teachers get better outcomes than others. He proposes observing teachers with practical skills such as bringing order to a classroom and engaging a student who is lagging behind, to identify exactly what these teachers are doing. Then those behaviors could be measured in other teachers and taught to those who lack the skills. Teachers can be trained to give peer reviews based on this type of model. The Bill Melinda Gates Foundation funded a survey of teachers, to get their perspective on what would help them perform better. According to that survey, teachers want to receive more evaluations, from more sources. Most agree that the best measure of their success should be the progress students make during the school year. From a human resource management perspective, what additional principles do you think school systems should apply to managing teachers' performance?
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When the Rules Don't Fly Was performance management to blame when a major U.S. airline failed to give a friendly welcome home to a U.S. Army unit returning from Afghanistan? When the 34-member unit arrived in Baltimore for an 18-hour layover, the airline transporting them informed two staff sergeants that they needed to pay $200 for each soldier carrying a fourth bag. The military orders for the unit stated that the bags would be covered by the ticket price, but the sergeants could not persuade the airline's agents. These employees insisted that they had to follow company policy, and according to that policy, checking a fourth bag costs $200. Airlines impose the fees as a way to keep up with rising transportation costs even as fliers shop around for the lowest airfare. This airline's policy was in line with similar fees at other air carriers. Like other kinds of companies, airlines make their employees responsible for following the rules. Following rules is often the most basic kind of performance standard. In this case, however, the employees' attempts to follow the rules led the airline into an embarrassing situation. The frustrated sergeants videotaped their reaction at the airport and posted the video on YouTube. Before long, the airline was publicly humiliated for its treatment of soldiers who had been away serving the country. Shortly afterward, the airline announced that it would refund the $2,800 it had charged the soldiers for excess-baggage fees. It noted that the normal procedure is for traveling service members-who fly at a reduced rate-to be reimbursed by the military for any excess-baggage fees. Apparently, the agents had not explained the procedure clearly. Also, carrying an unlimited amount of baggage for free would put airlines at a disadvantage in serving their most profitable customer segment, business customers. These customers place a high value on reliable transportation of their bags and on-time arrivals. If a company measures performance in terms of rules such as charging customers full price according to company policy, what kinds of strategic objectives does that performance standard help the company meet? What kinds of strategic objectives does that performance standard not contribute to (or even interfere with)?
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Would the same sources be appropriate if the store in Question 5 will use the performance appraisals to support decisions about which employees to promote? Explain.
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ARE FORCED RANKINGS FAIR? Emotions can run high when it comes to the performance management practice of using forced rankings to identify the top performers to retain and the bottom performers to let go. When Jack Welch was chief executive officer of General Electric, he introduced and later championed this method. At GE, managers were ranked according to their performance against goals and sorted into the top 20% (who were richly rewarded), the middle 70%, and the bottom 10% (who often were asked to leave). Today LendingTree follows a similar approach, ranking managers as 1s (the top 15%), 2s (the middle 75%), and 3s (the bottom 10%). The idea is that if the organization lays off the 3s, it can later replace them with people who have the potential to become 1s, improving the overall performance. American International Group (AIG) recently began ranking employees on a scale of 1 to 5, with the biggest bonuses awarded to the top categories and no bonuses to the worst performers. Critics deride the method, which they call "rank and yank," as ruthless and even demotivating. In their view, organizations should hire and develop good talent, so if the organization is well run, it shouldn't have any underperformers. In addition, they say, the practice tempts managers to compete against one another and perhaps undermine one another when they should be cooperating to help the organization attain its goals. If the organization wants teamwork but being a team player means you help your colleague meet more goals than you did and earn a higher ranking, would you want to be a team player? Jack Welch insists that forced ranking is actually the fairest approach if done well. Assuming that the organization has made its goals clear, every manager knows where he or she stands. If the organization dismisses someone for being one of the lowest performers, the decision is fairly based on performance rather than personalities or other irrelevant criteria. People who have underperformed their colleagues know it and respect the reasons for the decisions. In addition, forced rankings can correct for any unfairness that results from the common error of a manager tending to be harsh or lenient compared with peers evaluating other employees. Nevertheless, surveys suggest that many organizations are uncomfortable with the method. A study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity, for example, found that use of forced ranking fell from 42% in 2009 to just 14% in 2011. Based on the description of forced rankings here and in text of the chapter, how fair would you say this method is to employees being ranked? How relevant to the organization's strategy? How useful for employee development?
