Performance Reviews

I know it is hard to believe, but we are already starting the process for year end performance reviews. Does anyone have examples of what they might send both department managers and individual employees to get them to truly buy into this process. For so many years we have not been getting good feed back (i.e. she is nice, he smiles a lot, she dresses well).

Anyone going through the same frustrations? How do you get them to provide the meat of the review?


  • 11 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • She is nice
    She dresses well
    He smiles a lot

    Are those responses from your supervisors? If so I agree that you need training.

    If you are doing 180 degree rating systems and the employees are putting responses down like that then once again training is your answer.
  • We've got a standardized form set that covers each of the salient points of job performance; one form for self appraisal and one for the supervisor. We strongly encourage supervisors to attach a written expansion of the points given per area of assessment ("Reliability-71 points, Average: can usually be depended upon to complete assigments in a timely manner, though several incidents caused overtime for ee and others"). We leave it up to the supervisor to request/require employees to complete the self-appraisal.

    We have supervisor training sessions that include definitions of what Management considers operative words (attendance, reliability, creativity, job knowledge, etc.), notes on setting improvement goals, the "Bell curve" aspect of comparing one employee to others doing the same job versus what we expect of the appraised ee, plus giving positive as well as negative feedback.

    Still, most supervisors and employees despise the process because most of the supervisors refuse to provide year-long ongoing feedback and every year we get several employees that are "totally shocked" at their evaluations. I reduce this occurrence by giving employees, who come to me concerned about their jobs, a self appraisal form and instruction to really look at their performance through the eyes of the supervisor. This usually either opens dialog between ee & supervisor, or the ee improves their performance on their own.
  • We just went through a phase where our president decided he wasn't seeing enough effort put into reviews, but didn't really communicate that with anyone. The supervisors were frustrated because the reviews kept coming back for revision, the president was frustrated because he wasn't seeing enough "meat", the employees were frustrated because they want those raises! and I was frustrated because I wasn't getting them back in and didn't know what was going on.

    We solved it by me and our production manager sitting down with our president and asking what he was looking for. I listened very carefully and took notes. I then typed up a list of topics the prez wanted to see addressed on the reviews, and added some questions to get the supervisors thinking about how to answer and what information to put on the review. We then met with the supervisors and went over it with them.

    This may or may not help you, but here is what we came up with.
    Nadcap (quality standards/accreditation that we are striving to meet) – how are they directly contributing to our improving standards? Are they willing to step up and adhere to the changes?

    Visual (our software system) – do they record labor times accurately? An occasional mistake is one thing; frequent mistakes are another.

    Scrap – are they making suggestions on how to improve the department’s scrap? Are they able to do the work correctly after scrapping out a part? Do they need more training on certain parts?

    Schedule/On-Time – do they hit or beat time targets? Do they utilize their time well to get their work done? Are they utilizing all the available time during the day to do their work?

    Continuous improvement – do they make suggestions to improve processes? Are they willing to try new things that others suggest?

    Attitude – are they positive towards others in the department? In other departments? Towards management? Towards Royal in general? If they are not positive in every aspect, they need to work on it. Over the past year, 75 reviews have come in saying that everyone is positive, and I’m not sure that is true.

    Overall on the review, it is good to provide specifics. Can you give an example of work on a specific part or project to mention? Can you give an example of an idea they had?

  • This is going to come in VERY handy - thank you for taking the time to assist!

    Here's hoping... :)
  • Calico:

    Do you find it effective to have the reviews phrased such that specific goals have or haven't been achieved (or even including % achieved!), instead of just talking about general performance, attendance and attitude? We're moving to a Goals-Oriented format supposedly because it lets management and employees know almost exactly what's expected. We used to have a general "You're doing fine; we haven't had any lawsuits and we're still getting clients..." management attitude that's getting us in trouble as we promote new managers (the new folks are fighting their former co-workers/current supervisorees on how the department *used* to be managed).

