How to Set Up a Talent Management Program
A good performance management program encourages employees to aim and achieve beyond their capacities. Employee performance appraisal constitutes a major part of performance management. This involves development, goal setting and a two-way feedback that allows employees to set ambitious objectives without the fear of being criticized.
Employee performance appraisals along with performance management is a procedural interaction between an employee and a manager that usually takes place like an interview (semi-annually or annually). The employee appraisal process is significant because the employee’s performance is discussed and investigated in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses along with the scope for future improvement or skill development. Subsequently, the employee’s performance will boost organizational prosperity and performance after the appropriate changes and corrections are made. There are some steps, which feature in every performance management program. These are-
- Set basic timeline
- Set the review frequency
- Ensure proper communication of the program to the employees
- Monitoring through professional procedures
- Storage of completed reviews
- Thinking through the legalities of HR documents
- Rewarding good performance
Performance reviews are conducted annually for most companies. Many organization, though, are experimenting with its frequency. Some are conducting it semi-annually while others conduct it quarterly. Some of the advantages of frequent feedback sessions are-
- The employee and the manager are on the same track relating to goals and other issues
- Performance reviews are integrated in daily performance
- The overall burden of the annual review is reduced considerably
Organizations conduct reviews periodically for those under probation once the period ends. Some organizations may also conduct monthly reviews for new employees to gain insight and feedback on their performance.
There are two basic methods for creating a performance review schedule. These can be associated to the linkage of the salary to the review process.
Anniversary date method: Anniversary date represents the date of joining or holding of the current position for an employee. This method uses the following timelines for scheduling the review date-
- Annually on the anniversary date of the employee
- Half-yearly following the date from which the employee took up the current position
There are a couple of advantages of this method namely-
- Reduces the pressure of the focal reviews that maybe performed once a year
- Monitors the performance over a reasonable period of time i.e.; 1 year to six months
Single date method: This method also known as the focal review method, schedules reviews for all the employees at the same time. This method is useful when performance reviews are linkable to the annual salary review during the company’s budget planning process. It is also useful for decisions on bonus and retention.
The advantages of this method includes-
- A fixed time is determined for all reviews and does not hamper daily work
- It creates equality in ratings and evaluations as all the employees are reviewed simultaneously
- It supports both paired and ranking comparisons
Some companies select to combine both the review methods i.e.: a certain employee group (managerial) may use focal reviews as their review schedule while another departments (non-managerial) may use an anniversary date
The review program is effectively communicated to the employees so that they are aware of the benefits of undergoing this successfully. There should be no hidden agendas and a concrete reason for the implementation of such a program should be clear to all employees. The company needs to make sure that there is something in it for everyone.
Employees need to know their rankings and the expectations of the company from their work profile. They also need to be realistic in their goal setting and should take responsibility of their jobs. Managers need to communicate their expectations successfully and clearly in order to improve their employees’ performance. They need to be observant, fair, honest and timely in their reviews.
Companies must have a process in place that sends frequent reminders to the managers when the date of the review is approaching. An online system can work wonders in such a scenario and caters to all such needs of a company. A well designed online system works well for the management of the company and enhances the overall performance management efforts. One of the major advantages of such a system is its detailed reporting about the individual tasks being performed and their status.
An online performance appraisal system is automatic and sends regular reminders to managers and their employees about the key deadlines involved. They also initiate a warning message when a deadline is missed. Lastly, an effective online system tracks and displays the status of the appraisal completion for human resources.
Tracking Performance Reviews
Effective guidelines are set in each company to appoint the monitor for the performance reviews. The monitoring process ensures that-
- Timely reviews are done
- Non-discriminatory and clear language is used
- Proper rating is done
- Prompt action on performance issues along with chalking of developmental and remedial actions
- Uniform evaluation is done across the entire organization
- Challenged reviews are sent for scrutiny
- There is no adversity in promotion, termination or compensation
The Human Resources or the Personnel department is responsible for monitoring of the employee performance appraisal reviews in larger organizations. A senior manager is responsible for such functions in a smaller firm.
The person in charge of monitoring such reviews takes all the responsibility for its success irrespective of the size of the organization. In some cases, the person is legally responsible for ensuring that the reviews are monitored and conducted according to the organizations review process. This step is designed in order to conduct employee reviews and make their performance comparable with the standards and elements of the planning process. Measurement of employee performance is an ongoing process that involves tracking of the performance over a period, usually one year. This reflects on their competence and enables the management to understand whether they are meeting the benchmarks set for them. Moreover, unacceptable performance is easily identifiable through regular monitoring and it provides an opportunity to the employee to correct his performance before the assignment of the summary rating levels.
