Enliven Your Employee Appraisal Practices
‘I’m impressed by your ability to execute the tasks’- As pretty as the statement sounds, these powerful words infuse a sense of pride and belonging towards an organization. This seems to be a sincere effort to incorporate a robust appraisal practice in one’s management.
Yes, the employee performance evaluation is a tool that sets a measurement for creating a performance driven culture in an organization. It is a key method for helping managers assess employee performance and for giving feedback on how well an employee executes his/her job duties. Performance evaluations are pertinent to a company’s success, yet many managers shy away from it or do not know how to conduct effective appraisals. However, if executed properly, this practice will go far in creating a workforce that is engaged and more productive.
Below are simple tips to help you with a hassle-free and categorical Employee Evaluation Process –
- Define Expectations – Assessment of job duties, skills and knowledge requirements sets the stage for fact-based performance standards and reviews. Periodic discussions about performance should focus on these significant portions of the employee’s job. Therefore, it is imperative that the employee knows exactly what is expected of his or her performance. A lack of clarity puts employees at a disadvantage and may result in unfair appraisals. If need be, make sure the employee has the necessary resources to get the job done. Resources might include training, operating procedures, staffing, materials and equipment.
- Establish Time-Bound and Measurable Goals – This is the foundation towards sound management. Unlike performance standards, goals should be tailored to each employee; depending on individual’s strength and weakness. Once you have defined the standards and goals for each position and staff, write them down and hand them out. Obtain the respective employee’s agreement and signature on it, if required. This will let them know what you expect and what they will have to achieve during the year to receive a positive evaluation. For example, if X is at a level 3 and level 5 is for top performers, tell him what it is going to take to get that top ranking and what the set expectations are. The more specificity you have at the outset, the less room there is for chagrin and squabble in future.
- Provide Written Evaluations– The best way to clearly delineate what a job entails is through the well written job description. If you come to year-end without hard data, you’re undoubtedly inviting differing interpretations of reality and unpleasantness at the time of evaluation. Therefore, it is recommended to conduct reviews after every six months and for struggling employees, consider atleast once-a-month evaluation. Also, ensure that written performance reviews reflect the entire evaluation period.
- Maintain a Professional Record – Employee performance evaluation should provide legal, ethical, and visible evidence that employees were actively involved in understanding the requirements of their jobs. The accompanying goal setting, performance feedback, and documentation ensures that employees understand their required outputs. The evaluation process also nips a lot of employment problems in the bud. For example – a detailed paper trail allows your legal team to build an airtight case should you need to terminate an individual, due to an unsatisfactory performance.
- Ensure Integrity of Evaluation – Evaluations should not digress from the measures initially defined. In fact, an effective performance evaluation system should motivate staff to do their best by promoting staff recognition and improving communication.
Below are some guidelines to maintain Integrity of Evaluation –
- Performance criteria shouldn’t be changed after the review.
- Don’t wait for an annual review to give employee feedback. Instead provide periodic reviews and feedback throughout the year. Also, make it a point to see that employees won’t miss out on small, yet powerful improvement opportunities time and again.
- Give your employees a copy of their appraisal/feedback report before the meeting so they may have their initial emotional response in private.
- Written comments should be factual, detailed and constructive.
- Avoid the horns and halo effect in which everything discussed in the meeting involves recent positive and negative events. Recent events color your judgment of the employee’s performance. Instead, you are responsible for documenting positive occurrences such as completed targets, and negative events such as a missed deadline, during the entire performance review phase.
A performance evaluation system should be a key component of your leadership role. When implemented effectively, it ensures fairness and accountability, promotes development and imbibes a sense of ownership towards your team goals in your employees.
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