Performance Development Tool

Performance Development as an Employee Development Tool
One of the critical human resources issues of the 21st century is an organization’s ability to refine and
develop mechanisms to provide meaningful job performance feedback to all employees. A positive
and coherent understanding between the employee and the supervisor as to what is acceptable job
performance is essential for all employee management work relationships to survive.
Optimum development and proper utilization of each employee is essential to the success of any
organization. “How am I doing?” is often one of the most urgent questions on an employee’s mind
today. Providing factual, candid and objective answers to this question is an effective means of
enhancing employee development and sustaining a sound employee relations program.
Performance Improvement Hints
During employee’s first month:
Review organization’s strategic plan or mission
Discuss department/division goals
Establish individual goals and action steps
Discuss expectations of quality and quantity of work, interpersonal skills, reliability and other
performance factors typically reviewed
After first three months:
 Review individual goals and action steps
 Review employee performance to date either formally or informally
 Discuss formal evaluation process
On a daily basis:
 Note specific, job related behaviors which are both positive and negative and keep for future
 Immediately provide feedback on areas for improvement as problems occur
 Openly praise positive behavior and good performance
 Offer opportunities to discuss performance as issues arise
Formal Performance Interview Planning
Be prepared – know the objectives and goals of the meeting
Time and Place – choose a quiet, private spot with as few interruptions as possible
Conducting the interview:
Create a positive environment and help the employee feel at ease
Give balanced feedback, both positive and negative, but start with the positive
Focus on the job, not the person
Ask questions and allow the employee to provide feedback
When discussing areas for improvement, discuss methods and objectives for improving
Discuss possibilities for advancement, the employee’s aspirations and professional
development necessary to be a candidate for such future positions
 Summarize and review the important points of the discussion
 Restate the action steps that have been recommended and provide a time frame for
 Make sure employee reviews the appraisal and provides comments
 Have employee sign it to acknowledge that he or she has read it (does not have to agree with
the content)
 Follow-up with the employee to see how plans are proceeding within the given time frames
 Offer the employee assistance in achieving objectives and encourage discussion of successes
and obstacles
Pitfalls to Avoid When Appraising an Employee
 Don’t focus on one specific incident – review the entire period that the appraisal covers.
 Don’t go solely by memory – base the review on accurate dates and facts.
 Avoid the “halo” and “horns” effects. Just because the employee performs poorly in one area
does not make his/her overall performance bad. Just because an employee excels in one area
does not make his/her overall performance excellent.
 Length of service or job grade does not necessarily mean better performance.
o Look carefully at the individual’s performance within that job.
 Avoid bias about an employee based on past performance.
o Look at the current period
 Don’t overrate a poor performer as a motivational tool.
 Not all individuals are the same.
o Analyze each employee carefully; establish performance ranking.
 Don’t rush through the appraisal.
o Take time to record accurate information that truly reflects the individual’s
 Don’t be afraid to provide truthful information.
Pardue, Howard, Ph.D. SHRM online Information Center and Library
SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) online Information Center and Library