Evaluating Staff Performance
Performance management is a key aspect of a manager’s role. By evaluating an employee’s progress in terms of performance and development, a manager is able to set new objectives and plan tasks effectively for the period ahead.
First examine the employee’s job description to ascertain whether roles or responsibilities have changed since the last appraisal. If there have been any alterations, ensure that these are in the best interests of the company and not just the employee. For instance, an employee who prefers to find new customers rather than deal with existing ones, may move the emphasis of their job accordingly. Rather than just allow this change in job description, a manager should consider training the employee in customer service.
When a manager reviews an employee’s achievements against their objectives, consider the facts and disregard rumour or hearsay. Of course, it is against the law to discriminate on grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation or anything else. A manager must not say or do anything that could be interpreted as a breach of this law.
Praise Successful EmployeesTry to pick out aspects of an employee’s performance that are worthy of praise. Perhaps the employee has shown a positive attitude or planned, coordinated and organised tasks successfully. Encourage the employee to keep up their high standards and check that the employee has been rewarded or praised for carrying out tasks successfully.
If an employee’s performance has fallen short of what is expected, consider the possible reasons for this. It can be good management practice to turn a blind eye when an employee underperforms. Negative feedback may not be necessary if it is a minor issue, particularly if good results have been achieved in other areas, so weigh up whether the area of under-performance is really important.
The next step in performance management is to check whether staff have the time to focus on development. It is important to ensure continuous development, so it may be worth shuffling resources if necessary. If development targets set at the last appraisal have been met, it can demonstrate to management that the time and money spent developing staff is worthwhile. Check too that the development has improved performance to a level that affected business results.
Development TargetsIf an employee has not met development targets, management should investigate the reasons for this. Check that targets were clearly defined and look for any barriers that restricted development. Some problems an employee has may be out with a manager’s control. Nonetheless, management has to be satisfied that the employee is capable of developing enough to reach the required standard.
A crisis in the office can cause an employee to miss a course and so lose out on a development opportunity. Management should ensure the postponement was truly necessary and could not have been avoided by simply reshuffling resources.
It is also important for a manager to assess how effective different types of development activities are for different individuals. If, for example, an employee reads a book or watches a DVD and the information received is not applied at work, the employee may benefit from an alternative method of learning.