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Dear Workforce During Promotion and Raises, How Do We Assess People of Similar Yet Differing Competencies?

We are an animation company and work on multiple projects of varied complexities. The individual performance evaluation is done based on similar KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities) defined for specific roles. Our challenge: how to normalize the performance across different projects for individuals with same ratings when evaluating pay hikes/promotions. We will not be able to consider them at the same competency level because their work is of varied complexities.
November 11, 2010
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Related Topics: Career Development, Compensation Design and Communication, Performance Appraisals, Employee Career Development, Dear Workforce, Compensation
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Dear Uniformity Won't Work:
To answer that, you may need to consider how the KSAs of your employees are being utilized.
How are people assigned to different projects? What determines if comparable team members are put on more difficult projects?
In other words, is project work being allocated based on KSAs? Or are people put on projects more so by availability? If the rotating start and completion of different projects determines who is asked to do what, then you need to acknowledge that and try to improve how you optimize the use of staff resources.
For example, a lot of work may be routine. But the steady stream of routine projects often pays the bills. Though they may not be technically challenging, the projects may be on tight schedules or for clients who are difficult to please. How employees perform in these other areas should be taken into account when assessing performance.
If team members are at comparable levels, do they have an opportunity to work on different levels of projects over time? Some mechanism needs to be in place for this, or promotion can have too much of an element of chance to it, based on what the next open project holds. The responsibility falls to your management to provide the opportunity, as well as the tools, to succeed.
Another avenue to accomplish this is through subject-matter experts, or SMEs, who take on this role in addition to core project-team roles (e.g., project manager, designer, and production). Have SMEs float between projects to tackle technical complexity and smooth out learning curves.
Ultimately, the challenge in normalizing performance evaluations is in understanding the bottom-line value to the organization of work being done. If your organization is project-based, then you need to understand how you account for employees' work and correlate it to your projects.
Whether your organization bills clients directly for employee hours worked or submits flat-fee bids, you should still have a sense of the cost of work. Tying this work (in terms of hours) to the value of elements of individual projects can help quantify different contributions across a variety of projects. To create continuous improvement, use this information to refine the estimating, bidding and resource allocation on future projects.
SOURCE: Scott Weston, author, HR Excellence: Improving Service Quality and Return on Investment in Human Resources
LEARN MORE: Learn how to avoid subjectivity and quell employee fears during performance appraisals.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
Workforce Management Online, November 2010 -- Register Now!
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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