Employee Performance Management Intervention: Case Study of Google

2021-07-16 09:02:43
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Wesleyan University
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Employee performance management addresses the practices, strategy, and policy of an organization about developing performance expectations for its workers along with monitoring and evaluating the outcomes of the workers (Mone et al., 2011; Milling & Ley, 2000). An extensive performance management intervention can play a strategic part in attracting and also retaining employees that are important to the organization (Anderson & Hulsheger, 2008). Google Company has implemented such an extensive performance management intervention which has resulted in it being among the leading companies in the list of "Great Placed to Work" over the years. This paper discusses the performance management intervention of Google, citing its elements, its benefits to stakeholders and its consistency with relevant theory. Successively, the paper identifies the impact of the intervention on stakeholders, describes how the intervention was evaluated and making recommendations for improving the intervention.

Description of Googles Employee Performance Management Intervention

At Google, performance management is mainly built around coaching managers and peer feedback through a 360-review approach. The core elements of Google's employee performance management intervention include hiring only the best, creating a meritocratic environment and developing employees to their full potential (John, 2012; Oconnor, 2006). The principle of hiring only the best involves sourcing and selecting only the best-fit applicants amid the best pool of applicants globally. If this is not possible, the company will then use skewed errors towards false negatives to pass on a great applicant rather than leaning errors towards false positives which could lead to hiring a lousy fit (Appraisal Context, 2009; Latham, 2016; Performance Management, 2009). The principle of creating a meritocratic environment involves the correct identification and rewarding of the best performances (Mello, 2016). The principle of developing employees to their full potential incorporates practicing good employee management, on-job-coaching, outside training and peer-to-peer training as well as an extensive 360-degree feedback collection process (Appraisal Process, 2009; Leiblein, 2003; Lewis, 2012; Manoj, 2012).

The annual performance review of Google is composed of two elements. The first element is the preview, and it occurs at the end of the first semester. The second element is a complete review which takes place between October and November. The complete preview concurrently happens with the 360-degree feedback collection process of Google. The managers of Google consider two core things when they are attributing the performance ratings of the employees. The two things are the outcomes attained and hoe the employee attained the outcomes (John, 2012; Latham et al., 2014). Workers start with a self-assessment which is then followed by peer-reviews by colleagues. The anonymity of the workers who conduct the peer-reviews is maintained by the managers. On the review element, the workers of Google are asked to review the other based on the following criteria:

Googleyness: this criterion of the adherence of a worker to the values of Google company and it is the core factor of the "how" axis.

Problem-solving: this criterion is about the analytical skills that are applied by a worker to work activities.

Execution: this criterion involves the delivery of high-quality work by an employee with little or no supervision or guidance from peers or managers.

Thought leadership: this criterion is about how much a worker is viewed as a reference for particular positions of expertise. As the Google Company augments in size, these positions become less and less, but the company still wants to workers that deliver high-quality content, can train customers and can train colleagues on tech-talks.

Leadership: although numerous young employees at Google do not have adequate exposure to managing complex worker teams, the company requires all its employees to demonstrate emerging leadership skills like owning outcomes personally, being increasingly pro-active and taking the lead in projects and issues.

Presence: this criterion is about the ability of an employee to make himself or herself head in an extremely large organization, and it is increasingly connected to display of emerging leadership qualities (Mello, 2016).

Identification of The Need for Employee Performance Management

Google's identification of the need to for an employee management system started with recognition of the underperformance of employees and also the need to translate the goals of the company to the performance indicators of each employee. The underperformance of employees was discovered after a human resource management audit that had the main aim of evaluating the productivity of employees (John, 2012; Landy & Conte, 2004). Evaluating the productivity of the employees revealed that some of the employees were failing to perform their duties and tasks to the standard required by the company. On further examination of the underperformance, problem revealed that it was caused by the company not making their expectation of employees clear, hiring the wrong person for the job and a limited or ineffective communication between an employee and other colleagues (Mello, 2016). The company then decided that these factors could only be eliminated through better employee performance management that addresses all the problems associated with employee underperformance.

According to the Arbitration, Conciliation and Advisory Service, an independent government corporation committed to the prevention and resolving of employment conflicts, when a company considers formal action it should be able to show that:

The workers are clear as to what the is expected of them

It has provided feedback on the workers; performance

The workers are clear about the gap between their performance and the performance expected from them by the company.

