First, we need to ask what performance appraisals are. They are “The identification, measurement and management of human performances within an organization.” (GOMEZ-MEJIA, 2010) Performace appraisals are popular and used world wide to measure personal and team performace. Performance management has increased with the gripping economy and having less to do more. Managers have always thought of optimal performance, yet a poorly written performce appraisal has a devistating impact on the employee, the manager, and the company.
Today we will discuss the negative affects of a poorly written appraisal and the positive affects of an effective written appraisal. We will cover the steps to take, the information to include, and the expected end results of the appraisal.
Covering the core competencies is critical, they include: Inclusiveness, Stewardship, Problem solving and Decision Making, Strategic Planning and Organizing, Communication, Quality Improvement, Leadership, Service Focus, and Teamwork.
So, are apprasials needed?
Absolutly…the appraisal system identifies and ensures we retain the best employees. It gives an outlook of who can best do what, and where best to utilize them. It ensures they reach their highest potential within the company. It allows managers to provide coaching and feedback to the employees so they can improve performace levels in identified areas.
Affective appraisals inhibit improvement and development of employee performance. On the other hand, they may be a source of justified legal documentation resulting in discussions or termination.
Performance appraisals are critical when it comes to our customers, their survey comments are a source of manager documentation that allows a solid source for a well written employee appraisal. Our customers are our business, and without them our company would fail. (Levinson, 2003)
Bonuses are also dependent on appraisals as they provide a fair and reliable merit system. Employees are evaluated on the exact same criteria. Target goals are based on performance and results, and are measures of expectations applying to all employees equally. Discrimination is also avioded as the employee (or team) is able to write their own successes down and have the ability to ensure they represent themselves as the best employee (or team) who deserves the highest (or lowest) recognition.
Employees have to see the value in the appraisal system, and if the managers don’t display that value then the system fails. As managers embrace the system and its value, so too will the employees. This will lead to stronger performances as they take ownership in their own success.
In short, Performance appraisals save time, inhibit accountability, reduce conflict, increase efficiency and consistency, and promote manager involvement in overall performance. They allow the employees to have a direct clarification of expectations, performance level, self-assessment of performance, and a clear idea of where they need to improve to attain their and the companies expected level of satisfaction. The company then benefits through time management savings, accountabiliity of managers and employees, accuracy in appraisal ratings, increased productivity, employee retention, and increased communication of expectations.
Collecting accurate data and documentation (D&D) allows an employee/supervisor/manager to create a solid performance appraisal. The day the employee is hired, both positive and negative D&D begins. How you collect D&D is up to you as a manager, but normally it is collected using emails, feedback from team members and the employee, performance reviews, status updates from different projects the employee is working on, knowledge of work scope, communication skills, customer feedback (when used appropriately), work attendance, and finally taking your own notes. These forms of communication and D&D collection will provide for the necessary information in writing a firm and accurate performance appraisal, benefiting the company and the employee.
It is important to know how and what is measured on a performance appraisal; quality and quantity of work performed, and social efficacy are examples of what is to be measured. (GOMEZ-MEJIA, 2010) Performance will certainly differ subject to occupation description and team objectives, yet company business goals will not differ and relevance between the two must correspond with one another. This is a serious tool for management as it has the potential of corrupting a respectable performance appraisal system
Now lets address the social part of what should be in a performance appraisal. An easy way to approach this is to ask; what needs to be addressed? Areas and information might include: development intervention, establishing organizational mechanics and progression opportunities. It’s a must to discuss policy initiatives in order to govern company results. Using self-assurance, diverse assistance, joint ventures, area amalgamation and development will assist in the electives and results we are pursuing as a company. Looking back to prepare for the future minimizes and avoids common mistakes, benefiting all members.
The following evaluation tools help prevent negative impacts using the pre-appraisal evaluation; relative, absolute, trait, behavior, and outcome. Let’s take these one at a time and strengthen our understanding of each.
Relative – a supervisors tool used to compare employees one to another that perform the same work. An example of this is to classify employees to different categories of top, middle, and lowest; then from best to worst. It forces supervisors/managers to rank employees differently rather than equally (ranking employees the same, in effect, inulls the value of the appraisal). The downside is it also creates a difference in performance between employees when there may be none.
