Posted: May 24th, 2022
Active Performance Management Proposal: Case Study Evaluating Active Performance Measurement in Beechwood
The research examines the potential possibilities of active performance management in the modern workplace. It first examines the current literature as a way to set a foundation for the actual analytic portion of the project. Then, specific research questions are examined in order to provide a framework to test the actual efficiency of an active performance management style implemented in the field. Finally, a potential methodology is explored as well as the significance of the research as a whole.
In this vulnerable economic environment, many businesses are looking for an edge on their competition. One potentially lucrative strategy for increasing productivity and efficiency within implementation of future strategies is adopting an active performance measurement strategy. In this, managers focus on evaluating perfomance from a proactive standpoint. Essentially, “the purpose of performance analysis is to locate evidence and draw inferences from it on the factors affecting performance and what needs to be done about them” (Armstrong 2009 p 143). Yet, the concept is still relatively new, and thus must be explored further, especially in terms of specific case studies which can help provide potential models for future implementations. Some reports still show an inefficiency within the typical model of active performance manangement which encourages further empirical examination. Within the context of this research, the organization Beechwood is examined in order to test its implementation of active performance management in the field.
Beechwood Company is a major service provider that works within numerous regions here in the U.K. The company was established in 1996 and “specialize in the contract cleaning of communal areas of residential properties throughout the London area” (Beechwood 2012). Beechwood focuses in working with both residental and commercial clients im order to provide cleaning an dporter services. It currently holds over 750 accounts. Services provided include not only service members who conduct cleaning and porter services, but also employees located in call center locations who are responsible for handling new accounts and generating new business. Managers are responsible not only for governing over generating business, but also inspecting properties to ensure services are provided efficiently. Thus, managers work with both sales and service employees.
Implementing a more active performance management strategy does dramatically change the work environment. Are these changes worth the process? What do the managers who are most proactive in this strategy think in terms of its ability to increase overall productivity? Is implementing measures of active performance management successful in increasing employee efficiency and productivity? This research aims to explore these questions in order to test whether or not the process of implementing active performance management elements are worth the actual effort and cost of the implementation.
Performance management is an element of contemporay business that has been getting more attention in these vulnerable economic times. According to the research, it “is the procedure of evaluation of progress, of an organization, towards a sought-after goal” (Abbey 2009). The process is an innovative change of typical strategy to focus on a more active approach. Thus, it relies on using measurable evaluative tools in order to understand productivity and progress towards a particular goal. As such, “the basic thought that is behind performance management is a process over which the management unites the people, schemes and schemes, to maximize the potency and efficiency so to deliver the coveted results” (Abbey 2009). Performance management styles then advocate the importance of individual action within the effort to meet organizational goals.
As the strategy began to gain popularity, the concept of active performance management became a major trend that was recieving a bulk of attention from management and Human Resource departments in organizations all over the region. In many ways, active performance management is a further specification of managerial strategies to focus primarily on the need for praising active employees who take initiative outside of what they are simply required to do. Thus, “this is a crucial aspect of managing performance as it aids in keeping and maintaining people who substantiate the basic human capital of the organizations” (Abbey 2009). It is an innovative approach to looking towards a more progressive managerial approach. Overall, the approach to management is “characterized by its self-starting nature, its proactive approach, and by being persistent in overcoming difficulties that arise in the pursuit of a goal” (Frese & Fay 2001 p 134). Most organizations today have some sort of performance monitoring or active performance management structures already in place. In fact, it is a crucial element of implementing successful changes in strategies or goals. Research has shown that it “provides workforce administrators with a visual representation of real-time adherence to key performance indicators” (Schwartz 2011). This is an advantage in that managers are dealing with actual problems in real time, with effort focused on anticipating potential issues and acting on them right away, often without the stalling of the whole organization to regroup in an effort to find a solution after the issues have already taken hold.
Activities of active performance management are thus becoming more crucial than ever. Most of the important steps of the strategy involve taking a more active role within the delivery of performance management outcomes. The whol process features proactive performance measurements that have the ability to “solve problems that have not appeared yet” (Frese & Fay 2001 p 136). It is focused primarily on the future, rather than using the past as a method of evaluation (Wilson 2005). In turn, this creates a strong foundation for organizations to take a more progressive approach, therefore increasing their overall productivity and capacity to deal with possible problems. Essentially, the process is “a more action-oriented, risk-taking mode in order to increase the company’s competitive advantage” (Jones et al. 1991 p 324). With this competitive advantage, the process of active performance management becomes apotentially lucrative opportunity for firms struggling to compete in an international market.
