Getting it right

Performance management

Getting it right

The pressures of a globalised business world and a depressed economic environment make it imperative that businesses utilise precious resources in the most efficient and effective ways to ensure survival. However, ‘survival’ is too narrow a view – let’s rather talk about thriving in adverse conditions.

Often, a thorough performance management process can be onerous for employees and managers but HR has to create the energy and drive the process. Performance management goes beyond the efficiency and effectiveness of employees because it aligns the actions of all employees to a common vision and objective. So it’s not just about productivity.

A recent study of attitudes to performance management in an engineering company revealed that:

  • Performance review outcomes are subjective.
  • The performance management programme is not fully implemented.
  • There was inconsistent performance management among different departments.
  • Managers seldom got involved in implementation.

You will probably find the same responses in many companies and Salt Employee Benefits is not claiming perfection when it comes to performance management. There are probably three drivers to the way that we tackle performance management.

  • Some years back we targeted becoming SA’s largest independent employee benefit fund administrator and that didn’t happen by accident but was realised through performance.
  • The understanding that achievement of our vision and objectives comes down to the aggregated performance of each of our employees, and
  • The promise we make of ‘Going the Extra Smile’ which is encapsulated in our strapline.

Administering over 620 000 members and processing over 15 000 claims per month means that we don’t always get it right, but we do resolve about 35 000 call centre queries each month.

Performance management is not always comfortable and can be seen as an HR diversion from everyday operational activity (which is ironic given that everyday activity must be efficient and effective). If the need and rationale is communicated frequently and effectively and the process is simple but impactful, performance management becomes a key to employee and employer ambitions.


Reshna Ramgovind
Head: HR & Communications