Part 6: Performance Management Systems: Designing the Employee Performance Evaluation Along with the Evaluation Schedule
By: Jonny Baker, Senior Manager, Strategic Management Consulting Services
The following is part six of a seven-part series on Performance Management Systems. This blog series includes identifying the need for performance feedback, designing organization and individual employee goals, establishing incentivization programs, and communicating and monitoring the system.
In our last installment, we reviewed options for incentivization through organization, department, and individual level measurements and rewards. In this installment, we will discuss the performance evaluation form and process.
You can spend all the time you want fretting about performance; be it organization, departmental, or individual performance, or you can schedule a tailored plan to each employee to ensure performance is reviewed and monitored regularly. Ensure this plan still leaves time for organic, timely feedback that is sought out by the employee. Also, be sure that results for organization and departmental measures are regularly published for those that can drive results.
Formalization-ouch, another word we all love to hate because of perceived connotations. However, formal evaluations are critical for many reasons, one of which is to ensure the process is completed. Why go through all this effort, set up all these processes, take all this time, only to then watch some managers not align. For the organization to move in a common, positive direction, it is critical that management align at the top, see prior installments here. Formal evaluations also allow a track record to be established for when internal promotion opportunities exist, when employee issues have been experienced (both positive and negative), and to show employee progress against specific measurable items such as organization Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The physical evaluation should be aesthetically pleasing and should include varying components, including organization, departmental, and individual employee level criteria.
When we, KHA Management Consultants, build employee evaluation systems with clients, we typically start with how the employee performed against organization level criteria, then departmental level criteria, and lastly individual criteria (KPIs). It is important to use the evaluation as a tool to highlight your organization first, the department second, and the individual last. Included on the evaluation should be components for each of the three layers, organization, departmental, and individual but also across each of the three strategic pillars for the organization. If the organization deems its strategic pillars and the coinciding organization direction to be critical, why shouldn’t employee performance be measured against those same items? The entire evaluation process must be clear, actionable, and reiterative of the organization directives, strategy, and goals. Take advantage of the profound opportunity you have every chance there is to communicate those critical items.
The evaluation should also include scoring so that there is an opportunity to measure the individual’s progress, compare them against peers, and identify improvement opportunities. Most managers really hate giving feedback and, as a result, need to learn it is critical to the success of the both the employee and the organization. Having specific evaluation measurements eliminates the wiggle room from when a more objective evaluation completion occurred to when it is delivered live.
Scheduling and Assigning Accountability
The evaluation schedule is a hot button topic among everyone. Some employers just do annual reviews, some do quarterly, and some do bi-annual. Only you can decide what makes the most sense for your organization, but we can help you with this decision. What is key to the entire evaluation process is that there is a recordkeeper (typically HR) to ensure the tracking is being done, evaluations are being reviewed and timely completed, and that feedback is given for each employee in the organization. It is critical that this happens in a timely manner both for the organization and the employee. Communication of the evaluation schedules should be published to both management and employees. These schedules should be adhered to even though most folks do not look forward to the process as highlighted in the following Harvard Business Review article , https://hbr.org/2011/11/delivering-an-effective-perfor.
In our next installment we will review how to make this process stick, through policy, communication and training, monitoring, and employee investment.
At KHA Management Consultants, we work with organizations of all sizes and shapes to identify what makes the organization, its stakeholders, and its employees tick. We facilitate the performance management process with your organization’s key constituents to ensure buy-in, ownership, and a new way of thinking about the organization and its stakeholders among all levels of employment. From a resource perspective, we primarily use our unmatched experience but also tap into the top-level resources such as those provided by Harvard Business Review and MentorPlus. Some of those materials, frameworks, and lessons have been used in writing this blog.
KHA Management Consultants, the consulting department of KHA Accountants, PLLC, based in Flower Mound, Texas, is always looking for opportunities to work with key clients ready to take their business to the next level. If you have a desire to improve, take the first step toward success with the performance management experts, and contact us at 972-221-2500.