Monthly Archives: December 2013

PERFORMANCE REVIEW—5 FAQ’s for Documenting Performance

1.  Why is thorough, contemporaneous documentation so important in a Performance Appraisal process?

  • To support promotions or other advancement.
  • To support adverse actions such as separation from the position or the organization.
  • To reduce rating inconsistencies.

2.  How much should a manager document in a Performance Appraisal process?

  • Only those positive or negative aspects of performance that significantly contribute to or get in the way of the work effort.
  • Enough to demonstrate to the employee, your Management Team, and Human Resources that your team’s focus is aligned with the organization’s Vision and goals.
  • Enough to support any necessary corrective action for Human Resources or a third-party reader. Read more ›

What are the qualities of effective Performance Agreements?

Well-written, SMART objectives and clearly defined Values are the basis of effective Performance Agreements.

Employee Performance Agreements are working tools used to (1) define and document expectations for performance objectives and Values, (2) guide completion of specific goals in conjunction with set timeframes, (3) provide the ability to measure results of and set clear direction for individual job roles. Refer to, use, and update Performance Agreements ongoing throughout the year to monitor and guide performance.

 Performance Agreements should:

  • Be developed by every manager or supervisor in conjunction with each direct report at the beginning of the calendar year (or of the performance review period) or whenever a new employee joins the work group.
  • Clearly state specific details focusing on both financial and non-financial goals. Read more ›

4 FAQ’s about Writing Performance Objectives

1.     How do I write a performance objective that is at the appropriate level of difficulty—challenging enough without being too difficult to obtain?

Refer to your organization’s job description for the employee’s position, and ensure the performance objective is anchored at the appropriate work level. For example, for an entry-level employee, you can make it clear that the employee is expected to accomplish the performance objective with guidance. In contrast, for a senior-level employee, a performance objective would entail a high degree of independent judgment. For an expert-level employee, the objective should involve highly complex work, coordination across work groups, and/or producing results with far-reaching impact.

Meet with your Management Team to discuss what are appropriate expectations for employees in similar types of jobs and within certain pay or band levels. As appropriate, set common performance objectives for individuals who are doing the same work.

2.     How do I write performance objectives that are specific and measurable when the job is not easily quantified? Read more ›


Effective Performance Appraisals Rest on SMART Performance Objectives

Effective Performance Appraisals and the success of the whole Performance Appraisal Process rest on well-written performance objectives and Performance Agreements—employees’ blueprints for success.

Some managers cascade performance objectives from their next level managers to their teams, determining which team member(s) will be responsible for which portion of each team objective. Other managers, including those whose teams are on special assignments, write the objectives with their teams. And top management-level employees may write their own objectives with input from their organization’s Board of Directors.

How does a manager draft SMART Performance Objectives? Read more ›


What Should Employees Document Throughout the Year?

Throughout the Performance Review year, how do employees communicate their results toward Performance Objectives to their managers?  Each employee, with his/her manager, can enter results—as achieved— into the Performance Appraisal or Performance Agreement form. As appropriate, team Status Reports or Excel spreadsheets can be set up to match how results will appear in the Performance Appraisal form.

Many managers encourage employees to keep a book on themselves—that is, to keep their own electronic and printed copies of peer and customer commendations, their results toward objectives and examples of how they demonstrate the Core Values, training certificates, performance documentation, etc. As appropriate, managers can remind employees that the organization is a dynamic environment where re-assignments and promotions happen quickly. So employees need to position themselves to be ready to ‘sell’ themselves, with supporting details about accomplishments, when opportunities for promotion occur. Employees should also be ready to share with a new manager their contributions to their team if a previous manager didn’t pass on complete records to the new manager. Read more ›