Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) is a public organization that has five divisions with over 200 employees responsible for delivering numerous programs to the community, which protect and prevent individuals from harmful diseases (Boulder County, 2011). Their mission is: “Boulder County Public Health shall protect, promote, and enhance the health and well-being of all people and the environment in Boulder County (Boulder County, 2011, ¶ 1).” In an effort to standardize the employee evaluation system across all five divisions, the organization developed a standard performance management system in 2005. According to Aguinis, there are fourteen characteristics that form an ideal performance management system and Boulder County Public Health’s performance management system will be evaluated to see which of these characteristics their system has.
Characteristics of an Ideal Performance Management (PM) System
Although there are fourteen characteristics of an ideal PM system, they are not all likely to present in any one system. However, according to Aguinis (2009), systems that have more of these characteristics are usually more successful. After reviewing BCPH’s system, they only have three of the characteristics and have only some of the aspects of two other characteristics that Aguinis describes (2009). The characteristics that their PM system has are strategic congruence, thoroughness and inclusiveness. In addition, their system has some portions of practicality, meaningfulness and reliability. However, there are several of the fourteen characteristic that are missing and two of these are acceptability/fairness and standardization.
Boulder County Public Health’s PM System
Since Boulder County Public Health’s PM system is not seen as acceptable and fair from both a distributive and procedural standpoint this leads to several issues (Aguinis, 2009). According to Aguinis (2009), employees that feel the PM system is not fair from a distributive point are more likely to have a poor relationship and less satisfaction with their manager. In addition, if they also see the PM system as procedurally unjust this will lead to lower employee commitment and higher turnover (Aguinis, 2009). In BCPH’s case, these issues definitely developed over time. A survey that was conducted in 2010 showed that employee morale and trust of management had declined from 2005. In addition, their employee turnover had increased from 1% a year to over 10% a year (personal communication, Zayach, 2010). While there are other factors as well that could have resulted in these issues, there are issues with the PM system that could have also contributed. The other major issue with the PM system was that it lacked standardization. While the form that the managers used was standardized across programs, there was a lack of training for managers and supervisors on how to use the form. This...