Making A Performance Assessment Work For Your Company

One of the greatest advantages to big companies in the technological age is the access to a large wealth of data on their employees. Words per minute, number of complaints, and ratings from managers can be mined and parsed for summaries of an entire year of work. This is a fantastic tool for ascertaining a particular worker’s level of competency, or for measuring an employee’s growth. However, it is important to note that this is merely a tool that creates part of the picture of a person’s history with your company. Too often, numbers-focused middle managers rely solely on what the raw data tells them rather than taking into account any of the personal factors that cannot be measured by a machine. Beyond the stats, there are a few important factors that make up a truly accurate performance assessment.

Peer Feedback

It is absolutely critical to understand how a particular employee is viewed by those at their same level. Nearly every department has times where different people need to work together to accomplish a particularly important task. Understanding how the person you are reviewing works within their team is a key factor in determining their importance to the overall goals of the organization. Even if their personal numbers are a bit subpar, do other people feel inspired by them? Do they help keep others on task or keep the office environment positive? Even if their stats are fantastic, is their attitude dragging down the performance of everyone around them? Are they costing the company more in potential efficiency by being a disruption? Determining how every staff member fits into the crowd of their peers is an important aspect of a performance assessment.

Supervisor Review

While employees are often critiqued by their managers in a graded format, there is much more that can only be understood by digging deeper. Outside of a high school math class, most grading systems are extremely subjective. Lets say you are using a five-star system to rate the manager’s satisfaction with the person under review. Some people in the position of rater will feel bad giving anything fewer than three stars, while others will be much more conservative. They might give threes to their absolute best because they simply think a four or five should be reserved for someone approaching perfection. After that, the rating must be run through the filter of the superior who is actually interpreting the data. For the sake of accuracy, managers have to be given an opportunity to truly explain their feelings about those working under them.


Remember that it is always more expensive to train someone new than it is to coach up someone mediocre. One of the most important data points to collect during a performance assessment is whether or not your employee is teachable. Can they receive the feedback they are being given with humility and genuinely work to improve on their areas of weakness? Do they recognize why their current numbers are unsatisfactory? Can they explain how they can grow in these problem areas? Learn how to interpret that particular bit of information and areas like it, and your company will thrive.

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