H.L. Mencken noted, “For every problem there is a solution that is simple, elegant and wrong.”
So, we hear things about the performance review process such as:
“Nobody liked it, so we just stopped doing it.”
“Half of our supervisors do it different ways and the other half are afraid of it, so we just gave up altogether.”
“Our attorney said to stop doing them because it promotes law suits.”
One of the most misunderstood and mismanaged processes in all organizations is the Job Performance Review process. We work with agencies to:
- Conduct training workshop on The Effective Performance Review System
- Assign proper decision-making authorities to each step of the process
- Work with senior leaders and supervisors to develop effective performance measures
- Secure employee input into what they believe would be an effective performance review
- Develop policies, procedures and performance review forms
- Conduct training for all personnel with supervisory accountability on the new system
- Provide ongoing support to decision makers to ensure the effectiveness of the system
This list of “Ideal Characteristics Of A Performance Evaluation System” is used in our Leadership Academies to design effective procedures.
An Effective Performance Evaluation System Must Meet At Least The Following Characteristics:
- There is shared accountability for achievements. The review process must recognize that both parties have made choices that have affected the results for the rating period. Anyone conducting a job performance review must accept accountability for soliciting employee feedback about their own supervisory performance as well as providing performance guidance to their subordinates.
- There is mutual understanding between supervisor and subordinate of the purpose of the review. The review is intended to document progress toward previously agreed-upon objectives and standards of performance, and to agree upon objectives and standards of performance for the upcoming performance period. A true performance evaluation is little more than a joint communication and planning meeting between supervisor and subordinate.
- Performance evaluation is based upon accurate data. It is, therefore, critical that objectives and performance standards were established at the beginning of the rating period and accurate data was maintained during the rating period (i.e., Weekly Success Reports)
- It is conducted with sufficient frequency to ensure effective communication between supervisor and subordinate. Quarterly performance reviews allow organizations to adapt quickly to changing circumstances.
- It is tied to the agency’s mission and long-range plan. Every employee needs to demonstrate how accomplishment of their daily tasks contribute to achievement of the agency’s mission and long-range objectives and standards of performance. Fact is, how can a meaningful performance review be conducted if the agency does not have a strategic plan?
- The procedure is simple. Pareto’s Law implies that 80% of results will come from 20% of actions. Measure only those actions which are critical to achievement of the mission of the organization.
- It is not based upon “failure” nor be a punitive tool – rather, it is based upon steadily improving actual performance to meet agreed-upon objectives. Discipline means, “to teach”.
- It avoids numerical ratings. Fact is, there are only three options to actual performance: below standard, met standard, above standard (-, =, +)
- One Size Does Not Fit All. While every person with supervisory accountability must be held account-able for management objectives, and every employee must be held accountable for team behaviors, technical results and work vary from department-to-department. The performance review form and procedure must respect differences in accountability for technical performance.
- Senior managers have no authority to modify the performance reviews conducted by their subordinates. Any time a senior person modifies a performance review conducted by a subordinate, the net effect is undermining the authority of the initial reviewer. Avoid creating situations where people can say, “I didn’t like what dad said, so I’m going to grandpa…”
If you have questions or need additional assistance, please call 541.806-1502 or use the “Contact/Chat” tab at the bottom of this page.