“Performance Appraisals”.........PA’s for short. That phrase strikes fear in the hearts of Managers and Supervisors every year. Unfortunately, what they often forget about is the real value that PAs can have.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand how to most effectively utilize PAs. They really serve 2 purposes...One, to evaluate the employee’s performance during the past evaluation period and two, to set goals and objectives for the employee for the coming evaluation period, and the long-term future. First, let’s look at evaluating performance.
In order to evaluate performance, there should have been goals and objectives set at the beginning of the evaluation period. Those goals and objective normally focus around work projects, task completion, meeting/exceeding business objectives, and achieving company goals. Setting goals and objectives gives the employee targets to shoot for and achievement levels that are expected to be met. These goals and objectives can encompass the department-level right on up to the corporate level. And the establishment of these goals and objectives are typically tied directly to business performance. For example, a goal of increasing sales by 5% for sales associates is likely to be directly tied to the company goal of achieving a 5% sales growth. Makes sense.
By conducting PAs, you are able to assess whether those growth levels were achieved. Without PAs, it becomes difficult to tell exactly where the goals fell short. In a world focused on “Continual Improvement”, measuring achievement and assessing shortfalls are the prime concerns of business leaders.
The second purpose of PAs - and equally important, is to provide a tool to managers and supervisors for establishing personal and professional development objectives and goals for the employee. Employee development is critical to the long-term growth of business. Training and developing future leaders, being able to implement new technologies and business strategies, being able to move businesses into the future, all center around being able to have the right talent in the right place at the right time. By using the PA to identify the employee’s personal, professional, and technical development goals, businesses can ensure that they have the talent ready when it’s time to implement new technologies.
And this is not a factor of “Chance”. It’s a deliberate process to ensure that employees are “On Board” with the direction the organization is taking.
Performance Appraisal...............it’s more than just an employee “Report Card”.........It’s an employee’s “Road Map” to the future....