Performance management is a program aimed at improving efficiency, motivation, and stimulation of employees of the organization, the permanent scheme of planning as well as evaluation of employees activities. The manager in charge can adjust the operational and strategic levels thus responding to the slightest changes in the business as it is necessary within the performance management system. At the same time, this system is able both to reflect and control the key strategic indicators.
Performance management actions may help to modify employees behavior and improve the companies results in difficult circumstances and in times of crisis. To confirm this thesis, a specific example of the organization in crisis should be considered, and organizational behavior modification plan should be developed.
Job Description for a Retail Sales Associate
The purpose of the sales manager consists in successful sale and completed transaction (Aguinis, 2011). In order to achieve these goals, there is a necessity to describe a job of a retail sales associate within the following objectives:
– Examination of the demand for goods, competitors, and the market as a whole;
– Determination of the exact product or service, which the market needs;
– Attracting potential clients, offering goods or services;
– Convincing a potential client that the proposal is the most advantageous;
– Signing a contract or negotiating a deal;
– Conducting after-sales service.
The above mentioned are the external job objectives and the performance manager should direct retail sales associates to these aspects of their work. Furthermore, certain internal features require consideration in order to achieve external directions. They include:
– Communication skills;
– Knowledge of sales theory;
– Listening skills;
– Knowledge of the market of clothing, shoes, and handbags;
All employed workers should be examined in terms of such features. Furthermore, the compliance of the new retail sales associates with these particular qualities should also be verified. The reason for this consists in the need to conduct the job training for potentially talented retail sales associate rather than to incur losses from the activity of a trained manager who is not interested in selling.
After determining the direction of the necessary personnel movements, performance manager should develop organizational behavior modification plan to define the key behaviors required for successful job performance as a retail sales associate (Pulakos, 2005).
Organizational Behavior Modification Plan
The first key behavior change is the transformation of concepts. The core of performance management includes a simple principle: from a strategic point of view, the increase of income of retailers is only possible with maximizing the satisfaction of consumer needs. A thorough study of the demand and buyers preferences with further formation of the range in accordance with identified demand build the foundation of success. In the traditional approach to the management the goods but not the buyer is a starting point. Precisely, a company sells the goods it has, not the goods the customer needs. If this product is what the buyer wants, the company benefits; otherwise – the company loses (Pulakos, 2005). Nevertheless, retail sales associates should be oriented only to identify the customer’s needs and sell the goods. Performance management should change the assortment of the goods sold in line with demand.
The second key behavior modification is technological. It implies the necessity to consider the assortment control of individual product categories instead of the management of all the range. The manager should further perform the distribution of retail space to display the goods (quality and quantity) on the basis of efficiency of the category.
The third key behavior aspect is organizational. Retail sales associates should impact the range of goods. Performance management in their turn should interact with the supplier in order to sell the assortment required by the associate.
The fourth key behavior change is accounting. As a part of the performance management, each product category has its plan of turnover and profitability, and the costs are categorized so as to enable identification of the return of each product category. Retail sales associate should operate with effective categories, namely the goods with the greatest impact.
With this respect, the significant ways to benefit from the above provide plan include the following:
1) The new approach to the management of various retail companies (planning and rotation range) which allows to significantly increase the profitability of the store.
2) The supplier is considered a partner, with whom the manager plans to conduct activities to stimulate sales, optimized procurement, and logistics.
Two Ways of Measuring whether Current Employees Exhibit the Key Job Performance Behaviors
There are two methods to investigate the exhibition of the key job performance behaviors by the employees. The first one is based on the measurement of the complexity of sales number for a unit of time. Performance manager should evaluate if there are changes in the numbers of anagogical sales for a unit of time after the organizational behavior modification plan is applied. This method should be applied on the areas with the sale of diverse products (Pulakos, 2005). However, it is quite limited by periodic fluctuations in sales of certain categories of goods.
The second method concerns the assessment in terms of value. It consists in the measurement of whether the sums of products sales rise basing on the feature of cash flow for a unit of time. The method measures if there are any changes in amounts of money of anagogical sales for a unit of time after the application of organizational behavior modification plan. This figure is quite versatile as it allows to estimate sales in multinomenclature store.
