When Performance Evaluation Systems Fail, It’s A Matter Of Implementation

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Employees are the heart and soul of any firm aspiring for success, and while team cooperation and collaborative efforts offer their fair share in accomplishing this goal, the individual performance of each employee is just as crucial for any company that dreams of growing. As a result, in pushing for further success in their respective industries, a vital component of the organizational architecture meant to promote and nurture talent known as performance evaluation systems are used worldwide.

However, one common problem that these same companies run into time and time again is the mismanagement of said performance evaluation systems, causing the opposite effect of wringing employees dry of motivation and leading them toward a downward spiral. And so, today, to help shed light on this rampant issue, we will be going over how organizations mistakenly create these unproductive systems and what you can do to address them head-on.

It’s Not The System Itself, But How You Go About The Process

Performance evaluation systems are effective measures at encouraging employees to increase work productivity and overall output, but when these very same systems begin to fail, the fault most often lies in how you go about their implementation. Two organizations can employ the exact same performance to compensation programs and experience varied results because Company A took a more direct and involved approach as to Company B utilizing a more lax and inefficient stance.

  • Constructive Feedback Versus Destructive Criticism: Firstly, a common denominator that often leads to ineffective performance reviews is when management provides destructive criticism instead of constructive feedback. You want your employees to improve upon their shortcomings and drawbacks, but if you paint their mistakes in such a negative light without anything that can help them improve, then don’t expect any form of career growth to occur.
  • Imbalance of Incentives And Unhealthy Competition: Secondly, the business culture surrounding incentives, compensations, and their associated performance results are also culprits of discouraging employees from career growth and development. A quick history lesson on the rise and fall of Enron will reveal how their super competitive performance evaluation systems had workers coming in and out at a record pace. And while it did keep people on their toes, this inevitably worked against the company in the end.
  • General Advice With Zero Follow-Up: Lastly, the quality of advice provided to employees during a performance review will also determine how much they are able to improve. And, as expected, when management provides general advice and offers zero follow-ups to monitor the progress of an employee, little to no change will occur and sometimes even cause overall performance to worsen.

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Change Perspectives; Think Long-Term Growth And Development

Given the reasons mentioned above, we recommend that management partakes in a change of perspective, focusing more on the future and basing their efforts on the long-term growth and development of their employees. Much like any other business process, we must not approach them halfheartedly and always proceed with proper planning, specific objectives in mind, and the necessary resources to support the movement.

  • Objective Pointers And Actionable Feedback: Good feedback is characterized as actionable and objective, so when providing advice to your employees during a performance review, anchor your evaluation on specific aspects of their job, how you want them to improve, and lay out the steps one should take first. In doing so, this will improve overall employee engagement as they have an attainable goal to work towards, guaranteeing that progress will be made when the next performance evaluation happens.
  • Provide Venues For Skills Training And Career Advancement: Performance evaluation systems shouldn’t start and end at numbers and criteria; you want it to be comprehensive and immersive, wherein management also provides the venue for skills training and career advancement. For example, you could opt to partner underperforming team members with your top-notchers so that they can observe the standard they should uphold directly or consider hosting webinars with voluntary attendance.
  • Make These Performance Reviews More Frequent: Last but not least, we strongly suggest that performance reviews and evaluations should be done more frequently to the tune of quarterly schedules with monthly follow-ups. Longer deviations from one evaluation to the next are subject to a lot of nuances that might skew previously established data, meaning that it’s not only more effective but more accurate to increase the frequency of evaluations.

The Heart And Lifeline Of A Successful Organization

Overall, there’s no denying that the employees serve as the heart and lifeline of a successful organization, and their accumulated performance and productivity will determine which way the wind blows during these uncertain times governed by fears of Covid-19. And with that said, we urge all enterprises and firms to take a rain check with their current performance evaluation systems because it might just be the key to unlocking your company’s full potential.

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