The article “Performance Management Effectiveness: Practices or Context?” is written by respectful scholars Victor Y. Haines III from the School of Industrial Relations, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada, and Sylvie St-Onge from the Department of Management, HEC Montre´al, Montreal, Canada. Both of them work on different questions regarding the human resources management. This article aims to provide more information about the mutual impact of practices and context of the effectiveness of performance management. This aspect of human resource management is very important in the modern world because more and more difficult tasks are offered to the employees, and accordingly more effective techniques of human resource management should be applied. To increase the level of performance management effectiveness many HR specialists tend to use such practises as training and employee recognition. At the same time, they often underestimate the importance of three contextual variables that are climate, culture, and the strategic integration of human resource management. The main idea of this article is to investigate performance management practices and meaningful elements of the organizational context as two important elements of the performance management effectiveness.
The issue of this article is very seasonable because of the globalization of the world. The companies grow larger causing more employees to cooperate and share the responsibilities while being in charge of several projects. Each link in the chain must be strong in order not to ruin the balance. Modern human resource managers have to apply all the possible techniques to make the chain unbreakable and functional. It means that every employee must be responsible not only for whatever he or she is the best at, but also ensure the high level effectiveness. There are many techniques that help HR specialists to build the team that overcomes all the challenges of the particular work. But there are factors that are still not involved in the process of improving the performance management effectiveness. The article concentrates on the overall performance management effectiveness as an inalienable part of a successful business system. The effectiveness is never connected with one or another factor only; it is usually the combination of all the available techniques and practices such as coaching, employee development, correct setting of goals and targets and many others. From the first sight it usually looks like the employees form the team naturally due to their professionalism and personal qualities. But human resources specialists know that it is a misleading impression. The research that was conducted by the authors of the “Performance Management Effectiveness: Practices or Context?” is very important for new understanding of the connection between practices and contextual factors such as organization culture and the influence of relations climate on performance management effectiveness. This understanding can give a new practical tool to the specialists that work on the increase of efficiency.
To conduct the research, Victor Y. Haines III and Sylvie St-Onge mailed a special pretested questionnaire in the French language to the human resource management specialists of 1556 organizations that have 200 or more employees. The research took place in Quebec, Canada. To find the organizations, the researchers used the Dun and Bradstreet listing. The response rate was about 20%. The answers came from the organizations that had between 200 and more than 2000 employees. An average work experience in the current position of the respondents was around 7.4 years. 53.8% of respondents were male, the rest of them – female. This method proved to be representational and accurate, the amount of responses was significant enough to conduct the research and offer a relevant conclusion.
According to the article (Haines III & St-Onge 2012, pp. 1163-1164), the questionnaire contained multiple questions on different issues that were performance management effectiveness, performance management training, multisource feedback, employee recognition, culture of employee engagement, strategic integration of human resource management, employee relations climate, and control variables that were also significant for this study. Those variables supposedly influence the nature and effectiveness of the performance management. The questions provided the information needed for the analyses.
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Haines III and St-Onge (2012, pp. 1165-1168) have got some interesting results that are significant for the human resources management. They claim that “the only predicted association that was not supported is the one between multisource feedback and performance management effectiveness”. It is also interesting that the result tables show the high association between performance management training and employee recognition which means that more extensive performance management training favor employee recognition. The research shows the connection between contextual variables and performance management effectiveness, even though the relations climate is not strongly associated with the dependent variable. At the same time, according to Haines III and St-Onge (2012, p. 1168), “the interaction between employee relations climate and performance management training is significant.” It means that positive employee relations climate contributes to the success of management training and employee effectiveness. The findings support the theory about the strong connection between effective performance management systems and contexts of organization with certain characteristics. In other words, it is not only important to organize trainings and work on the employee recognition but also to maintain favorable climate and high culture among the employees. Altogether it may give the best results of employee efficiency.
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Being a professional human resource specialist requires taking into consideration many factors that display in the success of the company. In order to do the job each department has to be well-organized and motivated from the inside. The HR specialist should not only find and hire the specialists that are best for each particular position, but pay attention to the personal characteristics of employees as well. One more goal is to create the most appropriate atmosphere in order to have all the work done in time and at high quality level. Some specialists practice effective performance management by the light of nature without even thinking about it. Luckily there is modern science that allows to measure the factors that can bring success and simplify the process of deliberate supervision. The analyzed article is very useful for the understanding of some important things. The connection between the practices and context was considered unimportant some time ago, but now it is obvious that they go hand in hand. While supervising the employees HR specialist should offer not only trainings and formal occasions, but work on a good climate and corporal culture on a daily basis as well, so the seeds of knowledge and new skills will germ on a fertile soil of appropriate context.
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The article by Haines III & St-Onge (2012) is concentrated on the technical issues that are involved in employee performance management. It comes to the conclusion that practises (training and employee recognition) and contexts (climate, culture and strategic integration of human resource management) influence each other and thus contribute to the performance management effectiveness. Implications of this research show great importance for the human resource management practise. The investigation is not large and should be studied by every human resource manager along with other works concerning the factors that have a positive impact on performance management effectiveness.