Happy New Year, readers! It’s a good time to reflect on your accomplishments of 2014.
How close are you now to where you thought you’d be on January 1, 2014?
- How pleased are you (and your hiring managers) with the people you’ve added to the staff?
How about the employees you’ve lost? Were they the ones you’re glad to be rid of or the ones you most needed to keep?
- How about your talent management programs?
There’s certainly a long list of challenges, not the least of which is the performance appraisal process for employees. Here’s some guidance for your 2015 program.
Give the Appraisal the Respect It Warrants
Anyone who does performance appraisals knows that there are 101 ways that they might not function as they should. One of those ways is when the managers and employees don’t take the process seriously.
The review process is there to incentivize, to provide an opportunity for feedback, to help the organization achieve its goals, and to assist in employee development by discussing individual goals and future planning. These are all serious goals and require everyone to give them the attention they deserve. If the managers and supervisors don’t treat the performance appraisal process as a sincere and important aspect of employee development, then the employees will not have incentive to work toward their stated goals. The whole process falls apart.
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Problems Caused When Performance Appraisals Are Not Treated Seriously
Managers and supervisors may complain that the performance appraisal process is time-consuming and takes them away from their day-to-day tasks. However, they need to understand that employee development is an integral part of being a manager. The performance appraisal process is one key aspect of employee development and is crucial to maintaining engagement among the workforce. When employees understand expectations and know where they stand, they’re much more likely to be satisfied on the job.
Unfortunately, however, when the appraisals are put off and not given adequate time and attention, these multiple problems, among others, can occur:
- Inaccuracies. When little thought is put into the appraisal, it may be inaccurate.
- Dissatisfaction. When the manager or supervisor rates everyone the same (which is likely to occur if he or she does not put time and effort into the task), employees can quickly become dissatisfied by the lack of personal feedback.
- Missed opportunities to address concerns. A performance appraisal is a great opportunity to have discussions about employee concerns—but only if it’s taken seriously.
- Letting poor behaviors or performance go unaddressed. When performance appraisals are not reflective of performance, this can mean that problem behaviors do not get addressed or resolved. Other employees may then get frustrated because these problems are not addressed, which can lead to lowering of employee morale.
- Good employees get frustrated. Some employees may feel they did not get the ratings they deserved and did not get credit for their hard work. Feeling unappreciated, they may even begin to look for another job. This can lead to losses of good employees and higher turnover rates.
- Economic harm for employees. If any portion of wages (or bonuses) is tied to employee performance ratings, the employees can suffer economic harm from inaccurate ratings.
- Missed employee development opportunities. Employees can miss out when they don’t receive input on how they can improve, and this hurts everyone.
- Legal trouble from lack of documentation. If an employee is having productivity or other problems that are not documented in the review process and that employee is later fired for cause, the lack of documentation could create legal troubles—it could make the termination appear unwarranted.
- Loss of incentive. If the review isn’t taken seriously by those conducting it, why should the employee care? Where is the incentive?
- Lost opportunity to build trust. Inaccurate or uncaring review sessions represent a lost opportunity to build trust and rapport between the supervisor and employee. This is also a lost opportunity to build morale.
Have you encountered this problem in your organization? How does your organization ensure that performance reviews are taken seriously by both managers and employees? What will you do in 2015 to improve performance management in your organization?
2015 is going to be a big year for HR. From performance appraisals to dealing with the C-suite to routine discipline and documentation, HR never sleeps. You need a go-to resource, and our editors recommend the “everything-HR-in-one” website, HR.BLR.com®. As an example of what you will find, here are some policy recommendations concerning e-mail, excerpted from a sample policy on the website:
- Privacy. The director of information services can override any individual password and, therefore, has access to all e-mail messages in order to ensure compliance with company policy. This means that employees do not have an expectation of privacy in their company e-mail or any other information stored or accessed on company computers.
- E-mail review. All e-mail is subject to review by management. Your use of the e-mail system grants consent to the review of any of the messages to or from you in the system in printed form or in any other medium.
- Solicitation. In line with our general policy, e-mail must not be used to solicit for outside business ventures, personal parties, social meetings, charities, membership in any organization, political causes, religious causes, or other matters not connected to the company’s business.
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What’s more, we’ll supply a free, downloadable copy of our special report, Critical HR Recordkeeping—From Hiring to Termination, just for looking at HR.BLR.com. If you’d like to try it at absolutely no cost or obligation to continue (and get the special report, no matter what you decide), go here.