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What's a HPS and what does it have to do with employee performance?

by , 14 February 2014
Did you know there's something called a Human Performance System (HPS)? If you're serious about performance management, read on to find out more about this system and how it's connected to employee performance.

What exactly is an HPS?

The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management says 'an HPS is based on the understanding that human performance can be seen as a system in which elements in your employee's immediate work environment influence his behaviour and therefore his accomplishment or lack of it.'

The Guide goes on to say that analysts have used the HPS for more than 40 years to diagnose and even predict the likely behaviour of human beings in given performance situations so you can use it effectively.


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The performance review software helps you determine quickly and accurately:
- your employees' skill levels;
- how every employee contributes to overall business performance;
- the training and skill enhancing requirements for every one of your employees;
- how to properly motivate your employees;
- the required disciplinary measures.


How do you do this?

  • You must look at performance within the context of a system.
  • You must recognise how various factors that affect performance are mutually dependent.
  • You must look at your employees to determine which factors impact the results they produce. Your employees must be at the heart of your analysis.
  • You must define human performance in terms of results not activity.

Please note that human performance in this context is defined as the valued result of the work (outputs) of the people (employees) working within a system (their job in your organisation).

There are five main elements that make up the HPS. It's important that you understand them fully to effectively control, monitor and critically evaluate them in your work environment.

Revealed: Five elements that make up the human performance system

#1: Performance specifications. These are also known as the environmental conditions.
They're your expectations of the outputs and standards of your employee's job goals and your feedback about the outcome.

#2: Task support. This is the input or direction you give employees to help them achieve the output you desire.

Make sure your employees know the assignment, the goals and what you expect of them. This'll help ensure your employee's perform their job effectively.

#3: Individual capacity. This refers to your employee's ability to perform. This is crucial to the system as a whole. His own intellectual, physical, mental and emotional capabilities must be in line with the job output requirement.

#4: Corrective feedback. All systems require feedback to ensure a complete cycle. Measure your employee's outputs and then give him feedback on how to change his actions, if needed.

#5: Motivation. Bear in mind that each employee is motivated by personal factors and environmental factors. That's why you need to motivate them to ensure they remain committed to high levels of performance.


The Guide says this is motivational or value feedback. And you must manage this as your employee's motivation has an impact on the whole system.

Now that you know what a HPS is, use it to manage your employee's performance.

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