Employee evaluation or appraisal is a primitive administrative art that is considered by many to be a dirty job, as it involves one person judging another, which always leaves a sense of dissatisfaction and a doubt whether it is a foolproof method. However, it is done by each and every company, big and small, as it is essential for the growth of the company. In some companies, it is documented as a proper appraisal system; whereas, in others it is done informally.
The evaluation systems should be designed in such a way that they lessen any bias on employees. There is no one method that is better than another and it all depends on individual organizational setting. A method most suitable for one may spell disaster to another.
Reason for Evaluation
There are several reasons why employee evaluation is done. It is done to see if an employee deserves a change in position or compensation, to determine if an employee is performing well during training, to see if an employee needs to be terminated or just as part of a continuous research on personnel that many companies conduct.
Who is evaluating?
The next step is to determine who is going to perform this evaluation on a regular basis. This is based on the kind of information that is sought and it may involve one or more people. It is also a good idea to have the customers and co-workers provide evaluation, as well as the employees themselves evaluating their performance. This way all angles are taken care of and the evaluation is bound to be more comprehensive.
Methods Of Evaluation
A comprehensive evaluation includes one that focuses on the employees’ traits, behavior and results; although some organizations focus on any one or two of these traits.
Trait-focused: In an evaluation system where the focus is on the traits of the employee; the punctuality, discipline, helpfulness and dependability among other traits are looked at. Many experts are of the opinion that this is a very biased evaluation related to circumstances. It has also been found that the accuracy of this type of evaluation is low and it is advised that this form of evaluation be used to supplement other types of evaluation.
Behavior-focused: This entails focusing on the behavior of the employees. This actually entails looking at what each employee does, whether an employee is performing in an appropriate manner in the company or if any inappropriate behavior is noted. This trait is rated from poor to excellent on the rating scale. It shows in which areas an employee excels and the areas they will have to work on.
Result-focused: The last but the best form of evaluation is the one that focuses on the performance of an employee. It shows what each employee has accomplished in their jobs. This is the most commonly used employee evaluation tool that helps in gauging the employees’ contribution to the company. It entails evaluating the quantity of work done, quality of work done, attendance and employee safety. Towards this end, production reports are created on a daily basis and the evaluation, whether it is monthly or quarterly or yearly is based on facts and figures from these reports. The safety incident reports, safety evaluation reports, quality reports and attendance reports are checked. In many companies, interviews with the employee’s supervisor, co-workers, customers as well as the employees themselves are conducted.
Informing The Employees
Once the employee evaluation system is in place, employees should be intimated as to the way they are going to be evaluated. There should be no surprises in store for them and they should know everything the management is planning. This encourages employees to show better results, which is what any company should be looking at. If some employee fails to live up to the mark in spite of having been told about the evaluation, the employer has a legal right to terminate or take disciplinary measures.
The Actual Employee Evaluation
Once the employees are informed, the next thing to do is to put the system into practice. Employee evaluation cannot be a quick process. It is a continuous process and the results taken either every month, 3 months, 6 months or yearly depending on the company. This evaluation helps with any administrative decisions, such as hiring, promotion, rises and firing.
These evaluation reports should consist of both positive and negative aspects of an employee’s performance and critical incidents involving the employees should be logged separately.
Discussing the evaluation
This is done with the employees themselves and they should be given a clear picture of their performance and some companies even give a small evaluation report to the employees. They even have a self-appraisal form that the employee fills up, which may reveal crucial points from the employee’s perspective that the management may have not noticed.
As long as the evaluation reports do not contain remarks, such as “She is God’s gift to the company and the company survive without her” or “He has fallen so low with his performance, he is digging his own grave,” employee evaluation helps a company improve by having good reliable employees as well as maintaining a good employer-employee relationship.