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How can involving employees in the creation of performance standards improve the effectiveness of a performance management system? (Consider the criteria for effectiveness listed in the chapter.)
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Consider how you might rate the performance of three instructors from whom you are currently taking a course. (If you are currently taking only one or two courses, consider this course and two you have recently completed.) a.Would it be harder to rate the instructor's performance or to rank their performance? Why? b.Write three items to use in rating the instructors - one each to rate them in terms of an attribute, a behavior, and an outcome. c.Which measure in Part b do you think is most valid? Most reliable? Why? d.Many colleges use questionnaires to gather data from students about their instructors' performance. Would it be appropriate to use the data for administrative decisions? Developmental decisions? Other decisions? Why or why not?
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Employees Want More Feedback A majority of employees (53%) say their only performance feedback comes from their supervisors. But many would appreciate feedback from other sources as well. This may help to explain why barely more than one-third (37%) said they have received useful performance feedback and less than half (45%) said their feedback was fair and accurate. How might obtaining performance feedback from multiple sources help to make the information more fair, accurate, and useful? Feedback Source img * Percentage of employees wanting feedback from managers not given.
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ARE FORCED RANKINGS FAIR? Emotions can run high when it comes to the performance management practice of using forced rankings to identify the top performers to retain and the bottom performers to let go. When Jack Welch was chief executive officer of General Electric, he introduced and later championed this method. At GE, managers were ranked according to their performance against goals and sorted into the top 20% (who were richly rewarded), the middle 70%, and the bottom 10% (who often were asked to leave). Today LendingTree follows a similar approach, ranking managers as 1s (the top 15%), 2s (the middle 75%), and 3s (the bottom 10%). The idea is that if the organization lays off the 3s, it can later replace them with people who have the potential to become 1s, improving the overall performance. American International Group (AIG) recently began ranking employees on a scale of 1 to 5, with the biggest bonuses awarded to the top categories and no bonuses to the worst performers. Critics deride the method, which they call "rank and yank," as ruthless and even demotivating. In their view, organizations should hire and develop good talent, so if the organization is well run, it shouldn't have any underperformers. In addition, they say, the practice tempts managers to compete against one another and perhaps undermine one another when they should be cooperating to help the organization attain its goals. If the organization wants teamwork but being a team player means you help your colleague meet more goals than you did and earn a higher ranking, would you want to be a team player? Jack Welch insists that forced ranking is actually the fairest approach if done well. Assuming that the organization has made its goals clear, every manager knows where he or she stands. If the organization dismisses someone for being one of the lowest performers, the decision is fairly based on performance rather than personalities or other irrelevant criteria. People who have underperformed their colleagues know it and respect the reasons for the decisions. In addition, forced rankings can correct for any unfairness that results from the common error of a manager tending to be harsh or lenient compared with peers evaluating other employees. Nevertheless, surveys suggest that many organizations are uncomfortable with the method. A study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity, for example, found that use of forced ranking fell from 42% in 2009 to just 14% in 2011. How fair are forced rankings relative to the other methods of measuring performance described in this chapter?