Absolute – employee performace appraisals are according to company standards only. Supervisors s a better opportunity of a higher rating than that where the relationship isn’t as strong with use a rating system from 1-10, lowest (1) to highest (10). The downside is that supervisors differ on who should be a 6 and who should be an 8. No consistency exists between supervisors. Personal favorites due to a strong bond between employee and supervisor haanother employee.
As with all companies, supervisors change leaving the favored employee at a disadvantage because his next appraisal will not be based on the relationship he/she has with the supervisor. Integrity in the appraisal system then becomes questionable. Trait – consistent and enduring traits of the employee are judged by supervisors. These traits include: reliable, dependable, proactive, diligent, great leaders, and great followers. Keep in mind that these are easily defined but hard to find in employees. The downside; bias occurs wheather intended or not. By virtue it is, unfortunately, unusable in a legal case if requested by the courts.
Behavior – this is tool takes time to prepare as employees are ranked based on employee participation in events or meetings, and timeliness to attend such events and meetings. Appraisal comments are very tangible and exact, but essentially are only illustrations of preferred behavior. They measure from 1-10, poor (1) to exceptional (10), and allows employees to assertain which behaviors are favorible and which are not. The downside is because the comments are illustrations of preferred behavior, the actual behavior is perceived rather than authentic. Also, when company changes happen, it’s possible the change can nullify the measuring system of the appraisal.
Outcome – employee result focused appraisal tool. This tool can be compaired with the Management By Objectives (MBO) system. There is litheness in rating the employee because bias is eradicated, a clear well-defined standard is set as a measuring tool and allows the employee to achieve the companies objectives. The downside is this tool focuses on output rather than quality and includes areas like: production numbers, and quantity not quality of products sold. If you have produced or sold 2,500 shirts in one day, but the seams in half the sales are defective, you cost the company more money than you made it because now you have to replace those defective orders.
Now lets cover which evaluation method a company recognizes for their performance appraisal method. There are 2 common models used; competency, and 360 degree.
Competency Model – a model used to measure observable qualities and characteristics employees display in successfully performing job tasks. A great deal of time is spent developing this model, but once complete it is effective in meausuring and developing a sustainable human resources, products, and financial areas within the company. The downside is there is a fineline between personality and performace traits. Supported forms of discrimination are not what a company wants in their performace assessment tool.
360 Degree Model – more of a global approach to measurement. It provides feedback to managers and administrators to review in determining objectives and goals a companies work components can work towards. This feedback consists of peer evaluations, subordinate evaluations, employee evaluations, employee interactions, and company performance from all viewpoints. Each pertinent to the performace objectives the company is attempting to attain. Employees want to promote within their division or company, and in order to do that they must have a clear and direct goal to follow. Employees may be strong in certain tasks, and weak in 1 or 2 others, so too are companies when evaluated. Identifying the weak areas and addressing them head on, the employee and company are destined to succeed. The 360 degree model gives a clear view of where the company stands with reaching their goals and objectives.
POST APPRAISAL ACTIVITIES
Now that the appraisal is complete we are done right….wrong, we still have to create a plan for improvement and development for the employee. This is called the post appraisal activity as we are now working on making a good employee a great employee. Important during this time are the supervisor/manager records of the employees precise performance. Employee participation is critical as they may discuss how they perceive their performace to be, allowing the supervisor/manager to develop a plan of continued growth based on both parties’ feedback of each objective.
In order to attain a higher level of efficiency and sustainability, a proper evaluation proccess gives the needed information for this success. In order for progress to proceed, it’s imperative that we look back at lessons learned from our performance appraisal system. It gives a snapshot of where changes are required to minimize past faults, and imperious in developing an action plan.
Distinct and detailed actions plans are imperative for employee comprehension of objectives and goals. As adjustments are identified and made, the action plan is created and offered for immediate action. They must be inspirational, measurable, specific, and attainable so as to promote compliance for success. Results are key and relevant to action plan success of company goals and objectives. Modification and time bound, these goals must be effective during implimentation.
