Almost all companies and other organizations acknowledge that effective performance evaluation plays an important role in improving the performance of employees who show promise, and is a necessary mechanism to justify dismissal of employees whose job performance remains unacceptable over time. Unfortunately, in companies and organizations that are not large enough to have their own Human Resources departments, performance evaluation is often haphazardly or poorly done. (Actually, it is often poorly done even in large organizations!) I can help with that!
There are three kinds of performance appraisal errors that have been so common over the years that they have been given their own names.
The recency effect error can cause an employee to receive a much more positive or negative evaluation than is justified simply because of one high profile recent event.
The central tendency error (a tendency to give everyone almost the same score, usually “average”) fails to give poor performers the kind of feedback they need to significantly improve their performance, and demoralizes top performers by giving them a rating which is lower than they deserve.
The halo effect/horn effect error causes a supervisor to misperceive the performance of the person under review because of a personal liking (or disliking) for the individual involved.
Behariourally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS) offer an excellent evaluation tool to overcome these errors, and the best of BARS tools are ones with “randomized” rating scales.
BARS in performance evaluation are also:
perceived to be more accurate and valid by users of the tools,
useful in providing feedback to the employee in the performance evaluation interview, and
shown to improve the attitudes of supervisors toward performance appraisal in general.
The chief disadvantage of BARS is that they are quite time consuming to construct. However, if you want to get an easy start on improving your performance evaluation methods, you can access my databank of 45 "general" employee behaviors.
(Incidentally, the advantages of BARS listed above, are taken from the literature on BARS I conducted prior to writing any. These advantages were also confirmed by the experience of my accounting industry client for whom I originally developed my performance evaluation system.)
I will also help you develop BARS items for your own operations, and once they are written, help market them to other employers in the same industry to help you recapture your time investment in creating them.
For a complete introduction to the BARS system I have developed, including a BARS form for use by employees to evaluate the performance of their supervisors, click here.