Sunday, June 26, 2011

5 Things to Make Your Performance Appraisals Rock!

Now more than ever performance metrics are becoming more and more visible. As companies demand high performance from their talent, performance metrics are critically important in determining who is performing and who is not. The recession has forced managers to get every ounce of efficiency from their staff as budgets were tightened and slashed.

Pre-recession we viewed performance management as the "necessary evil." Now, we are needing to rely on performance data but we are discovering that the data may not be valid and reliable. Often times, we are using the same appraisals that we used five or ten years ago. Employees have a huge need for feedback especially Gen X'ers and Y'ers. With managers needing performance data and employees needing feedback, it just makes sense to make sure the performance process is updated and improved.

Here are 5 suggestions to make your appraisals rock:

1. Identify your organizational competencies that are critical for your success. This process is relatively easy by collecting data on what knowledge, skills and talents are needed to drive your organizational strategy forward. Include these competencies in your appraisals.

2. Make sure job responsibilities that are rated are relevant to the jobs being rated. Sometimes this means creating multiple appraisals for different job families. With talent management systems, this process is relatively easy. Employees need to see the linkage between their job and how they are rated.

3. Include a goals/objectives section that can be weighted accordingly. Goals are critical to strategic execution and without a tracking mechanism STRATEGY will fail. Yes, I said Many times strategy stalls at the top of the organization because all employees do not know what their role is. By cascading goals all the way down, you can track and make course corrections as necessary.

4. Train managers on giving feedback and rating scales. Make sure managers understand the rating scale. In other words, what does a "5" look like? What are the behaviors associated with a "5" performer? We call these calibration sessions. Also, not all managers are great at feedback especially when its not positive feedback. Training managers on how to coach, mentor, and give job related feedback is critically important in making the process effective. I believe managers are critical in the process...they can make it, or break it.

5. Automate your process. With so many talent management systems available today, it is relatively inexpensive to automate the process. By making it less paper intensive and more about "performance conversations" the better the impact.

Those are my five, now tell me yours...
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