An experience with evaluating employees have most organizations. The measurement is usually solved through a distribution of paper or electronic questionnaires which are handed to managers, who fill them in. Existing staff evaluation may become paradoxically, an obstacle in the process of transition to performance management. Why? Most managers consider evaluation of performance of employees an unnecessary wastage of time and energy. The main reason for it is that they do not see a clear connection between the assessment of individuals and the performance of the team or organizational department that bears managerial responsibility. The argument that the evaluation contributes to employee satisfaction, is not considered as justifying. They focus on results and time on getting results and the time and energy spent on staff appraisal is being minimized. What are the main differences between evaluation and performance management? Evaluation testifies on how and employee appealed his assessors in the previous year. Sometimes it also contains a proposal for rewards or recommendations for salary increase or career changes. Typical is the use of a paper form, which is distributed and collected by an employee of HR department. The rating is conducted less formally, the emphasis is on interview and besides, the filled paper is not related to an additional documentation. There is no connection of the evaluation of a performance of an employee with the performance of the organization, department or team – even though the organization has quantitative or qualitative targets. Assessment is based on soft criteria, relativizing scales. Manager is thus given the opportunity to tick one of the options as “met expectations”, “appropriate skills”, or “extra performance “, while it is up to him what these terms represents. This type of evaluation increases levels of stress as the evaluator as well as the evaluated one are conscious of the fact that they will be judged by the outcome of the evaluation, which is not necessarily objective, since it is not based onthoroughly sophisticated criteria. Other reason is that HR employees are under
a strong influence of the current mood of the evaluator. It is often not possible for both
stakeholders to foster an open evaluation interview as you would have imagined as a staff of HR department. The employee who receives annually and opportunity, tries to use the debate on its
career, remuneration and other topics. It can easily happen that these topics dominate during the interview, instead of focusing the debate on targets required for the next year, and their methods of measurement. The output can be a vague explanatory value. The output does not provide a comprehensive overview as the evaluation process based on paper or even on electronic forms remains “invisible” to virtually everyone outside the tandem of the assessed and his assessor.
Therefore, neither the director of the organization can easily discern which employee
meets the targets. Missing link to the planning process is another flaw of the evaluation. Manual
process of the performance evaluation based on “paper” does not provide the possibility of a functional interface for scheduling of systems in the organization. Whether it is the planning
of successors, planning of development of each specific employee and other related costs
or maintaining the reservoir of talent organization, outputs from these can hardly be related to the performance of the company (O’Connor, 2002). Managers and employees soon recognize that manual process of the evaluation is an inefficient way of performance evaluation. Manager can stop making evaluations because they know that nothing happens. Employees can realize that either whether evaluated or not nothing will change, losing confidence in the leadership and seeking an application elsewhere. Process performance management on the other hand enables managers to adjust targets related to employees to the overall objectives of the organization.
Employees may be valued by individual contributions to the organization’s overall performance.
Lower stress levels – more frequent communication between managers and employees helps
facilitate an agreement in setting goals and identify changes of parameters and priorities. The employee have more opportunities to interact and to influence objectives (Klie, 2010). Electronic performance evaluation has several advantages, in comparison to paper forms. The questions can be easily adjusted, increasing the explanatory power – setting goals in accordance with the needs of organizations, their reviews in changing circumstances, as well as more frequent evaluation meetings between managers and staff. A good performance evaluation system can be embedded in the management system. System reinforces the belief that the set objectives are relevant and that are feasible in a given period. Online availability of information is another plus. Saved information can save the historical data and compare the development of the situation from different perspectives. While managers work with digital information about their subordinates, members of the leadership teams have anytime an overview of all events and developments in the situation. Bulk edit functions of the questionnaires or readjustment aiming at changing external or internal conditions are reflected throughout organizations. Electronic performance management system can be included in the accounting systems, deepening accountability and
engagement as performance management system is normally equipped with monitoring tools
on immediate and overall status and progress level. The manager therefore can afford
not to ignore the objectives and development plans of their subordinates. The employee can be drawn into the evaluation process from the beginning, when him manager must obtain approval
set goals. An employee participates in planning, considers itself goals and meaningfulness
co-creating and own development plan. Such form of cooperation is beneficial for
the whole organization because employees better identify with set targets (Gaskell, 2007).
- O’Connor, T. J. (2002). Performance management via coaching: Good coaching can help guarantee profitable results and happy employees in an uncertain economy. Electrical Wholesaling, 83, 39(3)
- Gaskell, C. (2007, April). HR directors will gain if line managers take on coaching. Training & Coaching Today, 20
- Klie, S. (2010). Moving from managing to coaching, Canadian HR Reporter, 23, 16, 31.