Performance Evaluation or Performance Appraisal efficiency
November 8, 2009 at 2:46 am #85058
What criteria do you consider more efficient to be used in the performance appraisal or performance evaluation: a) the use of numbers from 1-5 or b) the use of a new concept: Yes or No employee meet expectations. What you are using and why? All your ideas will help me to discuss this possible change in my department. I disagree with the idea but an attorney recommend us to consider letter b) is the “ideal.” What do you think? For me the letter a) is subjective but the letter b) is more subjective.
November 8, 2009 at 5:14 pm #85070
Kimberlyn J BauhsParticipant
I started my Federal career (after 17 years of public service in other sectors) with an agency that used a pass-fail system – basically the equivalent of what is proposed by your “yes or no” concept, although they used “acceptable” or “unacceptable” to describe one’s performance. At first, I found the rating process to be demoralizing. It didn’t matter how hard I worked or what I accomplished, I could never receive anything other than an “acceptable” rating (although I believe they may have accounted for differences in performance by providing different performance award amounts). I think some supervisors prefer these systems because they are easier for them to administer. However, I believe many top performers resent them because they provide only minimal accountabilty for performance.
My preference is for a multi-level system, but you need to ensure that expectations are clearly communicated and conversations with employees occur regularly – not just a mid-year or the end of the year. Those two elements really are the key to making the system work. A lot of performance management changes focus on the form, the rating scale, etc., but those mechanics aren’t the things that make the difference. Train your managers how to have meaningful conversations with your employees and you’ll make some real, lasting progress.
November 8, 2009 at 5:51 pm #85068
Thank you Kimberly for your fast and accurate answer. I had been in the HR field for the past 20 years working in the State and local government, corporation level and now in the nonprofit sector. I agree 100% with you about the pass-fail system. It is a cruel process that does not allow the good performer to receive a fair evaluation. We cannot ignore it is a subjective decision that can be affected by your daily emotions as a supervisor.
In my humble opinion I consider the multi-level system is the right one considering that the high level priority of the supervisor is to have a clear communication with his/her staff in order they know the department and supervisor’s expectations during the year not at the time the annual performance evaluation has to be done.
The HR department in any place, government, private sector or nonprofit has to enforce the supervisors give a quaterly evaluation their staff in order to have the proper documentations at the end of the year. Three evaluations per year has the right information a supervisor needs to know to make a fair annual review.
Thank you very much for your thoughts and comments. It is a big help for me because I was sure that the multi-level system is the right one but unfortunately as a human being sometimes others ideas create a doubt in your own experience and knowledge especially if those are recommended by an attorney. Have a great weekend!
November 9, 2009 at 2:42 pm #85066
In the General Services Administration we have actually used both for all our employees (union and non-union). About 5 years ago we went from a five-tier program to Pass/Fail and have gone back to a five-tier system.
The justification for the Pass/Fail system was that it would improve the idialogue between manager and employee during the annual performance appraisal process. However, the union (and I assume employees) did not like it because they no longer got annual performance awards tied to their ratings. (At that time, awards to tied to specific events). Also, the Pass was equivalent to a rating of 3 on a five-tier system, so it was difficult to compare employee performance across the Federal government for things like promotions and job applications. Personally, I was never sure (based on my rating) if my manager thought I was just getting by or performing to the level of excellence I aspire.
The five-tier system gives a quantifyable measure of performance, but always seems to become too “political”. I work in the Payroll office, part of the Office of the CFO, and for use all ratings of 5 (top tier) must be approved by the CFO, For me, that is four levels of management above my position. However, I think that the five-tier system causes managers to keep better records and to be more thoughtful in their performance appraisals since they have to justify their ratings.
So, on balance, I think the five-tier process is a better method of rating in the imperfect world of performance ratings.
I hope this feedback helps.
Payroll Policy Accountant
November 9, 2009 at 3:52 pm #85064
The standard Likert scale (1-5) is standard because it has been found to be very effective. There is a huge amount of literature supporting these sorts of scale to elicit ratings. The yes or no scale puts everyone on the same footing – all the yes become the same and all the no as well. There is some concern about a middle point. Some scales start at 0 as the negative and then 1-5 are different degrees of positive.
Personally I like the middle to be neutral (e.g. just met) and then to have two degree of negative and two degrees of positive(e.g. 1= significantly below expectations, 2 = below expectation 3 = met expectations 4 = above expectations 5 = significantly above expectations). It’s been quite awhile since I did any real social science research, but I did spend 10 years developing survey and other sorts of social science research. Every one is familiar with ‘Olympic’ style rating – either out of a five point or ten point scale. But the issue to me is to ensure a true mid point with equal degrees of position and negative. The Yes-No rating leave no sense of whether improvement is posible (unless the it’s no I suppose) or how much improvement is possible, nor does it really allow comparisons between adequate, or good or truly excellent performers
November 10, 2009 at 3:45 am #85062
Thank you John for your comments and the resources you provided me. I continue thinking that the five tier program is the best because it allow the supervisor to analyze the employee’s performance in a big scope. I feel the Pass/Fail is a bad resource. Employees who work hard (100%) receive the same pass than those who worked only 70%).
Once again, thank you!
November 10, 2009 at 3:51 am #85060
Thank you Mike. Your are right. As an employee I would like to know if my supervisor consider my annual performance in the high level or if I need some improvement. The five-tier system help the employee and also, it is a big tool for supervisors if they learn how to use it.
Great comments. Sure, your feedback is a big help for me because I am going to use all those comments to support my idea. Have a great day!
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.