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How Google Searches for Performance Measures If there's one thing Google knows, it's how to use software to wade through massive amounts of data and find what is most relevant. So it should come as no surprise that when the information technology powerhouse wanted to develop better managers, it started by looking at the data. As it turns out, Google found plenty to learn. Like most businesses, Google had files of data about managers-results of performance reviews, surveys measuring employee attitudes, and nominations for management awards. Unlike most businesses, Google figured out how to analyze all that data to come up with a profile of the kind of manager whose team is most successful. The company's people analytics group (which brings together psychologists, MBAs, and data-mining experts) analyzed 10,000 observations about managers in terms of more than 100 variables, looking for patterns. The initial finding was a surprise to some at a company that had once operated without managers: teams with good managers outperform teams with bad managers. But what makes a good manager? Under the leadership of Google's HR vice president, Laszlo Bock, the company distilled its findings into a list of the behaviors that get results: 1. Be a good coach. 2. Empower your team, and don't micromanage. 3. Express interest in team members' success and personal well-being. 4. Don't be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented. 5. Be a good communicator, and listen to your team. 6. Help your employees with career development. 7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team. 8. Have key technical skills so you can help advise the team. Perhaps those points sound obvious. But keep in mind that someone hired as a programming or analytic whiz and later promoted to a managerial role might not have given much thought to, say, cultivating the ability to express interest in team members' success, which ranks far above technical skills. Seeing this on a list identifies the behavior as something statistically related to superior performance not just in general, but at Google specifically. Furthermore, this is a behavior that can be measured (for example, by asking employees if their supervisor expresses interest in them), and it can be learned by managers who want to improve. By building performance measures in the eight key areas, Google was able to evaluate its managers' performance and identify those who needed to improve in particular areas. It developed training programs in the eight types of desired behavior. Before and after providing performance appraisals, training, and coaching, Google conducted surveys to gauge managers' performance. It measured a significant improvement in manager quality for 75% of its lowest-performing managers. But Bock isn't resting on that success. Google intends to keep crunching the data, in case the criteria for a successful Google manager change at some point in the future. One thing is for sure: Google will continue to follow the data. What errors could arise in the way Google collects performance data on managers? How could it minimize these errors?
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Give two examples of an administrative decision that would be based on performance management information. Give two examples of developmental decisions based on this type of information.
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Imagine that a pet supply store is establishing a new performance management system to help employees provide better customer service. Management needs to decide who should participate in measuring the performance of each of the store's salespeople. From what sources should the store gather information? Why?
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How Google Searches for Performance Measures If there's one thing Google knows, it's how to use software to wade through massive amounts of data and find what is most relevant. So it should come as no surprise that when the information technology powerhouse wanted to develop better managers, it started by looking at the data. As it turns out, Google found plenty to learn. Like most businesses, Google had files of data about managers-results of performance reviews, surveys measuring employee attitudes, and nominations for management awards. Unlike most businesses, Google figured out how to analyze all that data to come up with a profile of the kind of manager whose team is most successful. The company's people analytics group (which brings together psychologists, MBAs, and data-mining experts) analyzed 10,000 observations about managers in terms of more than 100 variables, looking for patterns. The initial finding was a surprise to some at a company that had once operated without managers: teams with good managers outperform teams with bad managers. But what makes a good manager? Under the leadership of Google's HR vice president, Laszlo Bock, the company distilled its findings into a list of the behaviors that get results: 1. Be a good coach. 2. Empower your team, and don't micromanage. 3. Express interest in team members' success and personal well-being. 4. Don't be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented. 5. Be a good communicator, and listen to your team. 6. Help your employees with career development. 7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team. 8. Have key technical skills so you can help advise the team. Perhaps those points sound obvious. But keep in mind that someone hired as a programming or analytic whiz and later promoted to a managerial role might not have given much thought to, say, cultivating the ability to express interest in team members' success, which ranks far above technical skills. Seeing this on a list identifies the behavior as something statistically related to superior performance not just in general, but at Google specifically. Furthermore, this is a behavior that can be measured (for example, by asking employees if their supervisor expresses interest in them), and it can be learned by managers who want to improve. By building performance measures in the eight key areas, Google was able to evaluate its managers' performance and identify those who needed to improve in particular areas. It developed training programs in the eight types of desired behavior. Before and after providing performance appraisals, training, and coaching, Google conducted surveys to gauge managers' performance. It measured a significant improvement in manager quality for 75% of its lowest-performing managers. But Bock isn't resting on that success. Google intends to keep crunching the data, in case the criteria for a successful Google manager change at some point in the future. One thing is for sure: Google will continue to follow the data. How well does Google's approach to performance management meet the five criteria for effectiveness of a performance management system? How well does it fit with the company's mission to organize information and make it universally accessible and useful?
