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Training issues among reasons for shortfalls in performance management, says survey
Market News

The survey, conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) in collaboration with the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM), also found that lack of managerial time, higher business priorities, and inconsistent evaluation standards were common factors that prevented organizations from giving their performance management a grade of A.

Performance evaluation trainingWhen asked to rate their own organization’s effectiveness in managing performance reviews, 53% of respondents gave themselves a grade ranging from a B to a C+, while 21% gave their organization a C. A mere 2 percent said their organization’s performance management deserved an A.

“Performance reviews are an effective tool when utilized correctly,” said Bettina Deynes, SHRM’s vice president of HR. “But in order for them to be effective, there needs to be support from the leadership team and sufficient training for managers.”

All too often, training programs focus on the procedures for filling out evaluation forms, rather than on how to conduct the performance appraisal interview, according to BLR®, publisher of Training Forum. As a result, there is often inconsistency in the way supervisors and managers administer the evaluation system, exposing the employer to potential complaints of discrimination.

Performance appraisal training should focus more on the role the supervisor must play throughout the evaluation period—not the paperwork. BLR recommends that supervisors be trained to:

  • Develop a close working relationship with their subordinates,
  • Creating an ongoing opportunity for constructive criticism and counseling;
  • Look at all aspects of an employee’s job performance;
  • Be proactive about addressing marginal performance;
  • Provide honest feedback;
  • To gear standards to the specific job in question;
  • Use objective standards that are relevant to the job and how it is being performed, rather than the person;
  • Back up judgments with facts such as production records, disciplinary reports, attendance records, and examples of work quality;
  • Avoid allowing personalities and individual work habits to interfere with a true measurement of what the employee has done to meet the requirements of the job;
  • Make certain employees have a clear understanding of all performance standards; and
  • Ensure that complete records of all performance evaluations (if required by company policy) are kept in a confidential file.