Now we need to close the plan once its been finalized. Performance appraisals are implortant to the employee because they want to see if the supervisor/manager has the same vision of their performance as they do. It is important to the company because they want to have the best success with the best employees, this is a way of measuring that success and making changes where necessesary to ensure that happens. It’s important that the employee be an active member of the closing of their performance appraisal as this is a time to celebrate their succcesses and action plan for increased success. It also gives management the opportunity to instill in the employee that they are a valuable asset to the company and want to ensure they succeed at all levels. An bi-annual review of the action plan allows both the supervisor/manager and the employee time to make adjustments where needed to ensure the path to success is achieved.
It’s my recommendation that we use the 360 degree model as it offers more of a snapshot of where we are, where we need to be, and an action plan to get there. This model offers the greatest opportunity for a prosperous result in our employee and companies success. I recommend a review of our current performance appraisal system be completed by the Human Resources Department with changes being presented to the Board of Directors within 45 days. Finally, I recommend annual training to our supervisors and managers starting immediately within 30 days to ensure they are up-to-date should these changes be implemented. The training will ensure that the staff is in strict compliance with the guidelines are equal for everybody. Communication is key to this being successful as it minimizes the opportunity for error.
Would you agree that employee development is extremely important? Of course it is…yet one of the “faults” a manager makes is they fail to provide timely performance appraisal feedback to the employee throughout the year. The employee has no way of improving in key areas because the manager has waited until the end of year performance appraisal to provide the feedback. This is an injustice to both the employee and the company as the employee now feels victimized, or targeted and becomes self-justifying in their response and actions. DO NOT WAIT…if you do the only feedback you will have on the appraisal will be negative because there was nothing the employee was aware of that needed improvement. Providing feedback throughout the year will balance both the positive and negative comments (hopefully more positive than negative). As the employee receives this feedback throughout the year, it reassures them that their manager and company have their best interests at hand, and that the feedback is to ensure they succeed to their fullest potential.
A successful employee is a successful manager, something that must be emphasized in Manager’s meetings. I cannot stress enough how important that keeping notes on employee performance throughout the year is critical. Far too often, the most recent of events will bear the greatest of weight on a performance appraisal, I call this “Overstating Performance” reviews. The problem with this is it appears that the employee was only successful toward the end of the appraisal period, making it look as though he did not give that 100% throughout the rest of the year. This lack of leadership and understanding of the importance of the performance appraisal system leads to reviews of imbalanced assessments. This is an injustice to the employee and undermines what the performance appraisal system is created to do. It has a high probability that average employee performances will receive exceptional reviews, and exceptional employee performances will receive average reviews.
Unfortunately when this happens it becomes a “time period” based performance appraisal instead of a yearly review, and there is no time period where we have exceptional employees all the time; it just doesn’t happen! Keeping notes throughout the year allows the manager to systematically create a timeline of events that leads to an accurate and fair performance appraisal. It is up to the manager to ensure accurate employee performance reviews are conducted, and note taking throughout the year is critical in writing accurate re Being too critical on employee performance appraisals is not constructive criticism.
Negative comments are a form of constructive criticism when given in moderation; employee inclusion is critical when devising a plan of correction for self-improvement. Likewise, being too critical is detrimental to employee morale as they feel they are worthless and cannot perform to the standards set by their manager. We want the employee to understand that they are valued, and critical to the success of the company. Being able to portray this while giving negative feedback takes time, skill, and an understanding of an employee’s limits of self-worth. We need to know our employee and how we can help them be successful without being too critical, yet still being constructive. It is imperative we maintain an open line of communication to make this happen.
So we know that being too critical is negative in itself, so too is not providing the constructive guidance for employee improvement. Constructive advice must have value, and insure the employee feels and sees the legitimacy in the employee appraisal system. It is important that they know we want to see them succeed and promote within the company so they can feel pride and self-worth. When they see the value constructive criticism has in the appraisal system, they see a future the company has to offer. Being critical is good, but being critically constructive is better. The manager needs to know that when they provide constructive criticism, they must hold the belief that the employee is capable of making necessary changes to be successful. The employee needs to know that applying the constructive criticism displays their abilities and desire to remain and promote within the company. Rather than being too favorable or damaging, it should be our goal as managers to give an honest assessment; allowing the employees to understand and increase in value what the appraisal has to offer also increases the opportunity to be successful.
