How Organizations Became More Employee Driven: The Evolution of Performance Management

Day by day, organizations grow more focused on employee satisfaction. Managements opt to give training, carry out surveys, and allow more flexible hours. Telecommuting is a widely used concept these last couple of years. All of this, in the name of enhanced performance. Happy employees certainly equal much more efficient work.


Organizations realized pushing employees to their limits and overloading them with work surely did not increase employee efficacy. Hence, they searched for means to evaluate what will heighten the quality of work, especially in competitive industries. Thus, performance management came to practice. 


The techniques and approaches to performance appraisals we have nowadays didn’t come about. Performance management, much like most things, has a history and an origin.


The first mention of performance management considered a set of rules designed to drive employees to better productivity based on the scientific logic behind each task they were assigned. Workers would be trained on the process of a particular task and were supervised so that the methods were followed accurately. 


Gradually, large corporations started utilizing this method and even working on improving it. 

Until this point, performance appraisals were actually referred to as ‘Annual Confidential Reports’ or ‘Employee Service Reports’. The main drawback of these annual appraisal reports was that they were confidential, i.e. the results were not shared, in any measure, with the employees being assessed. We now refer to this technique as controlling, as even though employees were not privy to these reports, they could definitely affect their career development. 


Thankfully, as we approached the 70s, the confidentiality rule—however still used—was implemented less so. Employees were finally allowed to describe their own accomplishments and carry out self-appraisals that were considered in the new performance appraisals. As times progressed, organizations included a section to allow employees to describe the goals achieved within the year and even admitted a training needs tier. Slowly but surely, performance planning, review and development means were introduced to organizations.


By the mid-80s, 360 Feedback was introduced; a means for a selection of people to assess an employee’s performance and conduct, including themselves. This new means opened up ventures for employees to cultivate teamwork, and proper communication, within an organization.


Present-day performance appraisals are, in most businesses, not conducted yearly anymore but on a constant roll. You have performance plans spanning over months or years, as required. They include goal settings, culture building, team appraisals, and competency and accomplishment submissions, with options for reporting persons, team leaders or members, so much as customers to leave feedback on an employee’s administration. 


Performance management mediums went from dreary governing measures of mere process-centric scales designed to evaluate what an employee has done, to an engaging practice of gauging how an employee works, and what they need to help their productivity heighten and improve.


At MiHCM, we can provide a large variety of new and upcoming performance appraisal tools in our Performance Management module, including (but definitely not limited to) real-time goal setting and sharing, trait/KPI and potential assessments, competency and culture values, team performance summaries, 360 feedback, training needs analysis and even executive summaries as required. Click here to book a demo with us and immerse yourself with our spectacular product!

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