Performance Management System

Most large companies have a formal procedure for reviewing the performance of employees. It typically consists of a performance review form completed by a supervisor, which then becomes the focal point of an appraisal interview between the supervisor and the employee. Most are intended to document performance quality so that future decisions about promotion, salary, or job functions might be justified. More importantly, the goal of the performance review is used to improve/enhance the performance of those being reviewed.

1. Base the Review on Performance Expectations.

Base the performance review on explicit expectations of theCompany and the supervisor. There should be a consistent

message for all job functions within the company

2. Minimize the prominence and importance of numbers.

While you may use either numbers or labels to quantify performance, clearly state exactly on the form what theEmployee must do to achieve excellence.

3. Reveal the form early.

Most employees see the performance review form when it’stime for the evaluation. Discuss the evaluation process during

the initial interview. Once hired provide them with a copy

during their orientation period and go over the process once

again to ensure understanding and clarity.

4. Review performance often.

The typical review process is once a year. Try mandatingtwice yearly meetings for informal evaluations or better yet,

quarterly. Keep on top of things before it becomes too late

to fix the problem. Then everyone can discuss if there are

any road blocks to success of the objectives set out.

5. Train all team members on the process and how to deliver feedback.

Serious morale problems are created when employees believethey aren’t being evaluated consistently and fairly. Deliver a

minimum of one hour of instruction each year for your managers

to ensure they are applying your system as intended.

6. Incorporate self-assessments.

Have employees assess themselves on the form one weekbefore the appraisal interview and have them provide you

with a copy.

7. Generate upward feedback.

Two-way performance reviews work both ways. Employeesshould be able to comment on the quality of the direct

supervision they receive. This is a helpful tool for improving

leadership for the manager. Your company may want to

consider a 360 Degree Review process.

8. Require follow-up meetings.

Each appraisal meeting should be followed in about a monthby a coaching follow-up where performance progress is assessed,

and where new improvement suggestions might be

made. Everyone wants to feel that there contributions to the

company are valued.

9. Consider separating reviews from evaluations.

Evaluation tends to generate defensiveness, but performanceimprovement requires openness and an enthusiastic

willingness to change. I recommend setting up two different

time frames – one hour minimum. Each of your team members

will value the time you spend with them.

10. Re-examine the system.

Ask both Reviewer and Reviewee how well the system isworking for them. Get new ideas from other companies who

feel they have good systems. Review yours for possible

revisions each year. This is part of the “Best Practices Rule”

– continuous improvement.

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