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Payal Sondhi

Payal Sondhi, Manager - Human Resources, SILA

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Performance Evaluation System for Startups

Do quarterly reviews in place of yearly reviews as in annual reviews it's difficult to keep a track of the employee’s performance in the preceding year. And a quarterly review process will also give all the employees a fair chance.

An evaluation process by definition means having a system that gives you a feedback on the performance of the employees as per the roleassigned to them, it’s asystematized way of evaluating your employee’s performance as per her/his job profile. It is important to understand the reason behind the organization’s need for performance evaluation process which may varydepending on the organization’s requirements and preferences.

So to begin with, the organization should define its long and short term goals and the goals/objectives for the team members should be derived from the same. To ensure that the evaluation process is effective – the goals/objectives should be SMART: Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & time-bound to ensure minimal prejudice in the process.The process should be concluded by measuring the impact that the employee’s performance has on the organization’s overall performance which will help in evaluating that whether the organization’s goals are being met in SMART manner or not.

But is setting up goals enough? This approach works in some scenarios like sales wherein the focus is on achieving the numbers which are easily quantifiable but it will fail in the case of an HR manager wherein the focus is more on behavioral part than the targets set. A right evaluation process should always be a mix of quantifiable & behavioral traits which will provide a holistic picture of an employee’s performance in the organizational set-up in the long run. Organizations at times tend to lose focus on the most critical stakeholder in this process i.e. the employee herself/himself.  Hence, a process of self-evaluation should be made a part of this process wherein employee is able to judge her/his performance during the given period. This will help in bringing clarity in the process and will also encourage communication between the team member and the manager.

The annual appraisals of an organization are connected to the evaluation process. This includes periodical rewards & recognition of an employee’s performance, identifying the gaps and bridging them with the required trainings and also recognizing the weak performers and taking necessary actions. Let’s look at few steps that would help with the Performance Evaluation Process:

Practice:

Create a different kind of practice where the reviewer keeps a word document/excel sheet to make a note of the employee’s performance. This can on a weekly or a monthly basis, so when the review is due, so the reviewer will have enough data to do an accurate evaluation. This will also help you address issues in case any on immediate basis.

Standard process:

Besides the word document/excel sheet, also keep a standard evaluation process. The process should be based on specific criteria irrespective of the gender, positions, etc. The criteria can be a sum of availability, behavior pattern, productivity, work quality, independence, dependability, creativity and others. Create a rating scale for this criteria.

Feedback:

Some companies implement a system where employees can give feedback in respect to their peers, reporting managers and also senior management. This will help in generating a single point of view and create an environment of transparency and trust in the organization.

Quarterly reviews:

Do quarterly reviews in place of yearly reviews as in annual reviews it's difficult to keep a track of the employee’s performance in the preceding year. And a quarterly review process will also give all the employees a fair chance.

Disciplinary system:

Have a disciplinary system in place which means post the performance evaluations and discussion on improvements to be made, if the employee still continues to perform poorly then they should be aware that a necessary action will be taken. This can initially be in a form of a verbal/written warning and incase of extreme situations in terms of termination.

To sum it all up, ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t work in the evaluation process as each organization is different and the purpose of conducting the processes is different as well. The need is to customize the process as per the skill-sets required to conduct the work, industry type, industry norms and behavioral traits required to conduct those jobs etc. A Performance Evaluation Process planned appropriately and implemented effectively will help bring development and growth in the organization and at the same time motivate your employees as they are assured that their role/contribution matters to the organization.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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