The accepted action plan is put in place for a long enough period to allow employees to show some improvement.

It is clear to workers regarding what will happen if their performance does not improve (Armstrong, 2014)

Following these guidelines, Google discovered that if they needed to succeed in the market, then they would need to translate the general goals of the company to the performance indicators of employees by informing the employees what the company expects from them using a comprehensive employee management intervention (Biron, Farndale & Paauwe, 2011). The company then set to develop the employee performance system that it is using to date.

Consistency of Googles Employee Performance Management Intervention with Relevant Theory

The industrial and organization psychology discipline is the science of human behavior regarding work, and it applies psychological theories to individuals in their workplaces (Baker, 2017). The discipline contributes to organizational development by enhancing the occupational safety and health, general well-being and health, job satisfaction, motivation as well as the performance of employees (Latham, 2012; Katzenbach, 2000). The performance of employees can be improved through proper employee performance management. Employee performance management is a continuous process of the identification, measuring, and development of the performance of workers, while aligning this performance with the strategic goals of the company (Conway & CoyleShapiro, 2012; Baxter & MacLeod, 2008; Brethower, 2000). Google's employee performance management system conforms to this definition since it fulfills all the procedures involved in the process of performance management. Although there is no single employee performance management framework that is universally accepted (Bateman & Snell, 2013), the commonly accepted elements of an employee performance system include a reward system based on the performance results of employees, feedback of performance outcomes, measuring the performance of employees and setting objectives for employees (Bach, 2012).

The two theories that underlay the notion of performance management are the expectancy theory and the goal-setting theory (Performance Theories, 2009; Roberts, 2014; Rothwell & Sredl, 2000). The goal setting theory which was developed by Edwin Locke proposes that the personal goals that are set by a worker play a significant role in the motivating him or her for improved performance (Pervin, 2015; Bipp & Kleingeld, 2011). The role played by the personal goals emerge from the employees behavior of following their goals. If the employees do not attain these goals, they either adjust the goals to make them more realistic or improve their performance to achieve the goals (Bayers, 2004; Young, 2017). Google's employee performance management follows this theory by allowing employees to set their own goals in their departments, provided the goals align with the organizational goals and department set by Google the entire company and each department (Schunk & Zimmerman, 2012; Carter & McMahon, 2005). Furthermore, the employee performance management intervention of Google allows employees to carry out self-evaluation, where they are allowed to evaluate themselves to see if they fulfill the criteria that the company has set for them.

The expectancy theory was developed in 1964 by Victor Vroom, and it is based on the proposition that the people adjust their behavior in the firm based on the expected satisfaction of valued goals that the set themselves (Nuttin, 2014; Settles, 2001). The workers change their behavior in such a manner that is likely to result in them achieving these goals. The expectancy theory underlies the notion of performance management since it is believed that performance is affected by expectations about future events (Diefendorff & Chandler, 2011; Shafiq, 2009; Smythe, 2007). Employee performance management intervention of Google allows employees to create their personal goals aligned with the general organizational goals and provides rewards for employees that will be able to achieve their personal goals (Latham, 2012; Carter, 2008; Employee Engagement, 2009). This practice has kept in check the behavior of the company's employees as they struggle to attain their goals so that they can reap the rewards provided by the company.

Impact of Employee Googles Performance Management Intervention on Stakeholders

The comprehensive employee performance system of Good has various advantages to the entire organization as well as the companys stakeholders who include customers of Google, employees of Google, the management of Google and the owners of the company. Regarding its effects on employees, the performance management system of Google ensures that the workers understand the significance of their contributions to the general objectives and goals of Google (Conway & CoyleShapiro, 2012; Employee Motivation, 2016). Ensuring that each worker understands what is expected from them and equally confirming whether the worker has the needed skills and support for completing such expectations are both done using Googles employee performance system (Aguinis, Gottfredson & Joo, 2012). The system also ensures that there is proper aligning of objectives and facilitated effective communication with Google. As a consequent, this facilitates a harmonious and cordial relationship between individual workers and the managers based on empowerment and trust (Tullar & Amick, 2008).

The managers of Google only have to put in less effort into controlling their workers who are in high-performance teams since these employees usuall...

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