Lenovo Company: Effective Management of Staff Performance

Introduction

The management of employee performance is one of the most important factors that determine organizational success (Markos & Sridevi 2010). In the current competitive business environment, organizations have adopted the resource-centered approach to management. Organizations should strive to integrate the human resource practices with the company’s goals and strategy in order to increase the competitive advantage of the company (Torrington et al. 2014). Organizations that view employees as their greatest asset should manage their performance within the larger framework of the company’s main objectives. Employee management should be done holistically in order to ensure greater organizational performance.

Staff performance may be effectively managed if there are proper relationships among the employees, managers and the human resource personnel (Houger 2006). The human resource team usually acts as the mediator between the managers and employees. Therefore, discussions about staff performance should include the managers and the staff. For this reason, the managers and employees would understand the role they play in the process and ensure that this process is smooth. Managers should ensure that they manage workers in a free and fair way. They should operate as directed by the company’s policies concerning employee performance.

This would ensure that teams work effectively without developing friction between the manager and the team. The employees, on the other hand, also play an important role since they are vital to the organization’s performance. With over 33,000 employees in more than fifty countries, Lenovo Group Limited sees the need to effectively manage its employees’ performance (Cheng 2013). The company’s success is evident in its exponential growth. It is one of the world’s largest PC vendors and has been the fastest growing PC Company for several years. This paper aims at showing how the organization can effectively manage staff performance using Lenovo as a case study.

Lenovo’s Corporate Culture

Lenovo’s culture typically defines everything about the company’s activities and beliefs. They term their culture as the ‘Lenovo Way’. This culture gives the company a competitive advantage since it helps in facilitating consistent increase in financial performance and other areas. The company’s activities are guided by the five P’s. They include planning, performing, prioritizing, practicing and pioneering. The company’s culture also provides guidelines on how bonuses are awarded. For example, the employees who meet their targets are paid a bonus. Those who exceed their targets get greater financial rewards. With this understanding, the employees are motivated to work more efficiently.

Lenovo also believes in having a diverse workforce. This has contributed to overall corporate success. The human resource management team believes in having employees from diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences. The company has workforce in various nations and continents that provides a diverse talent pool. Despite the diverse backgrounds and geographic locations, all individuals in the company are guided by the same principles. This diversity also helps the company serve the complex needs of the clients around the globe.

Developing a corporate culture that is aligned to the organization’s corporate strategy has helped Lenovo increase employee loyalty. This has also been instrumental in ensuring that the employees are motivated. A healthy culture ensures that employees have a sense of purpose. This generally leads to the increase in productivity. A successful organization develops a culture that supports and enables workers achieve their individual goals and the goals of the organization (Tabiu 2013). For instance, a culture of learning is important for organizations like Lenovo because it is an innovation-oriented business. Such a culture would foster curiosity and exploration among the employees and encourage them to come up with better ideas of how to improve products and services. A culture of collaboration is also important for organizations that employ the use of teams.

Employee Performance Management

Communicating Expectations

Communication of the organization’s expectations is important when considering employee performance. Irrespective of the type of business or the number of employees in the company, each employee needs to understand that the effort of every individual is important and each plays a role in ensuring the achievement of the company’s goals. With efforts from all employees, the company can experience success and longevity (Foot & Hook 2011).

The expectations of Lenovo are well communicated in the company’s vision. It emphasizes on its intentions of becoming one of the greatest personal technology companies worldwide. It strives to develop devices that would be appreciated and owned by many. It also communicates the need to make its business trusted and well respected all over the world. This communication is vital since it helps hold the employees accountable for the responsibilities they assume.

Monitoring and Evaluation of Job Performance through Appraisals

Performance appraisal is an important tool in performance management (Abdulkadir, Isiaka & Adedoyin 2012). It helps leaders get valuable information about the quality of their employees. With this information, management personnel can make important decisions that may lead to employee motivation or demotivation (Werther & Keith 1993). Employees are vital to the organization’s performance. For this reason, this resource cannot be misused, wasted or underutilized. Human resource persons mainly perform appraisals. Information obtained from this exercise forms the basis for the human resource management decisions. For example, selection and placement techniques revolve around the results obtained from appraisals. This information also determines if employees would be promoted, demoted, terminated or transferred. Appraisals may also predict the need for training and development.

Employee performance appraisals apply to all employees. They are important because they help the leaders plan their activities and give employees an opportunity to discuss issues they are facing at work (Redman 2009). Employees can also give views of their career development process. In order for appraisals to yield results, they should be followed up by the manager. Regular appraisals should be conducted so that they become part of the development of the unit. Appraisals apply to all employees because all individuals need to prioritize their future duties and development needs irrespective of their position. This enables them to influence the substance of their work situation. Consequently, personal development would lead to the overall achievement of the organization’s goals.