As for the methods to inform employees of the new performance standards, they should not be ordinary but rather interesting and unusual. This can be achieved in a way of staff motivation thus encouraging the personnel to perceive the changes (HR Center for Organizational and Workforce Effectiveness, n. d.). To be precise, performance manager can introduce earning motivation depending on the new performance standards: the employee does the work and wants to get reward. These benefits can be both direct such as financial premiums or bonuses, and indirect – other tangible benefits including gifts, a company car, discounts on any types of clothing etc. Another motivation is self-realization or respect bonuses. Employees perform the work in order to realize themselves. With this respect, they should be aware of the new performance standards as depending on their achievement employees can be claimed the best sellers of the week, or earn the medal of achievement.
Such methods are quite useful since the staff wants to know about the changes, fulfill them and compete for the best performance. However, getting a feedback regarding the new standards is useful.
Two Methods of Providing Feedback to Employees
For the effective implementation of changes in the activity of the company, managers must recognize the employees views and perceptions. With this respect, there is a need to specify the ways of reinforcing positive employees behaviors. Firstly, an effective method of getting the feedback can be the time spent with the workers, for example during the employee day. In such a way, employees remain in their own environment and receive undistorted information regarding the experience of using the new standards. The usage of social games within colleagues, questionnaires, etc. assists in getting the feedback. Specialist observes as employees tell about changes during the day and then make a mark in a special questionnaire. In addition, to reinforce positive behavior, the employee day should be planned with the frequency of at least once a month (preferably after salary), and organized in a way to give the time to have a rest. In appreciation for dedicating the time to work, employees should receive presents or get a gratitude letter with indication of the shortcomings noted and the promise of their consideration and resolving. The workers will be excited about interest in their opinion and ready to listen the management that can reinforce them to fulfill their new standards better.
Secondly, another effective method of receiving feedbacks can be beta-testing. In the theory of sells, beta-testing is recognized as exploitation of clients regarding the almost finished product / services / project. The mistakes and shortcomings are identified to eliminate them before finally entering the market (Pulakos, 2005). Beta-testing usually involves volunteers from the number of active users of the product or brand fans. Testers help to distinguish possible minuses of the product, and get a finished product free of charge or at a discount instead. Such discount will be repaid in the future loyalty of the testers and their feedbacks, and most importantly, the absence of minuses in the final version of the product.
In the current case, performance managers can act similarly: they can choose beta testers of changes from the employees and try to apply motivational behavior changes regarding them. In order to reinforce positive behavior, testers should operate as a sample group, which will increase their loyalty to the changes during the future common change of performance standards. Furthermore, they should be publicly thanked for the opinion expressed that will encourage both searching for positive sides as well as being more satisfied.
Key Legal and Ethical Issues that Could Impact the Performance Management System
The direct connection of ethics with life practice can be traced well in the field of so-called professional ethics, which consists in a system of moral requirements regarding the professional activities of employees. Since its different factors may impact the performance management system, they require thorough consideration (University of South Florida, n. d.). Such factors include the following:
1. Skeptical and negative attitude towards innovation. Specific example of it can be a gossip about the early innovations. If a particular employee is skeptical about the changes, he or she can create and spread rumors regarding the ineffectiveness of standards thus dissuading other workers. In this case, there is a necessity to detect a foci of a doubt and rise enthusiasm individually.
2. The fear of competitiveness (precisely, the fear of dismissal in the case of colleagues greater competitiveness). The example can be despair reaction, indifference and apathy, which immediately reduces the sale, if the employee is assured of being less competitive and is afraid of defeat. In this case, the second method from the above motivation should be applied.
3. A doubt that the standards will work in practice. Specific example of this can be the evasion of new standards and responsibilities adoption. In this case, the first method of the above motivation is quite useful.
The current essay defined the necessary personnel movement direction with internal and external above job description. Furthermore, the organizational behavior modification plan was developed thus demonstrating that performance management is useful not only in measuring whether current employees exhibit the key job performance behaviors, but in motivating employees, receiving their feedback and reinforcing positive employee behaviors. Thus, performance management activities may help to modify employees behavior and improve the companies results in difficult circumstances and in a crisis period, which confirms the thesis.