5 Tactics for an Effective Employee Performance Evaluation

300 225 Kanhai Chhugani

Here comes the performance evaluation time, and the rumor mill is in full swing! What is the expected percentage increase this time, and who will get promoted to the next level? Such questions are the common topics of discussion during coffee breaks in most offices. The anticipation is obvious, as it’s the only time of the annual work cycle when employee achievements would be taken into consideration.

While at some places performance evaluation occurs half-yearly, annual evaluation is quite common in most of the sectors. Yearly performance appraisal programs make it even more tedious for HR professionals to track overall performance of every employee, and do justice to the dedicated workforce.

According to Paul Falcone, author of 2600 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews, “Employee reviews are a process that should happen all year long”.  According to her, it’s unfair to review just once in a year when employees are putting several hours around the year to fulfill their responsibilities.

While the review cycle is still a debatable issue, HR professionals and managers can adopt some tricks to make the performance evaluation process in their respective companies more productive than painful.

Performance Management and not just Performance Evaluation

Performance evaluation is often just about tagging employees into different performance rankings based on macroscopic review. On the contrary, it should be intended towards mapping the skills of every employee and finding ways to improve the performance at every opportunity. This can happen only when managers and HR professionals adopt the comprehensive performance management process.

Regular coaching and timely feedback can positively impact employee engagement. Those employees, who get a chance to learn new skills with every opportunity can stay committed towards achieving the desired results.

Move beyond Traditional Employee Review System

The traditional practice of ‘once-a-year’ performance review can damage employee engagement level rather than shaping it towards desired results. With a shift in workforce demographics and leadership styles, more companies are now adopting the ongoing performance review process. After following the traditional review system of assigning annual goals to employees for long, IBM is now revamping its performance evaluation processes. It has shed the practice of stack ranking, which pits employees against each other and has a negative impact on employee engagement.

IBM has devised a new employee review system, which is termed as ‘Checkpoint’. Checkpoint sets short-term goals for employees and facilitates regular feedback. Managers and employees can change or modify goals dynamically with evolving business needs. Employees can also expect more structured feedback from managers for their personal development.

Companies like Microsoft and Yahoo have also ditched their traditional employee review system, which included stack ranking. They are now open to a system which is more manager-and-employee driven.

Let Employees do the Reviewing

One of the best ways to have an open performance review session is to let employees be an active part of it. Employees can access their own work based on questions like:

How have you performed?

What the company can do to build your skills?

What should be your KRA be for the next year?

When you engage employees in setting their key responsibility areas and goals for the next time period, they are likely to work with higher motivation. Also, you can have productive discussion sessions where employees can open up about the challenges with the new roles and responsibilities.

HRMS Software to Make Performance Management more Effective

HRMS software helps in online collaboration of employees and managers for an optimized performance management process. Employees working from different locations of a company or remotely working from home can collaborate for a comprehensive performance review online. Also, employees can fill in worksheets regularly to keep track of their accomplishments without any fail.

Database management is another important factor, as collecting every employee-related data and organizing it into a structured report can be a tiresome task for managers. HR software can crunch the data for them, so that they can analyze the performance of every employee on different performance metrics for 360 degree assessment.

Managers need to be Better Coaches

From setting individual and departmental goals for employees to helping employees understand what is expected from them, managers need to be the coach of its team members. This can help in reinforcing company goals and motivating the team to work in a collaborative manner to meet desired outcomes. Regular team meetings to discuss the progress of each members and the team as a whole can help employees know if they are going off track.

With the change in approach and by involving technology in better evaluation, managers can take a significant step towards productive performance review. Don’t keep the review session confined to the conversation of the past, but also look for opportunities to improve in the future.

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