Working in Human Resource Management requires a peculiar discipline. We learn to identify the entire workforce which makes up our organization as “human capital,” yet we must always see each individual as just that – an individual. While the policies and systems we work within remain fairly constant, the people we manage change day by day (and, it often seems, minute by minute).
Industrial and Organizational Psychology :
The primary way for Human Resource Managers to perform employee evaluations more effectively, and to make themselves more valuable, is to gain a working knowledge of industrial and organizational psychology (I–O psychology). I–O psychology is the objective scientific examination of human behavior, specific to conduct and attitude in the workplace.
This field of study also applies the theories and principles of human psychology to the organizations which we – both HR professionals and the labor pool – work within.
Because IO relies largely on the tenets of psychology’s Scientist-Practitioner Model, it emphasizes twin disciplines:
- Experimental and observational analysis influence real-world interactions, while
- Those real-world interactions simultaneously influence future fact-finding investigations
In that way, psychological field work and empirical methodology work in tandem, improving and distilling the HR professional’s ability to see what’s behind the facade of each employee he or she evaluates. And it’s down there, way beneath the surface, that root causes can be identified.
Self Sabotage; Risks and Ricochets :
Self-sabotaging behavior involves the deliberate (albeit usually unconscious) creation of problems; issues that can, in the end, interfere with performance and goal-realization.
Subtlety is usually the key to identifying potentially self-sabotaging conduct or attitude. If a line worker physically assaults a supervisor, sure that’s self-sabotage – there’s every likelihood dismissal will be followed by a criminal prosecution. Such events are, happily, the exception rather than the rule. Self-sabotage more often evidences in behavior such as procrastination, or rapid and unhealthy weight gains caused by comfort eating.
These are easy presentations to underestimate, but they can be pointers toward problems which may well, eventually, undermine the employee’s effectiveness. That, in turn, can negatively impact overall corporate performance.
Individuals are often unaware of their own self-sabotage, and effects may not present immediately. Consequences, conversely, can begin to accrue as soon as the self-sabotage begins, so prompt attention to any perceived “symptom” is imperative.
The Importance of Feedback and Evaluations
Before implementing your employee feedback and evaluation program, it’s important to know exactly why your business needs the program. Every company has unique needs, but the benefits of performance evaluations apply to nearly every company.
- Improve communication within the company and keep all levels on the same page with procedures. When a program is planned well, every person involved will know what factors are being evaluation, how they will be evaluation, and when.
- A strong program establishes companywide standards. Regularly scheduled evaluations prevent anyone from falling between the cracks.
- Positive feedback, including the use of positive language and incentives, can help to boost employee morale.
- Examining the areas in which employees are thriving and struggling will provide insight about where additional training may be needed.
- Setting expectations, monitoring and evaluation performance, offering helpful feedback, and providing training will come together to improve companywide productivity.
Performing Employee Evaluations
While you’ll want to customize your program based on the needs of your company, there are several basic factors that will make up your employee performance appraisal.
- Strengths: Look for the specific areas where the employee really stands out. When performing their day to day responsibilities, where do they excel? On what tasks do they go above and beyond what is expected of them? Take note of each of these strengths.
- Weaknesses: Find the areas where the employee can or should improve. In what areas is he or she underperforming? Are any job responsibilities being neglected? Note these areas as well, as they will provide insight as to where the employee may need additional training or assistance.
- Reaching Goals: Has the employee reached the identified goals? Has productivity increased since his or her last review? Start with evaluation basic goals of the job, then identify specific goals that should be reached for his or her next evaluation.
- Recommendations: Summarize the evaluation by offering recommendations of areas that could be improved. Establish new goals for the next period and offer insight as to how those goals could be met. Keep recommendations positive.
Following Up and Assessing Your Program
Even a great employee feedback program will have a few kinks that will need to be worked out. As time goes on, there will be some areas that will need to be tweaked in order to make the program smooth for the reviewers, less stressful for employees, and beneficial for the company.
After each yearly evaluation, take the time to evaluate the program itself. Again, take questions, concerns, and suggestions into consideration. Determine if there are specific areas that could be improved, added, or taken out of the process. Each year, you’ll have a more refined and effective program.
This article has been submitted by the team at Grapevine Evaluations. Grapevine is a web based tool designed for HR departments to easily create, manage and distribute online 360 employee evaluations for any sized organization.