Armstrong and Baron (1998) defined it nicely as a “strategic and integrated approach to increasing the effectiveness of organisations by improving the performance of the people who work in them and by developing the capabilities of teams and individual contributors.” Other research (Zaffron 2009) suggests that if a link can be found between individual, team and organisational goals productivity and quality will increase - “it may be possible to get all employees to reconcile personal goals with organizational goals and increase productivity and profitability of an organization using this process.” So PM processes work and make a difference not only to outcomes but also staff engagement and by implication well-being PM tools can apply equally to individuals, teams, departments or the organisation as a whole. Organisational output or ‘products’ do not appear to have a bearing on the impact of PM; education, care, health, social service or profit outputs can all benefit from an increased performance management culture.
 Zaffron, Logan, Steve, David (1st edition, Feb, 2009). Performance Management: The Three Laws of Performance: Rewriting the Future of Your Organization and Your Life
Performance Management (PM) is a topic near the top of most University HR strategies during 2012.
Not surprising when you combine the increasing uncertainty surrounding university funding and recent research that suggests up to 34% of time is spent on tasks not contributing to organisational effectiveness(1). However what exactly is performance management, who is responsible for it, and perhaps most importantly how can we influence it?
The University of Bristol spends £228M, 59% of all income, on staff costs each year. It’s a big figure, fairly typical of a large UK University, and one that will be under increasing scrutiny over the next few years. If it were possible to reduce the average amount of staff time not spent working on organisational goals by just 10% this would represent a saving of £7.7 million a year, every year. Just 10% - surely that’s possible through PM?
 www.salary.com (2010)
Really pleased to announce that the project has been asked to present 'work so far' at the 2012 Staff Development Forum conference in Manchester between the 19th and 21st of April 2012. Details have just been emailed to members and will be available soon on the SDF web site at http://www.staffdevelopment.ac.uk/
When we embarked on this project at Bristol the quality of our goals was not a topic that I thought we would need to concentrate too much on. We have been developing objectives as part of 'paper' based staff reviews for years thinking there were fairly good. However the project has made many people question just how good they really are and certainly how much they relate to the team, department and University as a whole. We are now running some simple one hour 'goal setting' workshops and have included a quick (powerpoint) guide to goal setting on our on-line tool. What's interesting is the learning that is coming out that we never really considered would be part of this project.
We are finding in the early stages of our trial that the traffic light system is encouraging more conversation between appraisers/managers and appraisees. When being prompted by the system, people are more likely to tell the system that they are worried about whether they are going to hit a goal than they were previously (where they would have had to track down their manager and initiate the conversation). The result: more frequent conversations, and (hopefully) more goals going from orange to green rather than orange to red.
Appraisees are beginning to feed back that issues that they would have previously gone un-discussed (and would have caused them stress) are now being dealt with early.