performance management

Performance Management

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The Essential Elements of Performance Appraisal

Effective performance management requires a good deal of face-to-face supervisor-employee interaction. If supervisor does not know his or her workers, then he or she has far fewer opportunities to steer them onto a path of greater productivity and optimized output. It has been shown that long-term successful business owners view performance appraisal as a process of getting to know the people who work for them. All too often, performance management specialists focus on charting out who wins and loses among the employees. While this system of incentives for promotion and salary raises is very important, it is only a part of the overall picture. Unfortunately, the vast majority of businesses today are ignoring the potential assets gained from using performance appraisal to promote a higher quality of human capital. Yet the best performance management does indeed teach the employee base just as much as it grades it.

Performance appraisal involves three essential steps that a supervisor must take to insure successful evaluation as well as constructive outcomes among the employee base. These are training, evaluation and review.

Successful training is the implementation of a system in which everyone in the workplace is geared toward improvement. It involves a hands on approach in which the employee is encouraged to evaluate him or herself under the auspices of the supervisor. This may sound counterintuitive, but it is one of the crowning achievements of successful performance appraisal.

Here’s how it works. First, the supervisor includes the employee in the appraisal process. When an employee knows that his or her opinion of other workers is taken into account, he or she also realizes that everyone else’s opinion matters just as much. This not only empowers the employee and improves relations in the workplace, but it motivates higher productivity as well. This interactive approach is made complete with the leadership of the supervisor. Carefully administering praise coupled with constructive criticism keeps the workforce on its toes.

The best methods for employee evaluation are based on results and behavior. While conducting performance appraisal based on employees’ characteristic traits is quite common, the results are often subjective and unsatisfactory. A results-based approach to performance appraisal is by far the cleanest, most object method of tackling the complex task of evaluation. It uses a rating system to measure productivity with a given timescale. If an employee is makes a certain number of sales in a certain week, he or she can be rated by sheer worth as well as ranked against other employees. The study of behavior is closely tied to productivity. The pace of work, willingness to put in overtime and ability to work with others all contribute to overall productivity.

The review process should, again, employ the techniques of interactivity. Before sitting down together, the supervisor should give the employee a chance to review him- or herself. This not only empowers the employee, but saves a lot of time and possible contention during the actual interview. Once inside the conference room, the supervisor should walk the employee through the process. The successful supervisor starts out with an overview of why the review session is needed. Then the supervisor takes the employee down a point-by-point list of every aspect of the job. In each case, the employee should be given a chance to describe his or her achievements and shortcomings. The supervisor should always supplement this with added insight. While praising and applying criticism, the supervisor maintains authority throughout the review and, indeed the entire appraisal process.