Performance Management System

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Case Study Seven: Conducting performance appraisals at National Office Supplies

You have recently been appointed as HR advisor for National Office Supplies, a provider of stationery and office furniture for businesses throughout the UK. Whilst based at their headquarters in Hertfordshire, part of your role is to visit the regional sales offices and to audit their HR processes and practices. The company has experienced sound levels of growth in recent years and has experienced growth in turnover of one-third in the last three years. Prior to your appointment, the HR manager worked alone, aside from an administrative assistant, involved primarily in advising regional managers on recruitment and selection, conducting induction and ensuring that the company’s policies (such as health and safety and equal opportunities) complied with legislation. Typically, she would only visit regional offices to attend disciplinary or grievance meetings. Whilst the company has broad guidelines on how each department is managed, the general attitude among senior management at HQ has been that as long as each office is performing adequately, they are happy not to intervene or get too involved at regional level unless directly asked to do so. However following the recent growth of the firm from a relatively small, tight-knit organisation to a larger, more bureaucratic company, the senior managers are keen to introduce a ‘performance culture’ into the firm and to formalise and standardise its key HR processes.

You have been asked to visit all the regional offices to observe their performance appraisals being conducted as the basis for writing a set of guidelines that can be circulated to all regional sales managers as ‘best practice’. The current guidelines simply state that performance appraisals should be conducted at least annually. Regional managers are provided with a pro forma which they are advised to use to prepare for and record the appraisal. This was downloaded from the...
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