The appraisal should offer an equally balanced assessment of what the employee is doing correct, their accomplishments, what they need to work on, and (if any) failures with lessons learned. Again, taking notes will allow for an equally balanced assessment that guarantees to promote success with the individual employee and the company. Finding value in the performance appraisal takes interaction between the manager and the employee, not just the manager talking. Both the manager and the employee need to be able to talk and listen, creating an environment of trust, understanding, responsibility, and accountability. The appraisal system is not designed to be a one-way discussion. Employee interaction is not only pertinent to a successful appraisal, but also necessary for understanding underachieved job performance. Two-way communications is required for both parties to attain common goals and realizing the importance in achieving those goals in the upcoming year.
This two-way communication requires that the manager be prepared ahead of time by reviewing his notes from the previous year, listening to the employee and not just appearing to be in the same room, and not interrupting the employee when he/she is talking. Proper scheduling is very important, because you want to allow yourself enough time to read over the review, listen and communicate with the employee, wrap up the review once the employee has left, prepare for the next review by going over your notes on the incoming employee, then do it all over again. If your schedule does not allow for extra time, one employee Smith’s appraisal information is sure to be mixed with employee Wright’s appraisal information. This would be a drastic oversight as a deserving employee may receive not so deserving results.
Scheduling a break between reviews will minimize this risk preventing a miss rating of employees. As we identify a problem in the performance appraisal process, managers must focus on the employee and not the performance, (GOMEZ-MEJIA, 2010) as this allows the manager to be objective. The employee needs to know their manager is more concerned for their individual development. Keeping that two-way communication is instrumental to a successful relationship, appraisal, and success of the manager, employee, and the employee then takes possession in their success, and personal and professional growth. Employee performance is what we are looking for; allowing the employee to actively discuss future goals builds trust between the manager and the employee. The employee’s future success is up to them, and taking an active role in setting achievable goals for the upcoming year they are also able to communicate possible solutions to current performance levels.
HOW TO ACHIEVE PEAK WORTH
Performance appraisals are usually divided into two separate categories: Performance evaluation and salary judgement. (GOMEZ-MEJIA, 2010) The supervisor/manager provides feedback from the performance review so the employee can better comprehend the cooresponding performance score they attained. Relative advice is needed for employee understanding and compliance.
During the performance appraisal, the supervisor/manager must become a mentor to support, teach, encourage, and energize employee and team members while providing guidance. If the employee/team believe in their abilities, they are more likely to adapt and overcome. As a supervisor/manager, it’s critical that you perfect the skill of giving guidance in a positive manor to develop their performance . Supervisors/managers want their employess to display passion, drive, skill, and belief that they are the best qualified to ensure optimal results. When the employee is assisted by his manager to move them above his position, then the manager becomes a pronounced leader and is the foundation to a companies capability to endure trying times.
A managerial assessment is required on the staffs performance. It concentrates on providing appraisal feedback for administrative conclusions. Next, managers must recognize and deliver advice/feedback for the action plan with a emphasis on proficiency expansion. This process needs to involve the employee as they generate the prosperous results creating the companies success. In the closing phase, the manager and employee discuss the action plan, it’s timeline, and their successes.
All performance appraisals should be the same across the board, meaning there is no change based on position or reputation within the company. Once the performance appraisal and action plan are offered, they must be signed by both parties with the understanding that they are both in agreement with the appraisal, the action plan, the timeline, and have a new found commitment to working as a team to reach the anticipated result.
Why is it necessary for our employees to succeed? Because their success is the companies success, it’s the only time we benefit. With the employee and manager on the same page and working together for a common goal, it aligns their actions with the goals and objectives of the company. Our companies future depends on how much time and energy we invest in our employees.
Image is everything (so they say) and when we can display successful employees, then we have the image of a professional organization that invests in it’s future through it’s employees. Employee turnover rate reduces with a successful appraisal system in place, experienced managers, and professional employees. All these contribute to production increase, contractural agreements met, and customer/employee satisfaction.
As an employee takes interest in the success of the company, they are able to relay their approval through great customer service and word of mouth (creating that positive image). Largely the internal philosophy and image of the company improves, profit margin increases with lowered revenue loss and is the single most significant stock we as a company must invest in.
