Involving employees in meeting corporate objectives
A Taylor Woodrow case study

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Page 4: Individual performance and corporate objectives

Performance management is an HRD process concerned with getting the best performance from:

  • individuals
  • teams
  • the organisation as a whole.

Effective performance management involves sharing with employees an understanding of what needs to be achieved and then managing and developing people in a way that enables these shared objectives to be attained.

Ideally, an organisation will have all of its employees 'pulling in the same direction' and 'singing from the same hymn sheet'. Supporters of this HRD approach argue that this two-way process can be effective only where there is a clear psychological contract between employers and employees based on mutual trust and commitment.

The Taylor Woodrow group is committed to a Performance and Development Review process for all employees, departments and companies.

In an individual Performance Review, a manager and a fellow employee sit down together to:

  • agree on meaningful task objectives for that employee and for the team(s) within which he/she operates
  • identify individual development needs and aspirations.

In preparing for such a review, individuals write down their career aspirations and training and development needs, as well as their successes in meeting previous targets and objectives. Managers will read this prior to the Performance and Development Review and also plan ways of communicating to the employee the various objectives of the local management team (and how they support Taylor Woodrow's wider objectives) that are particularly relevant to that individual.

It is then possible at the review meeting to identify the successes of the individual in attaining previously decided objectives, and to identify new targets. With such a system in place, it is possible to establish for a period of time ahead the Key Result Areas against which an individual's performance will be assessed.

In this way, performance is measured against agreed standards. Salaries and bonus payments then reflect the success of each individual's performance based on a rating system.

Taylor Woodrow believes that the effective management of individual performance rests on managing the performance cycle, which is an ongoing process of performance planning, support and review.

The planning stage involves agreeing the objectives. The supporting stage involves identifying development needs and how these can be addressed, and then the manager giving ongoing coaching, feedback, and support. Reviewing performance involves both informal employee/manager discussions and a formal Performance Review tied to the reward process.

Each employee receives two formal Performance and Development Reviews each year. A January review establishes objectives for the coming calendar year. An interim July review then examines any further development needs of the individual and the teams within which he/she works.

It is essential for managers to feel that they 'own' this process and fatal if they see it only as a chore. Properly carried out, the system can operate at every level within a company.

The Performance Review process encourages even the humblest employees undertaking the most routine of tasks to support the company by accepting greater responsibility for their own actions. For example, a mailroom worker used his own initiative to ensure that outgoing mail posted on a Friday was sent 2nd class. His reasoning was that no receiving firm would read it until Monday, so why waste the company's money on next-day delivery? This constructive move continues to save Taylor Woodrow considerable sums annually.

Taylor Woodrow | Involving employees in meeting corporate objectives