Business Performance Management (BPM) refers to the assessment and development of individual employees. The task of making sure that a business is performing well is the job of any good manager.
A recent survey of 3,000 firms, by the Advanced Performance Institute (API), found that while some firms were applying BPM approaches effectively to gain useful insight, others said they were unhappy with the way they were measuring company performance.
It is vital to put in place a structured system of BPM in order to determine what could be done better to meet business goals. By collecting, assembling and analysing data, a business should be better placed to take the best course of action.
Businesses should be able to identify ways of improving productivity and efficiency, along with pinpointing potential cost savings and generating new business. Well-executed BPM, supported by software tools, should also help future-proof the business by predicting outcomes.
Every company, no matter how big or small, has a whole raft of data, from sales figures to key performance indicators, distribution lists to shift patterns. The key issue is not just about how a firm collects data but how it uses that data to inform decisions.
All firms are likely to be using some form of analytics, even if they don’t have a formal BPM system in place. For example, some may use social media analytics to measure how many Facebook likes a post about a new product received or how many new Twitter followers it has.
As you would expect from a company of such size and innovation, search engine giant Google would fall firmly into the highest level of performance management. Board members at the technology behemoth have identified strategic priorities along with questions linked to the company strategy which they want managers to regularly answer. Google then uses a mix of more traditional key performance indicators along with innovative analytics.
Google uses its BPM data to particular effect in its HR department. Feedback scores, staff engagement and productivity information is used along with data from interviews and staff awards, enabling Google to focus tightly on the factors which set apart the good managers from the bad.
BPM has all sorts of HR implications. Performance Management, as opposed to its predecessor, Performance Measurement, should aid a business in its HR systems. Where training gaps are identified, programmes can be put in place to develop employees. Where employees are underperforming, businesses could pinpoint why, along with gathering evidence if a dismissal becomes necessary. And, where there are problems with employee motivation and retention, BPM could help businesses identify problems or patterns that need to change to make sure a business keeps its most talented staff.
As with any new initiative in a business, BPM works best where a firm engages well with employees. While the implementation will naturally come from the top down, there also needs to be buy-in further down the line. Done well, BPM should have a positive impact on employees individually and the business as a whole, allowing both to flourish.
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