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<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Do I Describe the Different Evaluation Methods to Management

December 29, 2006
Dear Overcome:
Making sure employees' work activities support corporate strategies is critical to reaching your business goals. It allows you to make appropriate compensation and promotion decisions and to encourage and develop the talent your company needs to meet new demands and challenges. Regular performance appraisals enable individual employees to enhance their skills that lead to personal and professional growth. The result is a workforce that shows greater motivation and commitment.
 
Various techniques and formats exist to measure performance, as well as spinoffs on traditional models.
 
Self-appraisals
Pros:
a) Employees feel they have a voice in the process.
b) Provides ability to report progress toward goals, including challenges and roadblocks.
 
Cons:
a) Individuals tend to rate themselves harder.
b) Individuals may feel that managers do not know what they are doing.
 
360-degree feedback
Pros:
a) Facilitates open communication.
b) Employees who work together are more likely to understand the objectives of the work and any challenges it presents.
c) Enables all individuals involved with the employee to rate performance (supervisor, employees, customers, other departments, etc.).
d) Should be used for developmental purposes, not for compensation or promotion.
 
Cons:
a) Training is required to explain how to give constructive feedback and its purpose and objectives.
b) Requires a significant amount of trust. The organization must be mature enough to manage the process and avoid conflicts of interests between employees.
 
Management by objectives
Pros:
a) Allows management to focus on achievable results by matching goals against an employee's job objectives.
b) Includes ongoing tracking and feedback in the process of reaching goals.
c) Expectations are set for each job prior to performance, with regular coaching to help employees meet (or exceed) expectations.
d) The focus is on results, not the work activities.
 
Cons:
a) Time-consuming for managers to constantly evaluate employees, potentially taking them away from doing their own work."b) Tends to underemphasize the importance of the work environment or the context in which the goals were set.
 
A complete performance management program would consist of many of the above techniques in a frequent cycle. Continually reviewing an employee's performance tends to increase accountability and organizational commitment while providing the chance to demonstrate productive behaviors to employees (not to mention aid their personal development). Continuous feedback gives you a chance to take corrective action on a more immediate basis.
 
Before implementing any of these evaluation methods, it's imperative that you consider your company's culture and business drivers, and determine which performance tools are suitable based on your business processes and technology infrastructure.
 
SOURCE: Tracy Martin, Knowledge Infusion, San Ramon, California, March 6, 2006.
 
LEARN MORE: Please see advice on how to combine different performance methods.
 
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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