HR is best learned not just in a theoretical, classroom setting, but how it actually works in the real world. To this end you and a teammate will be doing live research with an HR professional to learn about the performance management process in his/her company. While you can determine what company you use, there are some guidelines:
- You must speak with a representative from the Human Resources department as your primary contact. You may also speak to a member of the management team if you want to (in fact I would give you bonus points for that since their view of the process could be different) but that would be in addition to the HR interviews.
- At a minimum, your interview must be over the phone, ideally in person. No email research.
- The company must be large enough to have a formal, documented performance management process with written performance appraisals.
- The company must be US based – while they may have international operations, the thrust of this class is performance management as practiced in the United States.
- If you work in HR, I would prefer you to find another company to use. That being said if you are not involved in the performance management process for your organization and this would truly be a learning experience for you, just let me know.
- Ditto for those of you who work – use your own company only if this would be new information to you and let me know you are doing so.
- If you are stuck looking for a company to use – try reaching out to one of the local companies/branches on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/best-companies/Most companies, especially those on this list, when you identify yourself as a university student working on a research project for class are willing to help. Another idea is to use a company with which you would like to intern/get a job – good foot in the door.
- If you really get stuck let me know and I will see if one of my friends will be willing to help you, but don’t wait until the last minute.
To complete this assignment, with your teammate research the following and describe your findings in a paper.
Describe the company’s performance management process. (Include documents as available – remember: the performance appraisal is only a part of the performance management process.)
- What kind of performance management system do they use?
- What kind of performance appraisal format (MBO, BARS, traits, etc.)
- Do they use any type of software/automated performance management system?
- Do they evaluate anything other than performance? (such as values, behaviors, etc.)
- How often do they appraise employees’ performance? (written and verbal)
- How do they set performance goals? (as applicable)
- How do employees participate in the process?
- How do they arrive at performance ratings for employees? Do they do anything to insure consistency across departments/the organization?
- Describe performance management training for managers
- Describe performance management training for employees
- What forms are used? Are there any other documents/manuals describing the process?
- Is this process any different for:
- Sales employees?
- Executive employees?
- Newly hired employees?
- Non-exempt vs exempt employees?
- Top talent employees? (generally the top 10% of performers, if identified)
- Unionized employees?
- Any other special employee group?
How does the performance appraisal relate to compensation?
- Merit pay
- Incentive pay
- Other forms of compensation (stock, etc.)
Does the organization use any type of 360 reviews?
- On what types of employees?
- How is it (if it is) coordinated with the performance review?
How does the company determine employee developmental needs?
- Are they tied into the performance management plan?
- Into compensation?
- What happens to employees who are not rated at an acceptable level?
What do they think are the benefits of their performance management system?
How do they think employees/managers perceive the performance management process?
What is not working well with their performance management system? How could they improve it?
How does the performance management process for your selected company relate to what you have learned in class/read in your text book?
- What elements are the same as we have been discussing/included in the text?
- What things are different and how?
After reviewing the information from the company you evaluated as well as the information in from class and your textbook:
- In your opinion, do you believe the company’s performance management process is effective? Why or why not? Would you want to be evaluated under this system? Why?
- What suggestions/recommendations would you make for the company to improve its performance management process?
Grading for this project will be as follows:
|Introduction/background information on the company. (If you can find and include information on their competitive strategy and/or HR strategy that would be great – bonus points.)||15 points|
|Description of the company’s performance management process. (Answer all of the questions listed as appropriate – if a company can’t answer your question or it doesn’t apply, simply state that fact.)||100 points|
|Inclusion of supporting documents (forms, manuals, etc.)||10 points|
|How does the performance management process relate to what you have learned in class/read in your text book?||50 points|
REMEMBER: not just what, but also WHY
So I would think your paper would look something like this: short background information on the company (in place of an executive summary), a complete description of their performance management process – thoroughly answering the questions above, a section comparing the company’s process to what you have been learning and your suggestions for improvement. (Basically the same as outlined above – see the grading scale for amount of the paper that should be devoted to each section.) If I have to hunt for the key parts of your paper because you jump back and forth, I have a hard time grading it – use headings to make things clear.
Turn in a printed report in the last class. The due date is Nov 20th, late papers will have a 5 point per day deduction. Printed copies only.
Other Expectations: I would expect you to be on your best business behavior with the person you interview, being punctual to the meeting with the person you are interviewing and sending him/her a thank you note after the interview.