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Dear Workforce Quelling Anxiety About Job Evaluations

September 7, 2011

Dear Miscommunication:

The phrase "job evaluation" is just plain scary. People might be less anxious about the job-evaluation process if it were termed a "position-appreciatiation program" instead. Progressive companies ensure that they pay employees fairly and competitively. Job evaluation plays an important role in doing so.

I've found the best way to eliminate fear is to tell employees the full truth about the process. Start with the basics.

Doing job evaluations means you are looking to the future. If your organization wants to cut jobs, there are easier ways to than a job-evaluation program. Frankly, most companies with major jobs reduction in mind don't have the time or money for this type of project. What you have in mind is all about planning for tomorrow, not planning for a layoff. Make that clear.

You are evaluating jobs, not people. Many good employees have trouble with the concept of job evaluation. They believe that judging their job is synonymous with judging them. The truth is that job evaluation primarily is done to ensure that people are appropriately paid for their responsibilities. Performance evaluations judge a person's contribution to the job. The two share nothing in common.

Employees have a lot more to gain than to lose. Most employees are paid properly and not affected at all by job evaluation. I've seen many more instances of employees being paid below their targeted pay range, and receiving salary increases, than being paid too much and being "red circled."

The process promotes an open dialogue about each position. Employees are involved in the process and provide much of the information necessary to accomplish it. You will be looking at the realities of each job, probably for the first time in a long time. Many employees believe that the rigors of their job are not fully understood or appreciated. This process should help eliminate that feeling.

Once employees know the truth behind your intent, they frequently become excited about the process. Straightforward, honest communication helps build employee confidence.

SOURCE: Rick Galbreath, Performance Growth Partners, Bloomington, Illinois, February 4, 2009

LEARN MORE: The Jobs You Can't Do Without discusses the importance of identifying critical jobs based on a company's business goals. Also, six key questions that HR directors and CEOs should ask to ensure they have an adequate supply of top performers.

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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