Four keys to an effective system of employee evaluations

by on June 3, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Questions to ask to determine the strength of your employee evaluations

To figure out if you have a good system of employee evaluations, ask yourself these five questions.

  1. When you’re done doing your magic act does anybody do anything different? Do they do something different in a positive way? And do they hold on to it? That’s the first and most important measure of the value of a performance evaluation system.
  2. Do people work any harder when they’ve gone through your employee evaluations? Do they get daunted at the end of this and head to the bar and drink heavily until they don’t hate you? Or do they look you in the eye and they say, “You’re going to see more of me.” So does your system make somebody want to give you more than they have to? How would you know? Do they come earlier? Do they stay later? Do they take work home with them, okay, as a result of your process? If they do, something you’re doing is good. If they head home early and they come in late the next day all hung over, that’s a sign that maybe what you’re doing isn’t helping you.
  3. Does your system of employee evaluations help produce turnover? From an employee’s standpoint, what you’re becoming is more important than what you’re getting. A good employee never says, “I’m leaving because the new company’s paying me 15% more to do the same thing I’m doing here.” Instead, they say, “Hey, in the new company, I get to be responsible for this. And I get to take some leadership over here. And I’m the one who’s going to lead this initiative. Oh, yeah, and they’re paying me 15% more.” Okay, it’s not about the money. It’s about what they’re becoming. The minute a good employee stops learning, they start looking. You really want your good people to have a career not just a job. And in most cases, employee evaluations are based on a model that’s predominantly looking backward to judge, labeling critique. A performance review is in the rearview mirror with 90% of your energy. So how do you keep your best people? You talk to them about the future. In turnover, the meaningful turnover will go down in a good system.

    A good system of employee evaluations will give you more people that are qualified that want to move up. First of all, they’ll help identify who even wants to. Not everybody wants to move up.

    Now, you need a lot of people who do want to move up to draw in our organization. But not everybody has to be that way. Nonetheless, it’s important to figure out who they are and to help those people with a campaign and allow them to get where they really want to be.

  4. Do your employee evaluations hurt you or your company? A performance evaluation system should not be used against you. There’s a profound secret about minimizing legal exposure. It has very little to do with what you stick in the file. The secret to minimizing legal exposure is to curb righteous indignation. The people who sue you are angry. They are hurt. They’re surprised. They’re embarrassed. Because of that anger and hurt, they want you to hurt.When talking directly to somebody about bad employees managers tend to be kind of pithy and honest, straightforward, direct. It’s the exact opposite of that on most of these forms. And that’s what comes back to haunt us.

    So if you can learn to say to somebody’s face the kind of thing you’d say about them behind their back, you will minimize legal exposure by curbing righteous indignation. These things are the Holy Grail for a performance evaluation system.

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