An Invaluable Tool:
Employee performance evaluation is an indispensable tool for the success of a business and its workforce. The human resources team, therefore, becomes a critical ‘player’ in ensuring that not only are work evaluations conducted regularly, but also effectively enough, to serve the purpose of development for all involved. Irrespective of the methods and tools, the HR team deploys for employee performance evaluation – the knowledge, and experience derived from the exercise would help to enhance the process of recruitment. In addition, this would enable the HR team to improve the evaluation process in a way that it has a measurable impact on the company’s performance.
Regular Evaluation of Work Performance is Necessary
To maintain a high standard and robustness in work performance, regular feedback, post work performance evaluation is a necessity. Employees must know the level at which they would be performing based on the assessment of their supervisor. This in turn enables them to understand the overall effect their job role has on the performance of the company. Through regular evaluation and feedback, employees would have an opportunity to enhance their strengths and correct any gaps in performance. From the evaluator perspective, such work performance evaluations help in several ways with regard to human resource decisions:
- Helps to rationalize and validate recommendations of promotions, high-profile projects, and even terminations
- Enables the identification of training needs and skill gaps
- Provides employees with a clear and unbiased view of their work performance
- Helps to determine salary adjustments – increments, added benefits, or no increase
Current Employee Performance Evaluation Methods and HR Involvement:
1. Most companies conduct performance appraisals today. It is one of the formalized, structured, and planned systems, which allows managers and leadership to tangible measure job performance. The employee performance should match the KPIs for a particular role, and the overall objectives of the company. Performance appraisal systems usually entail a rating scale, which allows employees to know their exact work standards. The whole process is objective since it follows methods, has standardized forms, and procedures for evaluation.
Usually, the immediate supervisor of an employee conducts the evaluation process, in a standard appraisal process. However, a member of the HR team could be present too.
2. Another and one of the more detailed employee performance evaluation methods is the 360-degree feedback. This form of appraisal takes feedback from all those the employee would be in contact with daily for work related activities. It provides an all-round evaluation of the employee especially if there are big teams and quality programs running in the company. The HR teams, in conjunction with the immediate supervisor of the employee, usually run this exercise.
3. In many cases, an employee’s performance and behaviour both may be questionable, and hence such appraisals need the presence of an HR Team member. The HR representative would have the responsibility of showing the employee how their behaviour opposes company policy and culture. This eliminates the possibility of the role of any biases the immediate supervisor may have against the employee. Ensuring the HR representative’s presence keeps the evaluation objective and allows the employee to speak freely.
4. In situations where the evaluation could turn ‘ugly’ and particularly negative, the presence of any HR representative becomes critical. While in some cases, negative reviews could potentially lead to lawsuits against the company, the HR person would need to cover the company’s cause. In other situations, there may be sufficient grounds for termination, and it is necessary to undertake this action in the presence of the HR representative.
5. The HR team, whether present or not, could use the information collected during evaluations to enhance employee policies and company processes. Using talent and feedback management software is another method of collating and securing the information. By using the data, HR managers are able to make well-informed decisions for the company, and for individual employees. Identifying high-potential employees, managing skill gaps, and understanding development needs becomes a lot easier. Several such tools are available in the market today.
6. One of the best ways to ensure top quality work evaluations is coaching and mentoring of the supervisors who would conduct the evaluations. This would be the task of the HR team – providing such support will ensure that supervisors become more confident and objective in their approach. The HR team members should ensure their availability and must be approachable such that every employee would feel comfortable sharing their issues with them.
7. Another critical role of HR managers in the employee performance evaluation would be to constantly review and upgrade the process. This is possible only when they remain aware of the industry benchmarks, current trends, regulations, and the current state of their own company. The members of the HR team must enforce the compliance of the evaluation process, including completion of forms, scorecards, and evaluation reports. They must also be willing to listen, take feedback, and use the feedback to improve their own competency and that of the company as a whole.
There is agreement that the immediate supervisor would be the best judge of the performance of her or his team members. However, the HR team essays a critical role during the evaluation of work performance, and it is necessary to understand and respect their role. The HR team has very specific objectives and job responsibilities and ensuring fair and unbiased work evaluation is one of the most important. Employee Performance Evaluation methods must change and evolve based on market conditions and the composition of the workforce within the company.