Lighten the Employee Evaluation Load

Apr 29, 2014

Performance ReviewManagers and employees often dread annual assessments. But the process doesn’t have to be so difficult for everyone involved. Here are some options that might help give your organization’s entire staff a break and make the chore easier and more beneficial.

If evaluations are done near the anniversary of the date each person was hired, it can be a never-ending process. As a result, managers sometimes take shortcuts and overlook strengths, weaknesses and accomplishments that are critical to an employee’s future.

There’s another approach that might work better for your company. Instead of scrambling to prepare evaluations for the anniversary of each employee’s hire date, consider evaluating all your employees at the same time every year.

The advantages:

  • The appraisal process becomes an annual, high-priority project instead of a task that’s squeezed into a long list of duties. You can schedule research and preparation time for managers, just as you do with other important projects throughout the year.
  • You can manage the company budget better because pay raises that accompany appraisals occur at the same time.
  • With sufficient time to assess all subordinates at once, managers might be more likely to consider an entire year’s performance and less likely to be swayed by recent events.
  • Managers can give equal consideration to all staff members instead of concentrating on problem performers or standouts, who often receive an undue share of attention.

Evaluating employees at one time is certainly labor intensive. And you have to tailor appraisals for those who join the firm just before the evaluation period.

But in the end, you might wind up with better appraisals, a more satisfied workforce and better cash management.

Keep in mind: Employee evaluations should also measure the performance of your company. Suppose a large percentage of your employees are getting high scores in their evaluations. Presumably, your bottom line should be increasing. If not, it might be time to take a second look at your management philosophy, not to mention your performance appraisal methods.

Staff performance is the key to productivity and profits. Analyze employee evaluations and compare the analysis against your bottom line. This alerts you to trends, weaknesses and blind spots in your organization. It’s a good way to ensure that the staff and the company are moving in the same direction — up.

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