Reinforce Positive Behaviors
Ongoing feedback is much more effective than
annual feedback. One of the simplest, best-known, and least used principles of
psychology is the Skinnerian principle of reinforcement: "Reinforcing positive
behavior will increase the probability of that behavior." Supervisors need to
catch employees in the act of performing positively and immediately reinforce
them. Acknowledgment, recognition, and a simple pat on the back are powerful
reinforcements. Using them appropriately will lead to sure-fire results.
Uncouple Employee Development and
Unfortunately, the performance review and the
salary review have become one and the same in many organizations. There is
nothing worse for employee morale than to have to tell an employee that their
performance is great but that there is no or very little money available for
raises. Employee performance reviews should take place quarterly, monthly or on
an ongoing basis. Their goal should be to help employees develop and grow.
Salary reviews should occur separately on an annual basis
Make Certain that the Performance Standards
are Clear and Achievable
Our research has shown that only one of two
employees actually understands the measures used to evaluate their job
performance. Performance measures must be made crystal clear. Use quantitative
rather than qualitative measures whenever possible. Employees should also
participate in formulating the performance objectives. Research has shown that
these objectives work best when they are clear, hard, and specific.
Make Sure the Performance Measures are
Each performance measure should be relevant to
each particular employee. For example, the quantitative measure of "billable
hours" may be relevant for project workers within a professional service firm
but not for those whose sole responsibility is sales.
Provide Team and Customer Feedback
Performance feedback from team members and
customers is often much more useful than supervisory feedback. Conducted
properly, "360 degree" performance management systems that include these
measures can be very useful to employees.