It’s a common saying we have all heard, ‘you are what you measure’. And if you are someone who has been bestowed with the huge responsibility of measuring the performances of your employees and giving them performance appraisals, then this was totally meant for you! Well of course, it isn’t only about what you measure but also how and why you do it. Measuring employee performance is not only a regular job to do once a year. If done correctly, it should be something that affects and impacts the growth, development and prospect of the entire organization. Leadership and team building programs will definitely help the employees reach their required target. But there needs to be some principles based on which their performances are put up on the weighing machine!
Here are 5 principles that top organizations abide by to measure the performance of their employees.
- Managing by objective (MBO)
In this process, a clearly defined objective and company goal is designed for the employees. It gives them a clear understanding of what’s expected and how they can work to achieve the target. These objectives can be oriented to individual roles or of the company as a whole. In this case, employees’ performances are often measured based on what percentage of their target they achieved each year. Since employees and managers work together in determining these objectives, so the key to establishing a strong MBO is to get the employees involved in determining the factors that will lead to their own assessment. MBOs often define goals and responsibilities of a leadership group, so developing leadership and team building programs is an essential part of this.
- 360-degree feedback
It is a well-known system that measures the performance of an employee based on the opinions, feedbacks and assessments given by the people they work with. This includes both co-workers and the management and requires consideration of all feedbacks regardless of the source. This process is also particularly important in assessing the performance of managerial roles based on feedbacks by employees. But it is essential for HR leaders to develop training modules for employees and managers on how to provide objective feedbacks regarding colleagues. Because without training they may not understand the crucial aspects of 360-degree feedback.
Self-evaluation is another important principle for measuring employee performance that can be very effective and insightful. This can be done by asking them to fill out forms containing questions specific to their job roles, behavior, punctuality and other details. Asking employees to evaluate their own performance may often reveal that they are more critical of their performance than the mangers themselves. Managers often take into account the employees’ ability to self-assess. Comparing their own assessments with that done by their supervisors can help bring out similarities and discrepancies in the result. It can also lead to better understanding of each other and make way for discussions that are helpful for both sides.
- Performance standards
The basis to performance management is determining clear performance standards. The assessments are done based on how well an employee works to meet or exceed the performance standards set by their employers. Let’s understand with an example. Suppose in a sales job the optimum performance standard set for sales executives is 80% employee satisfaction. Now if an employee meets this performance standard every month, he may be given performance appraisal indicating that the employers’ requirements are met. But if another employee surpasses this standard and reaches 95% employee satisfaction, then that person should receive a superior level of assessment. On the other hand, if an employee does not meet the set performance standard, then that should reflect in their performance measurement too. If performance standards are not set, then any performance assessment becomes arbitrary.
- Leadership training
HR leaders should recognize the value of effective leadership in managing employees’ performance. Hence there is a need to develop leadership and team building programs trainings for supervisors who have been newly promoted to that role and also to the existing managers. Such training programs define principles based on which supervisors can assess those working under them. Such leadership training programs on performance management principles include how to conduct annual appraisal meetings. It is also equally important to provide training that emphasizes on how employees benefit from regular, continuous feedback from supervisors.