Performance Management Plan - 1600 Words Develop Essay

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Performance Management Plan - 1600 words develop a performance management framework recommend client. See 2 attachments email message instructions

Traci Goldeman

Performance management plan for Bradley Stonefield's limousine service

Even small enterprises need comprehensive performance management strategies aligned to their stated interests and goals. The organization currently under analysis is a small, Austin-based limousine service with roughly 50 employees. Limousine service companies market themselves primarily upon their ability to cater to customer needs, including the conscientiousness, safety, efficiency, and speed of drivers. Although some vehicles may be fancier than others, limousine services are marketed upon functionality. This makes superior motivation of workers essential for success. The price range between different services is relatively limited but there can be great discrepancies in quality that can effectively 'make or break' a service's ability to be competitive. Given that Bradley Stonefield's limousine service is a relatively new entrant into the crowded Austin-based business market, it is especially essential that employees are able to shine.

When evaluating employee performance, a two-tiered performance management structure is often used. "One important caveat to consider is that while performance management for purposes of decision-making and employee development are certainly related, these two objectives are rarely supported equally well by a single system. When a performance management system is used for decision-making, the appraisal information is used as a basis for pay increases, promotions, transfers, assignments, reductions in force or other administrative HR actions. When a performance management system is used for development, the appraisal information is used to guide the training, job experiences, mentoring and other developmental activities that employees will engage in to develop their capabilities" (Pulakos 2004: 3). Performance management ratings for decision-making are used as sources of information to enable the company to improve; employee ratings determine if workers are meeting current performance targets regarding company goals.

For every position at the company -- drivers as well as administrative employees -- a full job analysis, including behavioral and results analyses, must be conducted. This should include but not be limited to job specifications on a technical level (such as a clean driving record) and intangibles (such as the abilty to work independently). The expectations of the performance review system should be established and conveyed to employees before it is fully implemented, so employees understand the standards to which they are being held. "At the beginning of the performance management cycle, it is important to review with employees their performance expectations, including both the behaviors employees are expected to exhibit and the results they are expected to achieve during the upcoming rating cycle" (Pulkos 2004: 5). Results analysis is fairly self-explanatory: employees will be informed of what results they are expected to achieve, as part of their daily performance. This might include not being late, having no safety violations, and keeping the vehicle immaculate.

Behavioral analysis is less concrete in nature and suggests behaviors and attitudes which an employee is expected to exhibit when serving others. Given that many limousine drivers are part-time employees and high turnover is common within the industry (an estimated 10% turnover rate, according to the owner), having clear results and expectations in writing for all employees is vital. This should be conveyed as part of the hiring and orientation process and any changing expectations should be conveyed through retraining and in meetings for employees. Behavioral analysis often links to the heart and soul of the company: its mission and philosophy as well as specific, factual objectives.

How to determine if these measures are being met requires multiple sources of information. One of the most obvious is customer satisfaction surveys, in which customers rate their perceptions of the performance of workers. Another measure is that of objectively-determined factors such as time of arrival, passing vehicle inspections, and driving violations. Finally, managers may be asked to rate employees to determine if the employees satisfy existing expectations.

Performance measures tend to be summative in nature. But to improve employee behavior in the here and now and to ensure that employees regard the review process as fair, it is also important to have ongoing performance feedback before final assessments, so employees can make alterations when needed. Employees will be more likely to have a positive view of the organization if clear goals and expectations are set and if they feel they are given adequate time and leeway to make any alternations in workplace behaviors. Setting goals and expectations give employees something to work forward and towards, particularly in an emerging organization which needs to provide high-quality service as part of its mission.

Managers -- even the relatively limited number of managers at this extremely small, emerging organization -- must understand how to set goals and what goals are reasonable and achievable for workers. "Goals should have a direct and obvious link to organizational success factors or goals; goals should be difficult, but achievable, to motivate performance; goals should be set in no more than three areas -- attempting to achieve too many different goals at once will impede success" (Pulakos 2004:6). Owner Stonefield has a proven track record of successful expansion, thus his ambitious goals seem warranted, but he must be careful not to set too many performance expectations all at once, which can be counterproductive and dilute employee focus.

The specifics of the performance management plan will be as follows: first, the ultimate goals of the program should be established, to guide its overall structure. These goals might include employees performing to a certain standard regarding satisfaction surveys and driving; increasing customer numbers; increasing return customers; and decreasing driver turnover. Next, a series of behavioral expectations will be listed and defined for employees. Long and short-term goals will be established that align with these behavioral expectations.

All customers will receive satisfaction surveys (either online or on paper) that ask them to rate specific aspects of employee performance -- drivers and front desk workers -- and their overall impression of their customer experience. A 1-5 rating of very unsatisfied to very satisfied will be used. Customers will also have space to write about their personal experiences and to give suggestions to the company, to aid in the periodic re-defining of objectives and goals. To encourage prompt and complete responses to such surveys, customers will be able to be entered into a drawing for a free ride by submitting a survey.

All vehicles will be inspected upon being returned to the office, to ensure that they meet certain standards of care. Also, because customer satisfaction surveys are not always reliable (some customers are always dissatisfied; some fill them out hastily), drivers will be rated on objective measures, such as clocking in at the right time at a destination and the condition in which they return their vehicles.

Drivers will be given regular feedback about their performance from managers. There will be regular meetings to discuss driver's abilities to meet performance goals and expectations and also for drivers to provide feedback about the customer experience they are able to deliver. This holistic method of assessment is called 360 degree feedback, emphasizing that rather than emphasizing a singular component of the feedback process, feedback is solicited from multiple sources in a holistic and comprehensive fashion (Pulakos 2004: 15).

As well as using these components of performance evaluation to evaluate individual performance, aspects of these performance evaluations can also be used to influence company decision-making. For example, if even highly-rated drivers are having problems getting to a specific airport on time, it might be necessary to reevaluate the standard route that is recommended to take. If customer return rates are down, regardless of the quality rating of the driver, certain external economic drivers in the environment may be the reason for this apparent performance decline. This may indicate that the limousine service needs to reevaluate its price structure…[continue]

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