Aug 1, 2017
It has been just recently that I have realized the importance of documenting employee performance throughout the performance review period and setting performance standards and expectations. I have been in HR and payroll management, consulting, and sales for the past 25+ years. Currently I work with performance management software in the development of the software and providing demonstrations and webinars on performance management. I have read books and articles and talked with HRmanagers about performance management and the importance of effective performance reviews. In doing so, I have come to the conclusion that I, as a manager of 15 employees several years back, did an injustice to my staff by the reviews that I gave them.
I was responsible for performing an annual review for each of my staff members. As everyone knows, HR and payroll departments are hectic, usually understaffed, and not the most important part of an organization. I never seemed to find the time to document a staff member’s performance whether it was exceptional or not acceptable. When it came time for the annual performance review, I had not documented any of the past 12 months of performance, and what I could recall was probably the last 3 months. If the performance was bad in the last 3 months, that was on the forefront of my mind, and I had forgotten the previous 9 months of good performance. If the last 3 months were exceptional, I may have forgotten that in the past 9 months they had dropped the ball many times.
The other thing that I realized is that what I was rating or evaluating my staff on was purely my perception. There were no set standards or performance expectations, and I did not have a way to measure them. How were they supposed to know what was expected of them? How was I supposed to rate them? Well, I most likely did not rate them fairly, if I had given them standards and expectations and had monitored and documented their performance throughout the year, I would have been able to provide an objective and fair performance evaluation.
Do you set standards and expectations for your employees?