Looking for an easier and more effective way to evaluate the effectiveness of your staff and managers? Yearly performance reviews suck! We all know this and they do little to improve the work and relationship of managers and staff.

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When it comes to yearly employee evaluations or appraisal or whatever you call them, we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t…

I tend to side with W. Edwards Deming and point 3 of ‘The Seven Deadly Diseases of Management”:

Evaluation of performance, merit rating, or annual review… The idea of a merit rating is alluring. the sound of the words captivates the imagination: pay for what you get; get what you pay for; motivate people to do their best, for their own good.

The effect is exactly the opposite of what the words promise.

BUT companies still do them and employees and managers alike complain and request them.

I don’t pretend to be as knowledgeable as Dr. Deming and my attempt to ameliorate this has been to develop and implement coaching and development of the manager with the employee.

5 steps to a better employee appraisal process
  1. This year align your goals with your managers, and your staffs goals with your goals. Have a meeting with each of them and explain the context of your goals and your managers goals.
  2. Set between 2 to 4 shorter term monthly goals for each staff, that align with the organizational / departmental goals. Ideally 2 from you and they determine 2 themselves.
  3. Meet monthly with each staff to evaluate how well they are progressing on the monthly goals, and determine how they are doing and how you are doing as their managerCoach and offer value & resources as needed (this should take ~15 to 60 minutes)
  4. From these monthly meeting you now have the employee evaluation…take the data from the monthly goal checking and establishing meeting and compile it into quarterly, half-year, and yearly reports.
  5. This way it is not surprise to the employee or you – both know what is happening and the level of work completed.
Now What?

Changing the appraisal / evaluation period from once yearly to monthly allows you as the manager and the employee to work in shorter time, adjust and move together towards shared work goals. This way either one of you can adjust and improve your performance in a time-span that allows for improvement and feedback.

What do you think?

What works with employee appraisals / evaluations? Does you company have a system that works? Has your workplace abandoned the idea all together?

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image by 50 Watts