In order to best evaluate the process within a specific case study, it is important to evaluate the important elements that structire it. The strategy focuses on identifying potential performance issues and how they can be addressed in real time. Thus, “performance means to do and act and accomplish a goal” (Frese & Fay 2001 p 173). Managerial staff do less directing, but yet this does not impact productivity, because they focus efforts on empowering employees to be more capable in the field, Here, the research states that “the management systems include performance indicators specified to measure the success of each” specified goal outlined by the organization in question (O’Leary 1995 p 5). There are a number of elements managers must adjust their focus on. For example, the process of career development guidance becomes more crucial, as it continues to empower employees in order to ready them for the challenges ahead. Thus, the strategy focuses on “preparing employees to make a contribution to the organization in the future” (Jones et al. 1991 p 430). Active performance management focuses on increasing managerial trust in employees based on the management style which encourages more individual action within the workplace (Wilson 2005). Moreover, it requires a more taolired style of supervision of individual team members and distributing tasks that are appropriate to strategies aimed at achieving greater productivity levels.
The strategy features management styles that take a proactive approach in terms of promoting a creative and competitive environment where the individual employees become much more empowered to meet organizational performance goals (Fersha et al. 1998). Active performance management focuses on generating and “active employee” (Frese & Fay 2001 p 134). More progressive approaches tend to be more effort up front on behalf of managerial staff, but better empoer employees to act efficiently on their own. This, in turn, increases overall productivity. As such, “many managers argue nowadays that they need active participants at work rather than passive implementers of orders from above” (Frese & Fay 2001 p 135). Employees become agents that are crucial to organizational strtaegy success, rather than simply elements of production. This then creates “the potential for creative and innovative behavior is a requirement for successful performance” (Jones et al. 1991 p 350). This is an innovative approach to managing employees that tends to lead to measurable increases in productivity and competitiveness.
This is further examines in a research study published by Frese and Fay (2001) which is essentially an examination of personal initiative. Here, active performance management strategies are paired with “active feedback seeking, redefinition of work, and reciprocal causation” (Frese & Fay 2001 p 134). This creates employees who show much more initiative and autonomy within their roles, therefore increasing the overal efficiency of their work in general. Here, the researchers show that “personal initiative is a work behavior defined as self-starting and proactive that overcomes barriers to achieve a goal” (Frese & Fay 2001 p 133). Such strategies focus on giving weight to the responsibility of the employee to work act progressively to work towards individual and organizational goals. This is invoking initiative within the workplace that goes beyond requirements. Active performance management is becoming a crucial part of business in today’s vulnerable economic environment
It is clear that the literature exposes a number of benefits involved with an active performance management approach. However, there are a number of challenges within identifying issues related to performance management “as they are occurring” (Schwartz 2011). The essential challenge within most modern firms is how to address specific issues in a positive manner that will increase overall productivity (Schwartz 2011). There are a number of environmental changes that occur within the process of implementing such a vastly different managerial strategy. Some recent reports have been claiming that using active performance management is not as beneficial as others may claim. In fact, Ferri (2010) illustrates that in many situations, active management underperforms in comparison to other management styles.
In order to test the research questions, managerial staff at the Beechwood organization will be interviewed through surveys. Each survey will contain questions that are rated on a traditional Likert Scale, which rates each answer from one to five. The surveys will then be collected an statistically analyzed in a quantitive methodology using regression analysis to evaluate the perceptions of the managers in terms of how they view active performance management and how it has positively impacted the organization. The regression analysis will not only show current trends, but will forecast for future success levels if conditions within the company remain the same.
Significance of Research
This research is significant in that it will help add to the current discourse on active performance management. It has been reported that “with an effective performance management, business will thrive like never before” (Abbey 2009). In such a vulnerable economic environemnt, it is crucial to provide potential models for firms to adapt in order to better succeed. Evaluating how implementation of active performance management has impacted Beechwood specifically will help better focus research in order to show more definitive assumptioms.
Abbey, Paul, 2009. Active performance management. Management Articles. Web. http://www.articlesfactory.com/articles/management/active-performance-management.html
Armstrong, Michael, 2009. Armstrong’s Handbook of Performance Management: An Evidence-Based Guide to Delivering High Performance. Kogan Page Publishers.
Beechwood, 2012. About Beechwood. Beechwood. Web. http://www.beechwoodps.co.uk/about
Ferri, Richard A., 2010. Active managers’ market-beating claims debunked. Forbes. Web. http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/16/mutual-funds-active-management-debunked-personal-finance-indexer-ferri.html
Fersha, Alois, Johnson, James, & Kotsis, Gabriele, 1998. Pro-active performance management of distributed applications. Human Capital and Mobility Program of the EU. Web. http://www.tc.jku.at/download/papers/gk_mascots98.pdf
Frese, Michael & Fay, Doris, 2001. Personal initiative: An active performance concept for work in the 21st century. Research in Organizational Behavior, 23(2001), 133-187.
Jones, John Walter, Steffy, Brian D., & Bray, Douglas Weston, 1991. Applying Psychology in Business: The Handbook for Managers and Human Resource Professionals. Lexington Books.
O’Leary, Christopher J., 1995. Performance management of active labor programs in Eastern Europe. Employment Research Newsletter, 2(2), 5-6.
Schwartz, Larry, 2011. Transforming performance monitoring into active performance management. Society of Workforce Planning Professionals. Web. http://www.swpp.org/newsletter/spring2011/transforming.html
Wilson, John P., 2005. Human Resource Development: Learning and Training for Individuals and Organizations. Kogan Page Publishers.
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