Analysis and managing the process
Senior managers along with the human resources department form the key to an effective and timely performance appraisal system. Each senior manager must review each appraisal of a subordinate manager even before that manager discusses it with the employee. This face-to-face discussion prevents discrimination and ensures that the same standard of appraisal principal is applicable on each participant. This also reflects upon the responsibility of the supervisors and their ability in managing the talent of their employees. Moreover, it also indicates the seriousness and truthfulness with which these review documents were written.
Senior managers may want updates on every employee’s status. This will reflect upon their readiness and sincerity of the supervisor on the performance appraisal process. This will also reveal the timeliness of the performance appraisal process.
Here again, a well-developed online performance appraisal system can update executives with the smallest detail, in real time. More so, they will get the updates directly from the online system and the HR department is not responsible for sending it to them. This way, the senior managers exert a solid influence and create a formal appraisal environment where everyone caters to the norm.
Storage of Completed Reviews
Reviews are normally filed along with other forms like salary and job descriptions or in a confidential file separately. This is primarily based upon the type of access provided to these records. The file should exclude reviews if departments like Payroll and Benefits are viewing it since they have nothing to do with these reviews. Separate performance files are setup with limited access for such cases either centrally or in the department where the employee works. Other performance documents along with any written warnings can also find a place in this file.
Legalities of HR documents
All personnel files are confidential documents and their security is of utmost importance so that the employee’s privacy is not at stake. This clearly means that only those people having access rights to such documents can view and use them. The law relating to the privacy of these personnel files varies from state to state. Companies must be aware about the law in their state. State laws vary in granting rights to the employees to view their own documents.
There are some other points on which the state laws may vary
- Some states a bar employees from viewing the file in isolation. All reviews need to be carried out under the supervisor’s guidance.
- Some states allow employees to keep personal copies of these documents
- Others exclude some documents from their access
- Laws differ for public and private employers
- Some states even allow past employees to view their files
- Some states allow only third parties to review the personnel files of the employees. They do not allow employees and their supervisors to handle them.
- Some states advise on removal of any evaluator or discriminatory information from these documents prior to their review from third parties.
Most employment attorneys and experts suggest retention of performance reviews for active employees. It is advisable to retain all personnel records in case of any legal action and until such time when the case is not settled. Older reviews that are no longer required should be archived and placed under tight security.
Seven years is the retention period for reviews as per the norms of the Equal Opportunity Commission. This also helps to fight cases of wrongful termination and discrimination against the employee. Different states may have different retention periods for such documents. Companies must contact their employment attorneys to crosscheck this piece of information.
Light a Fire
Senior managers along with the human resources department form the key to an effective and timely performance appraisal system. Each senior manager must review each appraisal of a subordinate manager even before that manager discusses it with the employee. This face-to-face discussion prevents discrimination and ensures that the same standard of appraisal principal is applicable on each participant. This also reflects upon the responsibility of the supervisors and their ability in managing the talent of their subordinates. Moreover, it also indicates the seriousness and truthfulness with which these appraisal review documents were written.
Introduction of the Power of Follow-up
It is a well-known fact that follow-up is a great motivator. Therefore, some companies resort to sending constant follow-up requests to managers in order to get their tasks done. Senior managers may want updates on every employee’s status. Asking them to get updates on these appraisal reviews will reveal the truth. This will reflect upon their readiness and sincerity on the performance appraisal process. This will also reveal the timeliness of the performance appraisal process.
Here again, a well-developed online performance appraisal system can update executives with the smallest detail and that too, in real time. More so, they will get the updates directly from the online system and the HR department is not responsible for sending it to them. This way, the senior managers exert a solid influence and create a formal appraisal environment where everyone needs to cater to the norm.
Reward Good Performance
Rewarding employees whether in-group or individually helps in acknowledging their contribution to the goals of the organization. Recognition is an inherent and on-going experience. The awards are distributable in various forms namely time offs, financial and non-financial rewards. Complementing employees for good performance is a good habit and keeps them motivated for their next task. This makes employees work like partners and helps in their career advancement along with an increase in their compensation package.
This plan makes employees work like partners and helps in their career advancement along with an increase in their compensation package. Employees take active interest in developing the content of the appraisal forms and other documentations, which gives them an opportunity to progress in their careers thereby helping in the overall growth of the company and its objectives.
Employee performance management is an integralpart of the overall growth of the company. Managers play a pivotal role in getting this done when they are well aware of the consequences and the rewards at stake. A check and balance system can help keep the process effective and focused.
Thus, it is recommended that setting up a proper performance management program is essential for the effective growth of the company and its employees.
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