The Employee Performance Appraisal

I was listening to an interview the other day on the difficult topic of employee performance assessment. Some of the common thinking on this annual event are:

  • They are often harder on the person performing the assessment.
  • There is no one standard assessment process or format.
  • The ones perceiving this process to be very negative are often your best performers.
  • Some companies feel that in order to overcome the dreaded once a year assessment is to do them more often throughout the year, adding to the stress and negative reception by staff and management.
  • And the big question- do we need to do them at all?

As you know, there are many good reasons to do employee assessments including correcting poor performance, rewarding good performance, or documenting poor performance for future firings, discipline, etc. I have seen organizations and companies fire people for poor performance and then later get asked in a court case’ “so when was the last time you conducted an employee performance assessment on this individual?” Many employers find themselves in a very difficult situation of trying to justify firing someone when they do not have a current performance assessment to back them up.

As often happens, we then drift back to not the “what” but the “how”. Here are some points to think about:

  1. When was the last time you completed employee performance assessments on your employees?
  2. Are you using a current format or are you using one developed many years ago and may be out of date with current thinking?
  3. Does you format or process deal with the new generation of employees? Things have changed!
  4. Does your format allow for good dialogue between manager and employee or is it the good old fashioned “yes or no” format?
  5. Have you looked at systems like the 360 degree assessment for your senior staff?
  6. Have you spent the time to coach and train your senior staff on how to conduct employee assessments?
  7. How are the assessments going to be used? – Reward, discipline, or…………

This is a very important part of your operations so take the time to review this with both senior management and even your staff. Times have changed and you don’t want to loose good staff over something like a poor employee assessment process.