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Performance Management
Pharmaceutical companies need to get the best possible performance from their employees. One way of ensuring this is through training. Another approach is to look at how people are organised.

Many companies now use team working as a way of improving overall efficiency. It has been found that there are often definite benefits but the initial cost of implementing the change to working practices can be high.

The advantage of a team culture is that it should encourage creativity and innovation. This in turn should lead to significant productivity improvements as individuals work together towards a common goal.
Team working tends to flatten the organisational structure and makes it difficult to create promotion opportunities. This means that other ways of rewarding individuals have to be developed to accommodate the change.

In general, the costs of switching to teamwork occur in the short run while the benefits tend to occur in the long term. Initial costs include:
  • Low morale initially due to change
  • Loss of work due to training
  • Financial outlay for team training
  • Dramatic role change for supervisors / managers
  • Possible need to replace some managers who can't adapt
Long term gains can outweigh these initial costs but it depends on the department. A move towards teamwork needs to be evaluated carefully before a decision is made. Some tangible benefits will definitely have to be identified in order to justify the upheaval.

In certain business areas productivity might increase or quality might improve. These, or some other measurable improvement, can be recognised and easily associated with the team, showing that teamwork has proved worthwhile. Where measurements can't be justified, then a change to team working may not be that easy to justify.
Employees and their line managers meet at least once a year as part of a company's performance review process to agree objectives for the calendar year, linked to the company's overall priorities, and to assess an employee's performance. The objectives are recorded and a copy is passed on the human resources department. In addition, the employee's training and development needs are discussed at the meeting, and training and development methods and opportunities suggested. Additional performance reviews may be completed periodically during the year.

As part of the Performance and Development Planning process employees assess their own performance, and many also invite feedback on their performance and development needs from other people they work with within the company. This is then discussed with their line manager, agreed and recorded. Both the line manager and employee include a statement of the employee's performance.
Responsibility for performance management sits with the line managers, supported by the human resources department. There are a number of ways the human resources department can pick up on how well this is working: through employee surveys, annual performance review discussions,, salary and bonus review discussions, even exit interviews, and it is up to the human resources department to diagnose where there are issues and arrange training or some other form of support to improve effectiveness, or to support managers to manage poor performance in accordance with the company's policy.