As useful as they are, performance evaluations have been a nuisance for both managers and employees. Various studies have suggested that managers of the company find employee performance evaluation bothersome and view it as a burden; the obvious reason being no one likes a negative feedback and to give one is an equally infuriating task. Secondly, performance reviews involves a lot of paperwork to be done and it has to be done with utmost sincerity. This consumes a lot of time of managers, so it has to be really productive to be worthy of all the effort put in. The list goes on and on.
But a body corporate or a firm can’t just simply do away with them. Employee performance evaluation helps the personnel to improve, they know exactly what their superiors want from them and this helps them to direct their efforts towards the organizational goals. They also help in addressing the issues regarding individual performances and in fixating the responsibility of failures, if any. But conducting an employee performance review successfully is easier said than done. The managers of the firm have to face a lot of difficulties in this process. Not to worry, following the principles discussed below will help you conduct employee evaluation effectively.
Ways for Employee Performance Evaluation
The first and foremost thing to do for an effective employee performance evaluation is to set clearly defined objectives. The employees need to know what is expected from them, what role they play in the organization and what will be the basis for their evaluation. You should always be clear on what you want to achieve from the meeting.
For setting up of goals, managers should keep in mind the abilities, interests and previous evaluations of the employee. If the employees have a detailed knowledge of your procedure and format of evaluation, it works as icing on the cake.
Give employees the opportunities to speak
The employees should always feel valued at the organization. Give them the chance to speak and tell you their point of view. This way they are satisfied with you and take the criticism constructively rather than being defensive about it. The free flow of communication also helps in raising the creativity level as the insights and ideas of the employees are given due importance.
Highlighting the positives
You must remember that employee performance evaluation is not just about telling them where they are lacking. Proper emphasis should be given on highlighting the positives of their performance. This makes them feel appreciated and motivates them to do better in future. Their criticism and appreciation should be well balanced to have a successful meeting.
Set goals for future as well
Although, employee performance evaluation seems like looking in and digging up the past, nut the actual motive is to improve future performances, thus measurable and feasible goals should be set for the next meeting. An outline should be drawn regarding the modified approach the employees shall follow.
Include training in discussions
Training and development of employees is going to act like a tool for achieving the goals that you have set for the next meetings. Also, training helps the employees in long term to advance their career. As the managers it is your responsibility to provide employees with these tools.
You should seek feedback from the co-workers, superiors, boss, and reporting staff of the employee. This gives you a 360 degree idea about their performances and this information could be used for evaluations. Also, don’t wait for formal meetings to deliver your feedback, critique or praise the things you see, when you see them. You have to remember that, a sound and timely feedback (given or received) improves the performance by leaps and bounds.
Everything that goes on the forms of employee performance evaluation should be verifiable by examples. Make notes of every discussion you have with employees, throughout the year. This makes the performance management system fair as it is not affected by recent events or selective memory.
Discuss and agree on an action plan
A significant part of the meeting should be dedicated towards inviting ideas for development in future and the course of action that seems beneficial for the organization. It is crucial that at the end of the meeting everyone realizes their specific role in the agreed action plan. This ensures clarity in job and also helps to achieve optimum utilization of resources.
You should always end the meeting on a positive note. Conclude the meeting for employee performance evaluation by discussing what everyone needs to do for success and show success for themselves and the organization.
Common mistakes to avoid:
- The halo effect: it refers to a situation when we allow a single factor influence everything. If a single bad report, a single great sale or one-off incidence decides the whole evaluation of the employee.
- The similar-to-me effect: this refers to the proclivity of the managers to rate the people similar to themselves higher as compared to the rest based on that similarity.
- Central tendency: this refers to the habit of rating every single employee as average, whereas they clearly deserve a higher or lower rating based on their performance.
- The recency effect: the most common mistake in evaluation process the managers make is they shape the entire evaluation on the basis of recent performances. The evaluation is about the whole year and not the last quarter. The managers should realize this.
The important thing to realize is that, the employees need to feel heard and valued. All this employee performance evaluation process is about improving their motivation level and helping them to work out the solutions for the problems they are facing. Only when they feel belongingness and think that are given the importance due to them, will they be able to bring out the best in them.
And their best is ultimately going to be the organization’s best. While there is no guaranteed way to ensure that they will receive the critique well, following the above outline will be making sure that you did your part responsibly.