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Different Strokes for Different Folks - Customizing Performance Reviews for You
to be a valuable part of performance management, they have to mean something to the employee, manager and organization. Relevant measures help people understand expectations and plan accordingly.
But what happens when the expectations set are too vague?
People get frustrated. Vague competencies or goals are like telling an employee to “do better.” Do better than what? Do better how? Sure, there might be some general understanding of what “better” might mean, but without specifics, performance won’t follow.
For example, “do better” for a salesperson could mean win more deals. However, winning deals by, say, discounting the product or service not only reduces profitability, it makes it harder for the firm to maintain the value of the service. Other salespeople can’t sell at the set price if a salesperson is undercutting them. So yes, more deals were closed, but at what cost?
Customizing goals and competencies can make it much easier to encourage the behaviors that lead to improved performance. Using customizing features in your performance review systems makes the process more meaningful for everyone.
Here are three ways you can customize your performance reviews:
Change the language:
Your company might have its own lingo, so integrating that into your performance review system will help employees relate what they do each day with the appraisal’s measures. It can be as simple as swapping out “customer” with “patient” for hospital performance management, or you can translate all the competencies and goals into your company’s vocabulary. As you use an internal language to customize your company’s appraisal, make sure it’s still clear what’s being measured.
Define the goals:
Using specific goals helps employees stay on track with the company’s strategy. To make goals more meaningful, cascade goals down from the business’s strategy through employees at all levels. Help a line manager see just how his efforts will contribute to the business. Then take it a step further and ask that line manager how else he might contribute. He might have a new way to work with suppliers that you might never have known about. His own professional goals would then change a process or service, delivering even more value to the company.
Ask for clarity:
Competencies are often built into performance reviews to help measure employee effectiveness, but did anyone ask the employees if the competencies were clear? Competencies can sometimes become too general when leaders want only a few competencies that many employees can be measured against. “Effective communications” can mean something different to lots of people. In some cases, you’ll either need to add definitions to those competencies, or go ahead and make a few versions of the competency so it’s relevant.
Customizing competencies and goals can add work to the performance management process, but the work will be worthwhile. With specific and relevant measures, it’ll be easier to see how well employees are performing and link that to the performance of the business.
Fri, Feb 15, 2013 10:22 AM
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