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ARE FORCED RANKINGS FAIR? Emotions can run high when it comes to the performance management practice of using forced rankings to identify the top performers to retain and the bottom performers to let go. When Jack Welch was chief executive officer of General Electric, he introduced and later championed this method. At GE, managers were ranked according to their performance against goals and sorted into the top 20% (who were richly rewarded), the middle 70%, and the bottom 10% (who often were asked to leave). Today LendingTree follows a similar approach, ranking managers as 1s (the top 15%), 2s (the middle 75%), and 3s (the bottom 10%). The idea is that if the organization lays off the 3s, it can later replace them with people who have the potential to become 1s, improving the overall performance. American International Group (AIG) recently began ranking employees on a scale of 1 to 5, with the biggest bonuses awarded to the top categories and no bonuses to the worst performers. Critics deride the method, which they call "rank and yank," as ruthless and even demotivating. In their view, organizations should hire and develop good talent, so if the organization is well run, it shouldn't have any underperformers. In addition, they say, the practice tempts managers to compete against one another and perhaps undermine one another when they should be cooperating to help the organization attain its goals. If the organization wants teamwork but being a team player means you help your colleague meet more goals than you did and earn a higher ranking, would you want to be a team player? Jack Welch insists that forced ranking is actually the fairest approach if done well. Assuming that the organization has made its goals clear, every manager knows where he or she stands. If the organization dismisses someone for being one of the lowest performers, the decision is fairly based on performance rather than personalities or other irrelevant criteria. People who have underperformed their colleagues know it and respect the reasons for the decisions. In addition, forced rankings can correct for any unfairness that results from the common error of a manager tending to be harsh or lenient compared with peers evaluating other employees. Nevertheless, surveys suggest that many organizations are uncomfortable with the method. A study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity, for example, found that use of forced ranking fell from 42% in 2009 to just 14% in 2011. At an organization that wants to use forced rankings because it supports this strategy, what measures can it take to make sure the process is as ethical as possible?
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How does a complete performance management system differ from the use of annual performance appraisals?
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Continuing the example in Question 7, imagine hat you are preparing for your first performance feedback session. You want feedback to be effective - that is, you want the feedback to result in improved performance. List five or six steps you can take to achieve your goal.
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When the Rules Don't Fly Was performance management to blame when a major U.S. airline failed to give a friendly welcome home to a U.S. Army unit returning from Afghanistan? When the 34-member unit arrived in Baltimore for an 18-hour layover, the airline transporting them informed two staff sergeants that they needed to pay $200 for each soldier carrying a fourth bag. The military orders for the unit stated that the bags would be covered by the ticket price, but the sergeants could not persuade the airline's agents. These employees insisted that they had to follow company policy, and according to that policy, checking a fourth bag costs $200. Airlines impose the fees as a way to keep up with rising transportation costs even as fliers shop around for the lowest airfare. This airline's policy was in line with similar fees at other air carriers. Like other kinds of companies, airlines make their employees responsible for following the rules. Following rules is often the most basic kind of performance standard. In this case, however, the employees' attempts to follow the rules led the airline into an embarrassing situation. The frustrated sergeants videotaped their reaction at the airport and posted the video on YouTube. Before long, the airline was publicly humiliated for its treatment of soldiers who had been away serving the country. Shortly afterward, the airline announced that it would refund the $2,800 it had charged the soldiers for excess-baggage fees. It noted that the normal procedure is for traveling service members-who fly at a reduced rate-to be reimbursed by the military for any excess-baggage fees. Apparently, the agents had not explained the procedure clearly. Also, carrying an unlimited amount of baggage for free would put airlines at a disadvantage in serving their most profitable customer segment, business customers. These customers place a high value on reliable transportation of their bags and on-time arrivals. To avoid this kind of embarrassment, what kinds of performance standards do you think an airline should establish for employees working at ticket counters?
