New research suggests that performance management in the UK is still concentrated at an individual level, despite industry claims that personal appraisals are driven by organisational objectives.
The survey, conducted by PeopleSoft, found that 83% of HR departments claim performance management is linked to organisational objectives, yet only 1% actually use targets governed by the business plan when assessing performance.
While HR staff aspire to have a strategic impact on the business, many organisations still see personal development and appraisals as a tactical function. Personal objectives are usually set between the appraiser or manager and the employee.
Only a fraction of respondents have received funding to embrace new technology when it comes to performance management, with a mere 11% having implemented a computer based system. Those leading the way are using the technology to maintain continuous development by ensuring the goals and objectives receive 'real time' feedback on an ongoing basis.
47% of organisations still endure a completely paper based performance management system, with the remainder combining paper with technology, to the level of emailing a document.
The research also discovered a variance between those organisations which claim to identify skills gaps as part of the performance management process, and those that do so in practice. 71% of respondents claimed that being able to identify skills areas that are lacking was a primary objective for a performance management system. However, only 38% actually attempt to monitor the skills that are available within the organisation and less than a third keep track of professional qualifications.
The shortage of technological performance management solutions might explain why, despite all good intentions, many organisations are finding it hard to align personal appraisals with business objectives.
Peter Cools, director of PeopleSoft HCM product marketing for EMEA, said: "Computer based performance management systems provide easier access to information and help HR to link an individual's performance to the wider business strategy. Companies leading the way in performance management systems are using the technology to provide continuous human capital management support to the business at a strategic level, rather than just isolated events."