Ongoing Talent Management

Ongoing performance management is the most effective, most defendable and dependable form of performance supervision. The sheer continuity and detailed input help in the recording of every facet of employee performance. The three main stages of continued work supervision are setting up of objectives and benchmarks, documentation of performance in comparison to those set parameters and finally providing feedback based on performance.

One point access to all information pertaining to performance leads to improvement of employee performance due to better planning, performance tracking, and employee evaluation leading to a steady progress is the goal to be achieved. Such a year-round enduring process requires constant vigilance on the part of the management with the following initiatives:

  • Setting and following-up on objectives.
  • Documenting instances of ongoing performance as well as important episodes, instruction, and accomplishments.
  • Recording job accounts, past appraisals, and other performance-connected documents.
  • Arriving at coaching concepts.
  • Preparation of reminders to help record performance events on a regular basis.

So at the time of writing the actual review, data is accessible and effortlessly included in the report.

Audit Trail

Constant endeavor in recording details of employee performance builds an audit trail of performance that is easy to follow. Perfode's employee performance appraisal software preserves all operations, such as, addition, editing, and deletion of records - saved carefully in an Audit Log. This includes the transcript of the document at the time of the action, user name, date/time, employee name and account of the action. Any concern about an employee's records can be immediately addressed and the transactions posted to their file review can be checked using the Audit Log for a complete review.

How to Write Objectives

Doesn’t matter what name is given “objective” or “goal”, in order to be meaningful it needs to be precise, not vague; quantifiable – i.e. measured in units of results, quality, or quantity; attainable inside the appraisal stage. The objectives should also be pertinent to the employee’s role in the organization as well as to the business of the firm. But most importantly, it should be doable for the employee within his jurisdiction of power in the organizational hierarchy and personal capability. It is important to keep the objectives positive instead of just creating a few restrictions; focusing on what needs to done rather than on what to avoid rings much better results.

The following pitfalls must be avoided at all costs while writing objectives:

  • Assignments which are unattainable for an employee due to a shortage of abilities, know-how, resources, or equipment.
  • Results which can only be measured or viewed subsequent to the review phase.
  • Tasks which are outside the employee's organizational jurisdiction.

It is also possible to rate employees separately on each task or competency rather than on performance qualities, the Objectives section could be used for this function. It can be done by recording each duty or competency as an objective along with its benchmarks of successful performance as an Objective Measurement. Consistency in the process is maintained by evaluating all employees of the same rank for the same duties and competencies. The Replicate Objective function can come in handy to copy the identical objectives for multiple employees as well as for preparing a fresh review form for the next appraisal period of an employee whose evaluation report you have just prepared.

Comprehensive objectives as a rule offer specific what and when - but it is just as important to incorporate “the how”. Both the employee and management must come to a mutual understanding of the measuring criteria of achieving the target right at the time when the objectives are being set.

Writing Objective Measurements

It is frustrating to discover the differences in the definition of “success” between employee and management at the review discussion meeting. A well thoughtout and written objective measurement allows management to nip the bud of later controversies through clarifying certain parameters.

  • Terms are defined more precisely. Meaning of words like completed, accurately etc.; clarification of terms such as inclusion or exclusion
  • Methods and processes of achieving the objectives – the “how” of it. Clarification of how alienation of team and associates would reflect on an employee’s personal evaluation even if he achieves his personal work objectives; similar considerations of the timeline and budgetary constraints of an objective can also be used as parameters.
  • The rating at various levels of achievement. Does partial achievement of objective show positively on an employee’s evaluation, or not?
  • The people providing appraisal and feedback on the achievement of the objective. Who are the appraisal providers – just the reviewing authority or others? Will the channels of information be informal or formalized reviews? Will the feedback provides be disclosed to the employee or not?

Categorizing Objectives

Tying individual performance objectives to organizational goals is quite common in many firms:

  • Common organizational ethics, like Commitment to Excellence are used as the base of objective categorization.
  • General time-bound organizational aims, like increasing sales by a certain percentage in the current year or decrease the no. of accidents.
  • Wide-ranging performance classes, such as increase in Profit or increase in positive Customer Feedback.

Such concepts can be recorded in the Objective Category field while setting or rating objectives; allowing the objective category to then be displayed on the review form.

Employees can get a fair grasp by objective categories of how their specific objectives fit into the big picture of the overall organization’s mission or even their individual department.

Keeping Objectives Updated

Real life business scenarios often upset even the best intentioned objectives, so it is necessary to keep objectives updated according to changing priorities. These changes can be internal to the organization – a change of guard in the management, an alteration in the administration, a transformation in values, even a modification of the product base. Changes can also be brought about from outside the firms – development of the competition, the ups and downs of the economy, and changes in governmental policies. Keeping a close check on objectives necessitates the implementation of the following steps:

  • Objective adjustments must be stated fully and clearly every time. objectives are updated by each concerned employee getting an adjusted employee-specific vacant review form for the review period.
  • Review objectives regularly. Reviewing the employee's objectives must be put into a regular schedule. Then the progress toward meeting an objective can be noted in an objective progress event. All changes in the objective description, the objective dimensions, or the due date should be recorded.
  • Any amendments to the objectives should be notified to the employee at once. However, the best way is to discuss the modifications with the concerned employees first. The changes can then be recorded in a way where the changes can be tracked by a time line by leaving the objective in its present condition and describing the changes under a separate date.

To exemplify, the following objective amendment might be used:

Improve the accuracy of claims processed by reducing average number of errors from 10% to 7% by the end of this review period. Objective amended on 5/17/03: Due to changes in the claims processing workflow, Mary and I agreed that this objective is being changed to reduce errors to 8% instead of 7%.

  • Steady status updates from employees must be taken. By insisting that they provide regular updates; their vested interests, in the achievements of the goals, can be used to discover any situations that might need an objective to be amended.
  • Organize objective reviews more regularly.

Creating Objective Progress Notes

Multiple objective progress notes should be entered for each objective to record the annual progress of the employee on that objective. These notes convey a date and the related text.

Objective progress notes record progress towards the definite objective during regular intervals throughout the year. These progress notes can then be part of the basis of the annual performance review, where text can be right away copied from them into the “Objective Results” for the review.

Setting Future Objectives

Any objectives that have dates beyond the review period are considered as future objectives these can be specified in the review form at the discretion of management.

However in the case where there are no “Future Objectives” sections on the review form its placement in the review has to be decided. Alternatively they may be better placed in the “Development Plans” section.

Using Reminders for Objectives

Performance-related information gathered throughout the complete review period allows the reports to be on rock-solid legal base as well as be effective. But in a practical environment it might be very tricky to keep in mind to observe daily performance. The Reminders function allows managers to track the progress of employees toward an objective by alerting them of failure in entering Objective Progress Notes within a specified interval. The Reminder Period can be set depending on elements like number of employees, review periods, and performance level of each employee. The time period can be kept flexible for each employee or be uniform for all – it depends upon the rate of progress of each employee.

Conclusion

So by instilling a regular ongoing process of properly documenting objectives and their progress along with documenting ongoing performance instances, an organization can be made more effective and an performance evaluation can become more credible in the eyes of law and also the employees themselves.


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