EVALUATIONS OF TEAMWORK
There are different approaches to teamwork evaluations; these are a few:
·Managers rate team performance centered on pre-set standards, also known as the Traditional performance review. Team performance assessments can be idiosyncratic, creating very little change, if any, in total performance. ·Another evaluation type is called the 360 degree assessment, this type includes feedback from what I like to call the “4 corners”; managers, peers, supervisors, and customers. This type of assessment, or review, displays strengths and weaknesses based on thorough feedback from a 360 degree “4 corner” view. Unfortunately there is a drawback from this type of multi-source assessment, deciphering the information requires education and training.
Once the information is properly interpreted, then performance growth sprouts like fruit on a tree. (AMISANO, 2012) ·A third type is called objective performance appraisals. This type takes a set of pre-determined objectives and goals and evaluates them based on similar job titles. As this is effective in Individual performance appraisals, it has no bearing on team performance appraisals. ·The concluding evaluation selection is a team performance appraisal. This assessment type allows you to have an overview of team compatability and performance in a team building environment. This type of evaluation consist of common principles, team effort, and actions achieved on the project. (AMISANO, 2012)
Team evaluations are based on financial results, not individual performance results. This type of assessment takes a different approach in that you now are rating based on vital performance indicators like:
·Customer service quality
·Product deliverable quality
These areas, as deemed by leadership as necessary measurement factors, can include other areas as approved by the appraising authority. All approved areas are used in evaluating the team as one entity and how that team functions.
It’s important for you to know that there are two sections to team evaluations
1.The individual contribution to team performance
2.The team performance as one entity
Outcomes, traits, and behaviors are the areas a manager uses to assess the individual contribution to the team, and behavior measurement assessment for individual involvement to the group’s outcome. (GOMEZ-MEJIA, 2010)
This is another system that needs to be in balance when evaluating. For example, we would not use the same standards of measuring financial goals as we would with customer service approval/fears. (GOMEZ-MEJIA, 2010) It’s imperative that the result measurements compliment the measurements of the method. Results are important, but strong personal relationships are what drive team performance to success. A new team will not assess the same as a veteran team that has built a relationship of trust, knowledge, and teamwork. It takes time, education and training to be a successful team member, this is where the team assessments come to play. They assist new members in becoming solid team performers in a limited amount of time. These team assessments are essential in ensuring that they swiftly align with company goals and standards while minimizing undesireable behavior.
Criteria influenced by team members must be united with assessment measurements to be effective. Team performance appraisals are specific, calculable, achievable, outcome determined, related, and time assured. Every team member provides feedback to management during their assessments, this is called team inclusion. Team goals must be prioritized by importance as it provides a timeline of tasks forthcoming, and allows focus to be shifted where needed. Teams are a relationship that must be nurtured prior to being effective.
As issues arrise, team members are able to adequately adjust and apply changes necessary to avert disaster and solve the issues. This is important because minimal time is spent on a damaged processes and channeled to product progression.
Downside to team assessments are that some members of the team who are not as productive and not pulling their weight, receive acculades on project milestones when in essence they ought not. Employees prefer individual performance appraisals because of this reason. Their work ethics and sacrifices are who they are, and to be judged by somebody elses is an injustice that depletes morale and professional development.
Due to the amount of research completed, I feel confident in recommending the use of the 360 degree appraisal model to impliment integration of the individual performance appraisal with the individual contribution to the team appraisal and an overall team performance appraisal. Allowing the combination of appraisals ensures accurate assessments of all employees and how they performed as a team.
Following previously mentioned tools, supervisors and managers will utilize all feedback from employees, customers, and individual notes to accurately evaluate the employees. The employees will evaluate their individual performance, they will evaluate their team members performance, and be evaluated by each of the team members resulting in a 360 degree evaluation method. This becomes critical as it separates individual assessments from team assessments so credit is given where credit is deserved.
Team performance evaluations are also recommended to use the 360 degree appraisal model. A 360 degree snap-shot view allows the manager to see team performance and functionality from all angles. It exhibits if the team is aligned with company goals and objectives. Utilizing the following evaluator approved evaluation areas, we are able to include the finance department, customer service department, Marketing department, and the quality assurance department in the feedback stage of the assessment.
