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Performance management

The University of Ghana in Legon, Ghana, was established in 1948 as an affiliate college of the
University of London called University College of the Gold Coast. In 1961, the university was reorganized
by an act of Parliament into what it is today: the independent, degree-granting University of Ghana

The Balme Library is the main library in the University of Ghana library system. Situated on the main
Legon campus, it coordinates a large number of libraries attached to the university�s various schools,
institutes, faculties, departments, and halls of residence, most of which are autonomous. The library was
started as the College Library in 1948 and was then situated in Achimota College, which was about 8
kilometers from the present Legon campus. In 1959, the College Library moved into its brand-new
buildings at the Legon campus and was named after the University College of the Gold Coast�s first

principal, David Mowbrary Balme.

As in the case of many other modern university libraries worldwide that face resources challenges and
the need to serve an increasingly diverse customer base, the Balme Library has implemented numerous
initiatives. One such initiative is a performance management system. However, several of the
5657components of the performance management process at the Balme Library are in need of
improvement. First, there is no evidence that a systematic job analysis was conducted for any of the jobs
at the library. Second, the forms that the employees are rated on contain vague items such as �general
behavior.� The forms include no specific definition of what �general behavior� is or examples

explaining to employees (or managers) what would lead to a high or a low rating in this category. In
addition, all library employees are rated on the same form, regardless of their job responsibilities. Third,
there is no evidence that managers have worked with employees in setting mutually agreed-upon goals.
Fourth, there is no formal or informal discussion of results and needed follow-up steps after the
subordinates and managers complete their form. Not surprisingly, an employee survey revealed that
more than 60% of the employees have never discussed their performance with their managers. Finally,
employees are often rated by different people. For example, sometimes the head of the library rates an

employee, even though he may not be in direct contact with that employee.

Performance management is an integral part of the Human Resource Management system. The
objective of the system is to basically improve performance. If the performance of an institution
is below average or has failed to deliver as expected then the first policies to be evaluated are the
conduct and performance of the employees and whose responsibilities fall under performance
From the case sturdy, the major component that has failed the University of Ghana’s Library is
the management’s inadequacy in conducting systematic job evaluation for the employees. Lack
job analysis results in uncertainties in job responsibilities and the expectations of the
management. The system is worsened by the vague description of responsibilities that are not
effectively communicated to the employees. For employees to work effectively their duties and
individual goals must be integrated and aligned with the organizations goals and objective. The

organization cannot achieve much without the total input of the employees especially if their
roles and expectations are not analyzed and matched with their performance. The failure of the
university to conduct a job analysis of the institution’s employees has resulted in a performance
management system that is not effective. Without proper job analysis, the PM cannot adequately
develop the skills of the employees or even offer necessary training as the management is not
aware of the needs of the available jobs.
The major objective of performance management is certainly to improve employee performance
through effective training and development of skills together with the motivation needed to boost
the performance. The University of Ghana’s library department has failed to deliver on the
expectations of the institutions by failing to offer the necessary training for the employees as
without job analysis, the organization cannot adequately address the needs of the jobs that are
available in the department. Performance management assists in guiding the training, mentoring,
job experience and other developmental skills that employees need to develop necessary
capabilities. Effective performance management (PM) systems have organized systems that are
well coordinated with processes that are effective and which discharge the functions required.
Performance management also accomplishes evaluation of activities together with the definition
of employee roles to ensure that they are efficiently executed. Job analysis forms the basis for
pay and compensation decision (Lawler, 1994). Weak or lack of this function means that
employees would be dissatisfied with their remuneration as the roles are not clearly analyzed and
matched with the expected remuneration. This failure would result in attitude problems among
the employees as they would perceive the management’s inability as intentional and directed
towards their oppression. Their productivity would be affected and their morale would also

