By ANDREA HUGHES
The value of assessing performance
Formal and Informal systems of assessment/appraisal
Assessment is the on-going review by a line manager of the work an employee or a team has performed that is measured against expected outcomes. It is a two way communication channel that gives a shared understanding of what is to be achieved, it provides an opportunity to get employees to buy in to the process. It is a useful tool that can highlight development needs. It can highlight good practice, and bad practice and if there are deficiencies in the process, on either side. This means there is an opportunity to recognise achievement and where problems are identified, how these can be addressed. There are many methods of assessment in the workplace and they can be both formal (these are usually established processes set up by the organisation) and informal (these are not established processes and are generally spontaneous). * Formal methods used in the workplace
* Performance and development reviews;
* Staff appraisal/review;
* 360 degree feedback;
* Team meetings.
* Informal methods used in the workplace
* Informal discussion with staff, meeting in the corridor; * Feedback in the office, recognition in front of peers for a job well done; * E mail giving affirmation of a job well done
* Office brainstorm.
The value of Formal and Informal systems
Formal assessments provide a structured system that compares employee performance to established standards. Assessment of job performance is shared with the employee / employees being appraised. Elements in performance appraisal methods are tailored to the organisation's employees, jobs and structure. They include objective criteria for measuring employee performance and ratings that summarize how well the employee is doing. Successful appraisal methods have clearly defined and explicitly communicated standards or expectations of employee performance on the job. It is important to keep your employees focused and motivated if they are going to make a valuable contribution to the company. Workplace appraisals actively involve employees understanding what is expected of them. By setting agreed objectives with your employer or line manager and then reviewing the results some weeks or months later, each employee is made responsible for their own performance. They are an opportunity to review strengths and weaknesses, to take an overall assessment of work content, loads and volume and to look back on what has been achieved already and to Set Goals and Objectives for the following period. Many employees can come to dread workplace appraisals as they feel they are being placed under scrutiny with regard to their work performance - the being 'checked up on' syndrome. However, whilst there is an element of an appraisal being used to ensure that the worker continues to do the job properly, there are many benefits to workplace appraisals as they are often the means by which employers review potential, and identify training and career planning to forward the career progression of the worker. Furthermore, they can also help employers to determine financial reward incentives for a worker's performance. An appraisal system can develop a greater degree of consistency by ensuring that employers and employees meet regularly to discuss performance and potential. Experience has shown that this can encourage better performance from employees. They can also provide human resources with information for succession planning purposes, i.e. to identify suitable candidates for promotion and for providing them with knowledge to enable them to make additional training available to some workers and increase their skills base also as a result. Informal assessments often occur in a more casual manner and happen on a daily basis. They often take the form of a casual...