·Customer service quality
·Product deliverable quality
With feedback from all these sources, including the managers notes, we will create a baseline to revisit when measuring growth. An precise blueprint minimizes risk! TEAM V. INDIVIDUAL ASSESSMENTS
Parameters, Objectives, Results, Recognition
The differences between Team performance evaluations and individual performance evaluations are simple.
Individual evaluations require an individual to be hired, provided a job position that comes with a job description with job responsibilities requiring accomplishment. As managers we then have a baseline of the job description and responsibilities, by which we can then evaluate their performance in accomplishing (or not) said job. After which we rate that performance by comparison to another employee with a similar or same job title. The result is a direct reflection on the employees individual performance. He/she takes ownership of their evaluation without fear of other employees mis-deeds.
Team evaluations have pre-set conditions approved by the evaluation team and aligned with the company goals and objectives for a determined project. Generally team performance is a result of team member effort, and therefore performance (good or bad) is reflected on the rating of team members. Evaluation results differ based on team member abilities, training, self-reliance, knowledge, and communication.
It only takes one bad apple to spoil the harvest, meaning if one team member fails at their part of the mission, the whole team looks bad and receive a disearning review. On the flip side the other team members may be skilled enough to overcome the one team members incompetency and still complete the project on time, under budget, and to the customers satisfaction. In this case the whole team most likely will receive a great review, including the employee who did not succeed.
While the most common appraisal is an individual performance appraisal, companies see the benefit of using team power to complete assigned tasks. As this team-oriented change happens, having team performance evaluations on hand has given us an unfair advantage as we now have a baseline for future team performance evaluations. We know what works and what doesn’t, we know what to look for and what to avoid. We have the tools required at our disposal to ensure our team performance evaluations become flawless. Having said that these evaluations tools can easily be imprudent in a way that causes caos and frustration among team members. That is why it is important that my previous recommendation be taken seriously and implemented immediately.
As for recognition, Individual performance evaluations are subject to bonuses, salary increases, and promotions. Team performace evaluations are trickier, but not impossible. If my recommendation is implemented, it becomes a lot easier as we then can include individual contribution to the teams success (or failure) rather than to the team as a whole. Imagine the conflict that would take place if a team failed to successfully accomplish a task because of one team member, and because of that team member they failed to receive recognition for their individual successes.
1.Improves the development and overall performance improvement of the employee 2.Aligns employee performance with company strategy 3.Defines and aligns strategic planning for the employee to emulate (GOMEZ-MEJIA, 2010) 4.Justifies legal action (termination) due to documentation, as well as promotions, bonuses, and raises. 5.Promotes a professional image
1.Needed for future stability
2.Removes fear, instability and uncertainty when leadership changes 3.Delivers our company mission and strategic priorities (GOMEZ-MEJIA, 2010) 4.Investment is with our employees, and therefore with the guaranteed future of our company.
1.Teams identify issues and initiate change for faster resolution (GOMEZ-MEJIA, 2010) 2.Increased productivity as less time is spent identifying an issue and a resolution implemented 3.Production progression is amplified
4.Teams are an investment as society and the environment dictate change 5.Teams are what make progression planning a success.
We owe our stakeholders and ourselves to remain professional, profitable and ethical in our business and personal lives. It is only right to invest in those who invest in you, and that is what our company is dedicated itself to accomplish. Their investment in you guarantees their investment in the company’s future. It is a obligation we can accomplish using the proven tools provided…strong performance appraisals creating better employees, a progression plan with strong teams to ensure results and growth. Increased revenue is due to the tools we have in place; it is due to customer satisfaction, increased profit margins, employment gratification, and a riveting public image projecting International quality
AMISANO, C. (2012, OCTOBER 17). METHODS FOR EVALUATING EMPLOYEE & TEAM PERFORMANCES. Retrieved October 17, 2012 GOMEZ-MEJIA, L. (2010). MANAGING HUMAN RESOURCES, SIXTH EDITION. INDIANAPOLIS: PRENTICE HALL. Levinson, H. (2003, January). Management by whose objectives. 81(1), pp. 107-116.
Univeristy of California, B. (2012, October 24). Human Resources at University of California, Berkeley © UC Regents. All rights reserved. Berkley, UC. Retrieved October 24, 2012, from Core Competencies and Behavioral Anchors: http://hrweb.berkeley.edu/files/attachments/behavioral-anchors-matrix-core-competencies.pdf
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