    We're a government service industry, so we can't state something like "Employee A exceeded the quarterly goal of welding 2125 widgets", but we can state something like "Employee B failed to conclude certification processes on three families in a timely manner."

    And if using specifc goals for evaluation IS truly effective, would you require the employee to agree by signature to those evaluation standards before implementing them, or is it more of a verbal communication? ("I'm gonna mark you down on your evaluation if you have one more late certification.")
  • Gosh, Abby, you ask a lot of good questions. We do have a goal section, and last year's review training was on SMART goals (see end of this post for that). We usually just do achieved or not achieved, but I have occasionally seen one that states improvement has been made, but not to the level of the goal.

    As for implementation, do you do evals based on date of hire or at the same time for everybody?

    The way that we implemented (I imagine, anyway - I wasn't here) was that we simply changed the form, and here it is. Employees sign the review, which binds them to the goals. If you do evals based on date of hire, then the people who were reviewed the month before the form was implemented get off easy for another year.

    Let me know if you have more questions!

    Specific describes WHAT will be done in order to determine if the goals are met.

    Measurable describes by HOW MUCH.

    Attainable/Achievable and Realistic should require the employee to stretch but they should not be out of reach. Goals will differ between employees depending on their abilities and expectations.
    Advertise to make it visible.
    Acceptable/Agreed upon between both the supervisor and employee.
    (There was more than one for A that I found, so I included them all)

    Relative to both the department and their personal life.

    Time frame/Time bound describes by WHEN. Without an end date there is no sense of urgency, no reason to take any action today. It also helps monitor progress. Some goals may be reached in a shorter amount of time than the annual review.
  • >As for implementation, do you do evals based on date of hire or at the same time for everybody?

    We do our evals based on date of hire. HUD has come down on us and told us to run our local governmental entity more like a business than a government, and one of those methods is holding employees more accountable for performance. HUD gave us specific agency goals, and we've rephrased them for application to most of our positions. We had supervisors review the goals with all applicable employees and had the EEs sign acknowledgements that next year's evals will be based almost completely on the new standards. EEs were also informed that this year's evals will be loosely framed on the new requirements so that they will be familiar with expectations and the grading method. It seems to me we've got the transition covered.

    I've heard of this SMART evaluation process, but can't get the bosses to let me buy any of the training material. It looks like it might be something even OUR supervisors could understand.

    In your Goals section, are the stated goals specific to the employee or to the position? I mean, attendance issues would be employee specific, whereas "10 widgets per hour" would be position specific. Or do you put in there whatever the employee needs?

    Thanks, Lenetta!
  • Sounds like you're on the right track! I didn't purchase anything regarding SMART goals - although I'm back in the for-profit world, I still have a non-profit frame of mind. I just went on the internet and searched and pirated what I thought was good. :>)

    Our goals are employee specific - few if any people in any department have the same goals. It depends on what they're trained on and what their role is within that department.
  • With Employee reviews has anyone ever had an issue with a supervisor giving out reviews to the employees before they are reviewed by HR Dept to make sure they do not have anything in them that would be inappropriate. What are your thoughts on re-doing the mistakes including some employees would not do as originally thought?
  • Our policy requires that reviews be signed also by the second level manager and HR, which cuts down on them going out before thoroughly vetted. In spite of that, I have had it happen. Mostly, because they "show" the review to the employee beforehand with the excuse of wanting their input. In those cases, the employee understands it is not finalized. Usually this is an effort by the supervisor to score brownie points with the direct report because it becomes clear that the more negative comments come from either the higher manager or HR. So, first I take the supervisor to task and explain why that must never happen again.

    As far as changing reviews that have already been given, I would not do that unless a review was seriously out of line in some way. Although I want the reviews to be fair and accurate, I think it is more important for management to appear to be on the same page (even if we are not). Undermining confidence in the supervisor or giving them the idea, they can play us against each other is never a good thing.

    If a review must be changed, I would just explain to the employee myself that there were some oversights on their review, and it was being amended.
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