Effect of Training on Staff Performance

After appraisals are done and the training needs are identified, the company can provide training for their employees. Organizations can greatly benefit from this exercise because well-trained employees can help increase organizational productivity. One of the benefits of training is the saving of time and costs. When employees are well trained, there would be reduced instances of duplication of effort in the workplace. The time spent in correcting mistakes would also be reduced greatly because the employees would be more competent. This can also help reduce staff turnover and reduce the costs incurred in maintenance of broken machinery. Training also leads to employee satisfaction.

Lenovo invests in training its employees and this has led to the development of competent employees that are admired by other firms. For example, it has developed an MBA programme for its employees. The company also offers language training. In addition to this, good performers are usually developed and mentored to become global leaders.

Rewarding Performance

All individuals in an organization need to feel appreciated. For organizations to be successful, they should ensure that the proper guidelines are put in place to reward initiative and performance. Such rewards may be in terms of promotions, complements or financial incentives (Lai 2012). Managers have various ways of linking appraisals to pay plans. However, monetary rewards are not necessarily linked to regular performance appraisals. It is important for organizations to have a process for regular pay and another process for rewarding employees through monetary incentives (Stiffler 2006). Organizations should have a standardized pay system in order to foster equity. Monetary incentives should be separated from the regular wages and salaries in order to ward off unmerited expectations.

Lenovo, for example, has a standardized pay system for compensations and rewards. Employees need to achieve the set targets in order to get bonuses. Individuals who over-achieve receive a bigger reward. All employees have equal opportunities since each can get a bonus. In the case of group performance, each individual in the group gets a bonus.

In order to effectively link appraisals with financial rewards, leaders should provide a separate set of goals for employees (Robbins & Judge 2007). Employees would have to achieve these goals in order to receive a fixed bonus. Employers can also find ways of rewarding workers who exceed their objectives. For example, the rewards could be calculated from the percentage increase in the employee’s performance. Financial rewards should be given as a measure of the employee’s performance (Njanja et al. 2013). Therefore, the method used to measure performance should be secure and should be monitored. This would avoid self-reporting of the achievements by the employees.

Staff Motivation and Performance

Motivation is considered as one of the most important factors in an individual’s path to success (Afful-Broni 2012). To an individual, success comes after achieving both the professional and individual goals. When motivated, an individual would be encouraged to focus on the career path despite the numerous obstacles. Afful-Broni (2012) argues that without motivation, individuals would not be driven to make discoveries or innovations since they would live in the rut of monotony. Motivation may be viewed as the driving force that determines the intensity of a person’s efforts and his endurance in pursuit of a certain goal.

This means that the driving force determines how much effort an individual puts in whatever he does. It also determines the direction to which he directs his energies and how long he can maintain it. Lenovo recognizes the importance of motivation and this explains why it rewards employees for hard work. The company provides a high bonus percentage based on employee performance. Apart from the bonuses that are given when one achieves targets or exceeds them, employees are also given stock. In particular, the company sponsors workers by paying the down payment for residential buildings. In addition to this, the company offers a retirement plan that ensures that the future of its employees is secured.

Motivation may be either monetary or non-monetary (Legge 2005). Non-monetary incentives may be achieved by involving the employees in the decision-making processes in the organization. Monetary incentives, on the other hand, may include cash bonuses, profit sharing, stock options, salary increments and promotions. Research has shown that an organization with highly motivated employees performs better than one with less motivated workers (Afful-Broni 2012). It is through motivation that employees feel part of the organization and work more efficiently leading to great organizational performance.

Conclusion

In order to ensure effective management of staff performance, the goals to be achieved should first be set. They should then be communicated to all employees so that they would understand the role that each plays in helping the organization achieve its objectives. The performance of the employees should be monitored and appraisals should be conducted regularly. Employees should be given feedback concerning their position relative to their goals so that they can know the amount of effort that is required to achieve them.

Evaluation of the employees’ performance should guide the rewarding process. Specific guidelines should be put in place so as to guide the rewarding process. Employees should then be rewarded according to the level of their performance. The results from the appraisals should also guide the human resource personnel to decide whether to reward or punish the employee. Lenovo Group Limited is a company that has had a successful business due to its business practices. The corporate culture of the company also gives it a competitive advantage. The ‘Lenovo way’ guides the practices of the company and ensures excellence in everything it does. For this reason, Lenovo has managed to effectively manage its employees’ performance.

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