Whenever its appraisal season, and whether you are an employee or an employer, chances are that at some point in your career you have wondered and sought to rethink and re-imagine the performance management system employed in your organization. You’re not alone in this regard, and certainly not wrong. One also often wonders if performance appraisals are something that is driven by the organisation or by the manager appointed by the organisation.
The Ideal Appraisal Structure. What’s that?
The most commonly employed performance reviews run the risk of being acutely subjective and often depend largely on varied subjective elements like the perception of the reviewer, memory (of primarily recent events) and personal opinions and even mandates that flow top down. Under these performance reviews, different reviewers are likely to view the same set of traits, events and actions differently and accordingly provide different feedback. And if you operate with a 360 degree appraisal model, chances are that your appraisal review also depends on how receptive your boss is to the feedback you are giving back. Subsequently, the absence of a comprehensive, well-structured performance management system poses a doubt as to whether the feedback the employees do receive is truly constructive and more importantly, indicative of how it can be converted into desired performance.
Thus, the need to do away with the subjectivity in traditional performance review by providing them with a proper, fundamental structure that does the job of representing the priorities of the organization at large rather than those of the individual reviewer. Having said that, we must also consider the fact that since each organization functions under different priorities, there can be no one unified structure applied to govern performance appraisal systems everywhere.
So, what exactly would constitute the ideal performance management structure?
Concerns and questions along similar lines have already been expressed and pondered over by organizations worldwide, and remarkably, they have found the answers to them in the simplest of places: their own company values.
The True ‘Value’ of a Workforce
In a world where competition is rife and functions end up running along similar lines, it is the core values of your organization that become your differentiator. The values that your organization stands for serve the purpose of not only becoming an essential element of your public identity but the very framework upon which your entire organization is built, structured and evolves. It is but a natural conclusion that your company’s values should readily serve as the ideal aforementioned structure needed to effectively analyze employee performance. After all, more than placing faith and standing for certain values, what matters most is how your organization succeeds in ‘living’ the promised values it believes in. Besides this, employee recognition ideas and programs should also be taken into account when showcasing the performance reviews. Take another step to further express your appreciation of the hard work and effort put in by an employee.
An organization lives its core values through the carrying out of regular processes and functions, the resolution of the daily dilemmas and the making of the important decisions by each and every one of its employees. A value-based appraisal system that upholds this belief by guiding and supporting the employees of an organization in the process of translating the organization’s values into everyday actions, decisions and behaviours, serves as the ideal performance management tool, resulting in a more unified workforce heading towards the same well-defined goals. If using the 360 degree appraisal system, there’s a possibility of employees taking advantage of being anonymous and heavily criticizing their peers based on one particular incident.
If you find that the idea has piqued your interest and you are considering transitioning from the traditional appraisal system at your organization to a values-based system, here are some things to keep in mind. As it goes with the most fulfilling of tasks, getting the most out of your transition to a values-based performance management system would require its own share of groundwork before it can be effectively implemented.
Firstly and most importantly, you must ensure that your organization has been successful in communicating each and every one of its core values to your employees. Every manger should be able to handle people management as part of their job. Inspiring, training, motivating and encouraging the employees are some of the main attributes of people management a manager should operate on. Certain companies define their values on the strict basis of the work ethic that their founders believed in, while others give a definition to their values as their work culture develops organically over time. Look around: Innovation is different for different people and so is something as generic as Integrity. Some seek to define their company values on the basis of who they have discovered themselves to be at present, while others define their values on who they wish to evolve into in the future. Whichever be the case what matters is that your employees are informed, reminded and encouraged to discover the unique set of values that form the foundation of your company.
However, it is not enough to merely outline and objectively communicate your company’s values to the employees. In order to understand how these values come into play at everyday work dealings, it is important to translate these values into relevant, specific behaviours. Since the different departments in your organization place their priorities on different values and skill sets, the expected.