At individual level, performance measurement through employee appraisals and reviews are very much used nowadays. The insights recommended are mostly addressed to managers and HR coordinators that assess periodic their employees’ performance, within a structured process such as performance appraisal.
1. Do periodic individual performance evaluations, through a structured system that is clearly explained to employees in advance. Communicate with all the employees the role and process of the performance appraisals, create the right expectations with regards to it.
If workers’ performance is only “reported back” annually, they can become suspicious and distrustful of the entire measurement and reporting system (Sashkin, 1981), rather than when having no performance appraisal at all. Having periodical performance evaluations, with constant feedback is highly important to increase employees motivation level.
2. Do establish and communicate performance standards for each employee. Make sure these are SMART targets, correlated to the work plan and responsibilities.
3. Do collect clear data related to employee’s performance and base individual performance evaluation on verifiable results and objective feedback. Quality feedback improves performance (Gillen, 1995).
4. Do conduct coherent and structured performance appraisal meetings, with a defined purpose, that have continuity and follow up in time. Adapt the appraisal discussion to each individual, focused on performance initiatives that the employee is accountable for (North Carolina Office of State Personnel, 2008). Within the meetings, establish targets together with the employee that he will be accountable for a period of time.
5. Do follow up on the evaluation meeting and monitor performance initiatives, in order to make sure that the employee is on the right direction with regards to the expected results. This offers the opportunity to offer support when situations require it.
1. Don’t compare employees’ performance one against others, but make a comparison between the performance results and the targets / standards agreed on. This way, employees will not compete with each other, but with the expected performance from them (North Carolina Office of State Personnel, 2008).
2. Don’t consider performance evaluation meetings the only opportunities to give feedback. Managers should give feedback to their subordinates each time it is the case, in order to improve performance.
3. Don’t do the performance appraisal on spot, without previous notice. A framework for performance evaluations is required in order to collect data about the performance results, analyse it, consider potential initiatives of improvements and formulate accurate feedback.
4. Don’t forget to integrate the employee’s performance results into a broader picture. Within performance review meetings or when setting target, explain a clear correlation between the individual performance with the organisational strategy. This way, each employee will know how his individual performance contributes to the organisation, creating a sense of belonging and dedication.
5. Don’t forget to complete a performance appraisal report, after each meeting, to make sure that information remains available in time. These reports are important in order to monitor performance progress over time for each employee. Have clear procedures for the evaluator, explaining clearly the responsibilities before, while and after the performance meeting (State Personnel Department, 2008) .
- Sashkin, M. (1981), Assesing Performance Appraisal, San Diego, California.
- Gillen, T. (1995), The appraisal discussion, The Cromwell Press, Trowbridge, Witshire.
- North Carolina Office of State Personnel (2008), Appraisal Do’s and don’ts, suggestions for supervisors and managers, available at: http://www.performancesolutions.nc.gov/motivationinitiatives/performancemgmt/Stage3/docs/AppraisalDosAndDonts.pdf (accessed 8 September 2010)
- State Personnel Department (2008), Performance Management Responsibilities and Procedures, available at: http://www.in.gov/spd/files/perf_management_procedure.pdf (accessed 8 September 2010)