Creating an effective performance appraisal system can help to improve productivity while also aiding in retaining your best employee’s. Too many times smart management teams over complicate processes thinking that the bigger the proverbial mousetrap the better the outcome. The problem with that theory is that the more complicated something is the chances of repeating the process drops dramatically until at one point it stops altogether.
Therefore, let’s talk about a performance appraisal system that is simple and effective. First, why do we even want to bother having an appraisal system at all? Surveys continue to show over and over again that the main reason an employee leaves a job isn’t for more money, but instead they didn’t feel appreciated. Human nature is a powerful thing and harnessing the power of it just makes sense.
The best and most effective performance systems start on the very first day of employment. The key is to ensure that each employee knows what is expected from the very beginning. This means that you should have a written position description that outlines the duties of the position. However, in addition to the position description you need a written list of expectations. As an example the position description may state that the employee is responsible for cleaning hotel rooms. On the other hand the written list of expectation may state that an employee is expected to clean a hotel room in thirty minutes with little to no errors.
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The best performance appraisal system will be one where the employee understands where they are throughout the entire rating period. There will be no question in their minds when you finally sit down and discuss their performance. In other words there will be no surprises. If the employee has not been performing to standard at any point during the year it is to everyone’s advantage to immediately inform the employee and attempt to correct the issue right then. Using our above example if the employee is not cleaning the rooms in an average of thirty minutes or less correctly you must determine the issue and retrain or correct it.
In order to have an effective appraisal system it must be objective and not subjective. Subjective rating systems cause more problems than they solve. It allows for favoritism which is a morale killer! The fastest way to create back biting in your organization is to have a performance system that is not based on performance that can be measured. Again, using the above example if an employee knows that they can clean rooms correctly in thirty minutes or less they know they are performing to standard. On the other hand if they are cleaning rooms on an average of twenty-five or even twenty minutes or less they are exceeding expectations.
Finally, the performance appraisal system should be explained to your employee’s so that they understand the rating system up front. This means that it should have the items that they will be rated on clearly defined. Remember we spoke about having the expectation in writing. The rating system will primarily mirror those expectations. As an example if you have a rating element called working safely define what this may be. It should be more than working all year without hurting themselves. It may be insuring that they wear the proper personal protective equipment or can identify lock out tag out procedures.
So to recap, you should have written position descriptions and communicate them, written expectations and communicate them, communicate the rating elements up front, correct any issues during the rating period, and finally make sure that your performance appraisal system is objective and not subjective.
Thank you and May God bless you!