reduce leading to poor services, lack of passion and satisfaction and finally the organization will
end up with high staff turnover.
The effectiveness of job analysis cannot be underrated as it serves various functions in an
organization. To establish an effective performance management system, the organization must
determine the goals of the institution and the end results that the organization expects to be
accomplish by the employees. These goals must also have a direct link to the success of the
organization. The organization must link the goals of the individual employees with those of the
organizations (Hillgren & Cheatham, 2000). The two goals have to be aligned together. The
goals set should be difficult for the employees to achieve but they should be within their reach if
they work extra hard. These processes motivate employees to work hard and be more productive
while at the same time it makes it possible for the organization to conduct a proper job analysis
for all the available jobs in the library. Job analysis provides the structures that the performance
management measures would be pegged on. Without proper structures it would be difficult to
implement the functions of the PM and it would result in an ineffective system.
The organization cannot evaluate the efforts of the employees as lack of clear and adequate
structures that would ordinarily provide the feedback on the performance of employees are non-
existent. The employees are not accountable and their inefficiencies cannot be evaluated as the
management is incapable of gathering the pre-requisite information on their overall performance
(Paul & Elder, 2005). The Balme Library administration has a weak performance management
system that can only be salvaged by the adoption of the current standards of the Balanced
Scorecard system that would institute a strategic performance measurement system that would be
capable of turning the institutions performance requirements to be above the management’s

expectations by adopting the standards of the BSC (Balanced Scorecard) (Murby & Gould,
Performance Management puts a lot of emphasis on the feedback system as it provides an
opportunity to correct the inefficiencies of the employees and it also removes any obstacles on
the path of achieving optimal production for the company. Lack of job analysis provides no
opportunity for any generation of information from feedback systems.
Pulakos (2004) states that “…For the feedback process to work well, experienced
practitioners have advocated that it must be a two-way communication process
and a joint responsibility of managers and employees, not just the managers. This
requires training both managers and employees about their roles and
responsibilities in the performance feedback process. Managers’ responsibilities
include providing feedback in a constructive, candid and timely manner.
Employees’ responsibilities include seeking feedback to ensure they understand
how they are performing and reacting well to the feedback they receive. Having
effective, ongoing performance conversations between managers and employees
is probably the single most important determinant of whether or not a
performance management system will achieve its maximum benefits from a
coaching and development perspective…pg.7”
To conclude, the performance management system that was introduced by the Balme Library
administration is ineffective and cannot achieve its desired goals if corrective measures are not
adopted to rectify the defects in the system (Nankervis & Compton, 2006). For performance
management to succeed, it requires the cooperation of the PM management’s implementation
team and also the consultation of the employees on the systems to be used to evaluate their

performance and the methods of the feedback systems that the management would rely on. Lack
of clear communication and effective feedback system by the management of Balme Library has
contributed immensely to the current performance crisis at the institution. By not implementing
the required systems and operations that are needed for the institution to perform and conduct
effective job analysis, the institution has also contributed to the problems facing the organization.
The administration of Balme Library would still not be in a position to help the deterioration of
the performance standards at the institution if it does not implement the PM in the right way and
also motivate the employees to work hard.

Hillgren, J.S., & Cheatham, D.W., 2000, Understanding Performance Measures: An Approach to
Linking Rewards to Achievements of Organization Objectives, Scottsdale, AZ:
Lawler, E., 1994, Performance management: The next generation. Compensation and Benefits
Review 26(3): 16–20.
Murby, L. & Gould, S. (2005) Effective Performance Management with Balanced Score Card,
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, London: CIMA
Nankervis, A.R. & Compton, R. L., 2006, Performance Management: Theory in Practice? Asia
Pacific Journal of Human Resources, vol. 44 (1)
Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2005). A guide for educators to critical thinking competency standards:
Standards, principles, performance indicators, and outcomes with a critical thinking
master rubric (Vol. 8). Foundation Critical Thinking.
Pulakos, E.D., 2004, Performance Management: A Roadmap for Developing Implementing and
Evaluating Performance Management Systems, SHRM Foundation.

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