Employee performance evaluationIn todays ultra-competitive business environment the demand for qualified talent isgreater than ever. As the workplace continues to change, it becomes apparent thatsuccessful organizations are those that can attract, retain, develop, and lead a diverseworkforce.A major driving force behind retaining good employees is maintaining high morale in theworkplace. Yes, it is important to have strong management and leadership in anyorganization.But, what process do fast-growth companies utilize to account for performance goals,improve morale, develop and recognize employee achievement to ensure both managersand employees are performing at their best?To often, front line managers do not have a formally defined process which supports theircompanys performance management strategy. When this process is missing orfragmented, companies place themselves at risk: conflicting expectations regarding rolesand goals, lack of standardized methods and unclear communication can createsignificant ramifications.Also, the company image, relationships between the managers and employees, as well asthe quality of work is impacted. This can lead to a decrease in employee morale and jobsatisfaction, which ultimately impacts the long-term growth and success of theorganization.This article defines a simple, yet highly-effective proven process for developing andretaining some of your companys most important assets: your employees.Step 1 - Define the results you want to achieve by implementing the process. Someexamples would be: to foster an environment of open, honest communication, tocommunicate both company/department goals and objectives, to establish performancestandards and to create a feedback loop between management and employees.When results are documented and used as the framework to reference to employees,management now has a clear perspective on what needs to be done to move forward increating the entire process. All employees benefit because everyone is on the same page,and can now identify company goals and objectives.Step 2 - Set company goals and objectives, and determine what is required byemployees to achieve these goal and objectives. Recognize, in many cases the vastmajority of supervisors and managers are unaware of the importance of goal setting andthe power of goal-oriented management.
By defining company goals and objectives, you not only give employees a target toidentify, you create a platform for dialogue between management and employees toobserve what goals are being met, and what must be done to ultimately achieve all goals.By linking goals from executive management down through to rank and file employees,everyone identifies the big picture and ultimately what must be accomplished to sustainthe organizations growth and profitability.Step 3 - Document the performance expectations. Define performance expectations ina simple, easy to read format that includes performance categories - usually no more thansix major categories are necessary. Categories may include quality and quantity of work,attendance/punctuality, teamwork, safety and communication. Certain categories, such asquality and quantity of work, must be measurable. The benefit of implementingmeasurements within expectations is the company will move one step closer toestablishing clearly defined standards.These measurements can be linked to department/company goals, incentive pay, anexisting compensation model and consideration of certain employees for promotionwithin the organization. In addition to defining formal performance expectations, createan absentee calendar and communication log form.The absentee calendar form is used to document attendance and punctuality, while thecommunication log form serves as the medium where communication between themanager and the employee, regarding performance, is formally documented. Consistentuse of both forms by management provide a means to document performance in realtime.Step 4 - Create and utilize an employee performance review form with aperformance planner. The employees performance review will give both the managerand the employee a snap - shot of the employees overall performance over a specifictime-frame. Whats important about the employee performance review is it reinforceswhat the expectations are, if they were achieved and where the employee scores inrelationship to his/her peers in the workgroup.The performance review can have either a sliding points measurement or can be definedin terms of outstanding, above average, average, unacceptable or not observed. Managersshould always document and retain on record, the employees performance as it relates toboth expectations and company goals.The benefits of accurate documentation are many. Not only will the company have anaccurate record of both good and bad performance, but should any legal issues arise(discrimination, wrongful termination, unfair promotion), the documentation serves as areference point to all parties involved - the facts are all there.Also, integrating a performance planner on the backside of the employee performancereview serves an important purpose. It answers two big questions; "How am I doing?""Where do I go from here?" The performance planner should include performance areas
where improvement is needed, knowledge, skills, or abilities that must be developed toresult in the improvement.There should also be an area to document development activities/assignments (these arethe planned activities for addressing the areas of need) and finally, projectedimplementation/completion dates. Verify both the manager and the employee sign anddate days of discussion.Step 5 - Organization, timing, frequency and scope Organization of theaforementioned documents and forms is easy. To make management of this process eveneasier, visit your neighborhood office supply store and purchase a six-sided classificationfolder (Globe-Weis Part #PU561GRE). The folder provides ample space for allindividual employee documents and forms.A recommended format layout of all documents is listed as follows:Flap 1 - Employee Performance Review and a formal Performance Planner FormFlap 2 - Performance Expectations - current and yearly (This should be there when youhire new employees also)Flap 3 - Calendar showing attendance history - yearlyFlap 4 - Communication log formsFlap 5 - Documentation defining company goals and objectivesFlap 6 - Letters of Recognition, Awards, Certificates, Etc.Timing the process begins once the decision is made by executive management to amendits current performance management strategy. Once the first drafts are completed, theassigned management team reviews and approves or rejects all documents prior toimplementation.Upon completing all forms, its now time to roll out the new Performance ManagementPlan. For newly hired employees, it is recommended performance expectations,communication log forms and company goals be communicated during the first few weekof employment.Doing this will eliminate any concerns the employees may have about their role and jobresponsibilities. Once an employee is hired and depending on the job and scope of work,employee performance reviews should be completed at least every six months.For employees currently employed with the organization, the new plan can be phased inwith scheduled semi-annual employee performance reviews. With regard to the scope ofimplementation, once the documents are completed they can simply be reproduced fordistribution throughout the company. Depending on the size of the organization, specificperformance expectations can be modified to match specific criteria within differentdepartments.
Remember, the key is to master the process. Once the process is implemented, managerscan then explore ways to improve content. This is what operating standard are all about.The benefits of implementing this process within the organization are enormous. It servesas a tool to effectively establish and communicate performance standards which willimprove employee morale, performance and the overall quality of an operation. It servesas a vehicle to reduce Human ResourceManagement issues (discrimination, wrongful termination, unfair promotion) and allowsmid - level managers to focus on other areas of the operation without being bogged downwith "people issues". When the process is implemented throughout the organization, itbecomes much easier for new (and transferring) managers who are assigned to take overan existing work group.Should you need to see what the ideal internal Performance Expectations, EmployeeCommunications and Follow-up Forms look like, please contact me directly? Finally,following the process helps everyone identify whats important, where the employeestands in relationship to performance and what needs to be done so everyone performs attheir best.After doing this with dozens of companies in North America, this is what you can do toimprove communications and execute HR functions much more effectively.http://performanceappraisalebooks.info/ : Over 200 ebooks, templates, forms forperformance appraisal.