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Performance evaluations for employees

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					Performance evaluations for employees




Historically, the first employee evaluations started at the beginning of the 20th century.
At that time employees were evaluated by their supervisors, and evaluations mostly
focused on the level of employee output. Around 1950's, as businesses and organizations
streamlined their structures to become more competitive, the number of the reporting
employees to each supervisor increased. As a consequence, it became more challenging
for supervisors to observe each report. This organizational trend introduced peer
evaluation and feedback as a relevant employee development and administrative strategy.
Later, around 1980's the multirater evaluations by supervisors, peers, subordinates and
customers gained the popularity. The multirater evaluation is referred to as "360 degree
evaluation", "multisource evaluation", "270 degree evaluation", "full-circle appraisal", or
"stakeholder appraisal". Another form of multirater evaluation, namely the evaluation
conducted by peers face-to-face in a team setting, was introduced to organizations along
with the popularity of self-managing teams. Differently than usual 360 degree evaluation
conducted in an anonymous and confidential manner, the team based employee
evaluation is carried out in a face-to-face setting with all team members being present at
the same time. 37% of organizations that implement self-empowered teams also utilize
teams for employee evaluations (Wellins, Byham, & Wilson 1991. Thus, what are the
advantages and what considerations should be taken when applying such form of
employee evaluation in an organization or business?

First, let's look at the pros.
- The team based employee evaluation is effective in increasing employee performance.
Teams with face-to-face employee evaluations display higher levels of performance
(Muniute-Cobb & Alfred, 2010), cooperation, and member satisfaction (Erez et al, 2002).
- Team based employee evaluation keeps employees accountable not only to supervisors,
but also to peers (Muniute-Cobb & Alfred, 2010).
- This form of employee evaluation facilitates organizational culture of openness and
ownership.
- By participating in an evaluation of their peers, and listening to feedback about their
strengths and challenges, employees also get an opportunity to reflect on their own
strengths and challenges and learn about what's expected in an organization.
- Because face-to-face team evaluation requires more vulnerability and openness by an
employee, in return it also facilitates greater professional growth and development.

On the other hand:
- Face-to-face employee evaluation may fail if not supported by an organizational culture.
Such evaluation requires leadership support and organizational culture where openness
and communication are highly promoted.
- Teams would need to be "molded" and developed before introducing such type of
employee evaluation. A level of cohesiveness and trust need to be reached between team
members so that everyone feels safe in providing and receiving critical feedback, which
may be both positive and negative.
- Employees need to be trained on evaluation process, the expectations, and the effective
ways of delivering feedback on employee's areas of development. For instance, instead of
saying "you have a problem with tardiness", one can provide a descriptive feedback
saying "I noticed that several times you were late coming to a team meeting"
- Team based employee evaluation works best with incorporating a "one-on-one"
component. Namely, before a scheduled evaluation in a team, a member who is being
evaluated meets with all other members individually. During this one-one-one meeting a
team member shares his or her perceptions on evaluated employees strengths and
challenges. That way, any perceptions between the two members can be clarified before
the team meeting and there are no surprises in feedback that is delivered with others
being present (Muniute-Cobb & Alfred, 2010). This component also minimizes a
potential conflict in a team caused by a surprising negative feedback from a peer
employee.

Thus, face-to-face employee evaluation can be an effective way in improving employee
performance, increasing accountability, and facilitating employee's professional
development. However some considerations should be taken before such form of
employee evaluation is applied. First, a culture of open communication should be
cultivated in an organization. Also, teams would need to reach a level of cohesiveness
where employees are safe providing each other with positive and negative feedback.
Employees would benefit from training about the process and expectations regarding
such evaluation. Finally, this form of employee evaluation works best with incorporating
"one-on-one" component before delivering feedback in an open team setting.


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Description: Performance evaluations for employees