Use Performance Appraisals to ImprovePerformance (Chapter author: Maria Rotundo) Performance appraisals are widely used in organisations, but more often than not they do not serve to improve performance. One reason is that prior job performance is not assessed accurately. Accuracy requires that performance be observed frequently and recorded. Further, there need to be multiple sources of performance feedback, including from the employee being assessed (i.e. self-assessment). In addition, performance needs to be assessed in terms of behaviours, not just outcomes. Behaviours are what cause performance outcomes, but not the only cause; outcomes may be less in the employee’s control than behaviours. Effective performance appraisals also need to involve setting goals for the future and coaching of the employees.
Control Voluntary Turnover by Controlling its Causes (Chapter authors: Marion Eberly, Brooks Holtom, Thomas Lee and Terrence Mitchell) Turnover is not beneficial if average and above average employees quit because valuable job knowledge can be lost to the organisation. What are some approaches to understanding turnover?
One is looking at job dissatisfaction, which is usually associated with thinking about quitting and thence to actual quitting.
A second approach is to look for causes involving unexpected “shocks”, such as change of life plans or specific negative experiences or disliked organisational changes.
A third approach is to study the presence or lack of job “embeddedness” – factors which tie the individual to the organisation such a links to the community where the organisation is located or vested interests such as retirement plans.
A fourth approach is to try to actively manage turnover, not only by being aware of and eliminating the causes of unwanted turnover, but also by terminating ineffective performers and replacing overpaid employees.
Pay for Performance (Chapter authors: Cathy Durham and Kay Bartol)
Every organisation likes to say that in some form it pays for performance, but this is much easier said than done. This issue is important, because if people believe they are not paid fairly, they are likely to leave the organisation. In addition, when pay is not based on valid performance appraisals, many times people are simply paid for the wrong outcome (e.g. quantity without quality). Thus, as with performance appraisal, the behaviours and outcomes desired need to be defined and measured objectively. Effective pay systems must be communicated clearly, be consistent with employee values, be combined with other motivators (e.g. challenging, interesting work and behaviour and performance goals) and tied into the organisation’s culture. Also, the organisation has to decide if incentives should be based at the individual, group or organisational level, or some combination of these. Incentive plans must also take account of the amount of risk employees are willing to bear.
Achieve Work-Family Balance (Chapter authors: Boris Baltes and Malissa Clark) The opposite of work-family balance is work-family conflict. This can occur because work pressures conflict with family or family issues conflict with work. The most common causal factors are stress and time (time itself is a common source of stress). Organisational policies that can reduce work issues include flexitime, compressed work weeks, telecommuting, on-site child care, part-time work and job sharing. Individuals can also learn personal strategies at work and with the family that will help reduce conflict, e.g. setting clear priorities, increasing skills and getting outside help.
The handbook has 26 additional chapters focused mainly around organisational behaviour issues, such as motivation, satisfaction, team dynamics, leadership, organisational processes (e.g. decision making, trust and communication), organisational structure, entrepreneurship and national culture. Each chapter has illustrative cases and class exercises. In most cases, each chapter is focused around a single principle so that, unlike a typical textbook, the material is readily retained. Since all the chapters are evidence-based, the principles have practical utility.
Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior: Indispensable Knowledge for Evidence-Based Management, 2nd Edition Edwin Locke (Editor) ISBN: 978-0-470-74094-1 Paperback September 2009 Wiley R900.00
Developed from decades of research and consulting, this international handbook identifies 30 timeless management principles every manager should know. With contributions from some of the foremost experts in organizational behavior, this insightful book demonstrates how theories of organizational behavior can be successfully applied to the workplace. With additional coverage on change, leadership, and knowledge, the new updated edition includes contributions from such notables as Teresa Amabile, Jay Conger, Fred Luthans, Antonio DeNisi, and Michael Beer.