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Performance Measurement for Public School Teachers Public schools have a major responsibility to their communities: preparing children to become good citizens, productive employees, and smart consumers. Unfortunately, trends such as test scores, dropout rates, readiness for work and college, and persistent differences between ethnic and economic groups suggest that schools often fail to deliver. Meeting the goals requires talented, motivated teachers who understand what behaviors are associated with successful instruction and have the necessary resources. A basic tool for achieving this should be a school's performance management system. However, efforts to design measures for teacher performance suggest that it is complicated. Certainly, politics plays a role, but performance measurement for schools is challenging even from a strictly HR point of view. The traditional approach has been to identify the teachers with the longest tenure and greatest education, then to reward these teachers with job retention and pay. The rationale is that the measures are objective (a teacher has a master's degree or doesn't and has clearly worked for some number of years), so they can be applied equitably. In addition, an experienced, highly educated teacher logically would have skills that a new college graduate has yet to learn. Still, former students would say the teachers who inspired them most are not always the oldest ones. An approach to measuring performance that has recently been emphasized is students' performance on standardized tests. This measure focuses on results, but test scores have their drawbacks. First, they raise the question of how much control a teacher has over scores. If a teacher's class contains many students with behavioral problems, learning disabilities, or poor preparation in previous grades, should the teacher's evaluation take that into account-and if so, how? Standardized tests also need to measure the outcomes that matter most. Should the school only be preparing students to recall facts on a multiple-choice test-or also to express their reasoning in writing? Further, standardized tests usually are relevant only to certain teachers. Most states test only reading and math skills. A few states test students in science and social studies. Some subjects, including music and physical education, lack standardized tests. Even where a test exists in a subject area, should a science teacher be penalized if students don't read well enough to perform well on a science test? Furthermore, as a school superintendent in New York pointed out, it is expensive to create or buy a rubric specifying learning goals in each subject area for every grade. Despite these challenges, some school districts have pursued more comprehensive testing, with results influencing bonuses paid to teachers. In Florida, Hillsborough County Public Schools developed tests for every subject in every grade level. Tennessee relies only on math and reading scores but ties those scores to evaluations of teachers in all subject areas. However, the Memphis school district allows music, drama, and dance teachers to compile portfolios showing the progress of their students. North Carolina has been developing standardized tests for all subjects, but in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, parents revolted when they learned that much classroom time in kindergarten was being devoted to one-on-one tests of the young students. Iowa has considered yet another approach. The state had required that, every three years, a supervisor would evaluate experienced teachers (those who have been working more than two years). The state's education director proposed a policy that these reviews be supplemented with peer reviews each year in between, so teachers receive more timely feedback, enabling them to identify and work on areas of improvement. Bill Gates, Microsoft's founder, has yet another idea. Gates suggests that researchers investigate why some teachers get better outcomes than others. He proposes observing teachers with practical skills such as bringing order to a classroom and engaging a student who is lagging behind, to identify exactly what these teachers are doing. Then those behaviors could be measured in other teachers and taught to those who lack the skills. Teachers can be trained to give peer reviews based on this type of model. The Bill Melinda Gates Foundation funded a survey of teachers, to get their perspective on what would help them perform better. According to that survey, teachers want to receive more evaluations, from more sources. Most agree that the best measure of their success should be the progress students make during the school year. How well do the performance management ideas described in this case meet the three purposes of performance management (strategic, administrative, and developmental)?
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