Jp Kenny Jpk Is a London-Based Company Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

JP Kenny (JPK) is a London-based company specialising in the engineering design of subsea pipelines; it offers a number of design solutions including project management to clients within the oil and gas industry.

This report includes an analysis of the Human Resource department and the role they play within the organisation and an evaluation of JPK's performance management of its employees. It takes a look at the human resource department and the role managers play in the performance appraisal system using different theories to analyse the methods used in order to improve the effectiveness of the process, and identifies areas of the process that are "failing" with recommendations for improvement.

Over the past two years JPK has gone through considerable changes, and while the company is growing and getting more complex, the current processes need to be change to accommodate growth. There are a number processes that require changes and the management and monitoring of the appraisal system and performance management needs to be

Improvement of the process will not only give employees a better understanding of the process but will also aid in the longer retention of employees.

The current performance management system has served the company, but expansion means improving the process to accommodate the company's growth. The main problems of the current process is the general lack of effective monitoring that is necessary for the company to achieve its overall strategic and operational objectives.

Staff is JPK's biggest asset and although it is understood that this fact refers to the experience and expertise of engineering personnel, the company should value all members of staff, to achieve a balance the company should carry out regular employee surveys. Improve employee skills as this can be beneficial to the company and give the employee the opportunity for career growth. If employees are offered as a motivator then it can result in individuals having more loyalty to the company.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary


Introduction and company background




Literature Review







1 Introduction and company background

The aim of this report is to undertake an analysis of the performance management techniques used to measure, manage and improve JPKenny's objectives.

JP Kenny (JPK) is a London-based company that specialises in pipeline and subsea engineering; JP Kenny now known as JPK started up business in 1978 and has since then diversified into other countries over the past 32 years. It has offices on 4 continents, and has in recent years experienced rapid growth.

JPK regards the people in the company as its most valuable asset, The Harvard School formulated that the "asset" is only realised if people are appropriately treated, recognised and rewarded, and because of positive feedback from staff, has held the IiP award since 2002 in recognition of its approach to development and training of employees. JPK recognises that the performance and training of individuals is a benefit not only to the individual but to the company, as the training and experience of individuals is a major selling point for the services offered, income of the company is dependent on individuals experience and performance as employee CV's are included in tenders. An annual appraisal and training plan is issued in conjunction with the company business plan.

JPK employees qualified and graduate engineers within the subsea engineering field, other staff are made up of administrators of project secretaries, document controllers, IT professionals, HR & Accounts administrators. JPK also employs two different types of workers, one being the staff member who is employed directly by JPK and the second being contractors who are contracted out for their services.

To understand the performance management process at JPK interviews were carried out with a qualified engineer with 20+ years in the company, a graduate with 2 years work experience and 2 administrators one of which is based on projects and one other administrator.

The appraisal system is only relevant to staff members at JPK and is not extended to contractors.

JPK is a company that has a task culture of which the emphasis is on getting the job done. The task culture generally requires self-motivated personnel that will need little or no supervision, personal commitment and team work. The task culture brings together employees with different skills to form a team in order to complete the task project. In JPK's case the teams are made up of permanent staff and contractors to form the team.

The definition of performance management

Martinez (2001,p.3) noted that performance management is a term which was borrowed from management literature and which became a recognized process in the 1980 as indicated in the work of Armstrong & Baron (1998). The meaning of the term has also evolved over time. Storey and Sisson (1993) defined the concept of performance management as an interlocking set of practices and policies which has as their main focus the aim of enhancing the achievement of a given organization via a concentration on performance at the individual level. Fletcher (1992) on the other hand defined performance management as an approach used in the creation of a shared vision of the aims and purpose of a given organization that is useful in helping employees to comprehend as well as recognize their roles in contributing to these purposes and aims.

The characteristics of a good performance management system

Baron and Armstrong (1998,p.45) provided a definition of performance management system that had several characteristics. These characteristics included the ability to communicate the visions as well as objectives of the organization to the employees, must be able to set unit, team, departmental as well as individual performance targets, the system must also be able to conduct a rather formal review of the progress that is being made towards the set targets as well as the ability to evaluate the entire process so as to improve its effectiveness.

2 Methodology

To understand the performance management process at JPK interviews were carried out with a qualified engineer with 20+ years in the company, a graduate with 2 years work experience and 2 administrators one of which is based on projects and one other administrator.

Research questions

This research was guided by specific questions which also formed the main parts of the interview. The research questions were;

What does performance management process entail?

How has the concept as well as practice of the process of performance management evolved over time.

How has the concept of performance management been applied to the operations of JP Kenny (JPK).

What were the necessary prerequisites for the introduction of performance management to JP Kenny (JPK)

3 Literature Review

Extant literature has been dedicated to the concept of performance management.

Bach and Sisson (2000) noted that the concept of performance management is about the measurement, monitoring as well as enhancement of the level of staff performance. They also noted that the concepts of staff and organizational performance are inter-related very closely with the nature of the relationship being a complex one and is subjected to several external variables that are deemed to be beyond the scope of the general management and performance. Walter (1995) equated the concept of performance management to important management tools like work study. The work of Baron and Armstrong (1998) captured the ever changing nature of the concept of performance management over time.

At JPK the appraisal review is only intended and aimed at permanent employees. From the interviews carried out, it shows that thereis a degree of resentment between the different members of staff leading to unhealthy competitiveness and unwillingness to support others. (Kerr, 1995) describe this behaviour as "esprit de corps." This resulted in an increase in general grievances.

The reward levels offered to administrators compared to engineers is vast and so is the difference between the permanent staff members who are administrators compared to a contracted administrator who does not have an annual appraisal and are seen to be too small to act as a 'motivator'. There was also debate about the role of the annual appraisal interview as there was no consensus view on the purpose of these.

Performance Management can be defined as, a strategic and integrated approach to increase the effectiveness of organisations by improving the performance of the people who work in the team and by developing the capabilities of teams and individual contributors, and also can be seen as a continuous process involving reviews that focus on the future rather than the past (Baron and Armstrong, 1998; 38-39)

4 Findings

The research showed that although each permanent member of staff has a yearly appraisal, the graduates and engineering staff is where the companied has put its focus on, the appraisal system for other employees who do not fall into the category of engineer is merely as process whereby it is a requirement to meet certain goals and achieve awards such as the IiP award.

What performance management process entails.

Storey and Sisson (1993) defined the concept of performance management as an interlocking set of practices and policies…

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