Module Leader: Elaine Garcia Student Support Coordinator: Assessment Method:
Element 2
This assessment is designed to assess student skills as described in learning outcomes 2 and 3:
LO2. Plan effective performance management policies, practices and management to improve organisational, team and individual performance.
LO3. Synthesise and critically support arguments for applying performance management procedures, rewards and sanctions (team and individual) and demonstrate the communication skills necessary when managing achievement and underachievement.
Key Components and Task

T ask In 2014, Google Executive Chairman and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former Senior Vice President of Products Jonathan Rosenberg wrote a book about how Google operates its organisation. The book provides great insights into corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation and dealing with disruption.
The authors admit that technology now defines and shapes almost every business sector. The influence of technology is causing massive changes across many businesses to a degree that the word ‘disruption’ has become household. These conditions in the world of

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work has created a new segment of professionals, named “Smart Creatives” by the authors. Here is how they are defined:

  • ·  They are product professionals who bring together technical and business expertise with creativity.
  • ·  They are not easily fooled by traditional motivators such as compensation and bonuses.
  • ·  They feel the need to care about their workplace and what they are doing.
  • ·  They do not like formal business plans and strict schedules.

Attracting and hiring smart creatives is a skill in itself. Authors suggest that creating successful products and ideas based on unique technical insights is the first step. Having the focus on growth instead of revenue, and keeping an eye on the competition are the other steps to maintaining a successful, original venture that would attract smart creatives.
However, the hardest part is retaining smart creatives once hired. Since they are not necessarily motivated by high salaries, smart creatives will not hesitate to quit a job that does not add value to their personal and professional growth. Google does this through its unique workplace culture and successful performance management system.
Performance reviews are customised to provide great results for Google’s smart creatives. Senior Vice President of People Operations Laszlo Bock provides great learnings about their performance management in his book titled Work Rules. Googlers first identify a group of peer reviewers for each employee, which also includes co-workers that are junior to them. Google has abolished numerical ratings in April 2014, so each Googler are now subjected to a five-point scale ranging from “needs improvement” to “superb”. Carried out semi-annually, peer reviewers are asked to state one thing the reviewee should do more of and one thing that they can do in a different way.
After the feedback cycle, managers come together to take a look at these peer reviews. The main aim is to prevent bias in feedback by asking each manager to justify their decisions to each other. Managers are informed about potential obstacles to objective feedback, one of which is the tendency to overemphasize an employee’s most recent performance.

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By keeping these obstacles in mind, managers decide on the final evaluation of an employee. Summaries of these assessments are shared semi-annually and compared to a set of examples to justify the evaluation. Employees are then informed of their compensation, but compensation is decided separately from the evaluation taking place during the reviews. Google keeps pay discussions separate from and peer feedback with an aim to provide the right motivation to their employees, which is to grow and contribute to Google’s success.
Required:
Prepare an essay of 1,500 words (+/- 10%) which discusses the performance management policies put in place by Google. The following areas should be included:

  1. Critically analyse, using relevant academic literature and theory, how effective Google’s performance policies, practices and management are and how these could be planned in the future to further improve organisational, team and individual performance. (50 marks) (LO2)
  2. Critically evaluate the degree to which Google’s performance management policies and procedures demonstrate the communication skills and rewards and sanctions (team and individual) in order to manage achievement and underperformance. (25 marks) (LO3)
  3. Critically synthesise the advantages and disadvantages of Google’s performance management systems and the degree to which Google’s performance systems will be effective at managing performance. (25 marks) (LO2, LO3)
Via the Canvas learning management system.
All submissions will be electronically checked for plagiarism.
None.
In writing via the Canvas gradebook.