The company’s current evaluation form consists of rating employees in the following three categories: friendliness, neatness of workspace, and attitude. The company’s current evaluation form is insufficient to effectively evaluate performance because friendliness, neatness of workspace, and attitude are not measurable, and they are not objective. One person’s perception or definition of friendliness could be different than another person’s perception of friendliness; neatness of workspace is not a measurable indicator of performance because it tells nothing about the employee’s job performance; a person’s attitude is also subjective in that it could be assessed differently from person-to-person based on personality traits.
The three most popular sets of criteria are individual task outcomes, behaviors, and traits—all of which should be assessed in a performance evaluation (Judge, 555). The first set of common evaluation criteria is individual task outcomes, meaning that management should evaluate an employee’s task on outcomes such as quantity produced, overall sales volume, dollar increase in sales, and number of new accounts established for a salesperson (Judge, 555-556). The second set of common evaluation criteria is behaviors, such as helping others, making improvement suggestions, and volunteering for extra work (Judge, 556). The third set of common evaluation criteria is traits, such as a good attitude, exuding confidence, dependability, and being experienced (Judge, 556).
Individual task outcomes are a good indicator of the tangible work that an employee performs. Outcomes are a measurable, concrete means of comparing and contrasting the performance of an employee with his or her peers’ performance in the same role. While task outcomes are a great way to utilize metrics to gauge performance, outcomes do not take other aspects of performance into consideration, such as the work an employee does within a group of employees with common, collective goals, or the soft skills required when interacting with customers and colleagues. Individual task outcomes also do not take into consideration the means the employees use to accomplish those work tasks. For example, a person may engage in unethical behaviors in order to complete tasks for perform well on a performance review. For these reasons, individual task outcomes alone are not sufficient to accurately assess employee performance in a performance evaluation.
Employee behaviors, however, can supplement individual task outcomes to paint a clearer picture of an employee’s performance. If it is difficult to identify the contributions of a group member involved in a group effort, management will often evaluate the employee’s behavior (Judge, 556). Employee behaviors that may be addressed could include undertaking additional tasks voluntarily, assisting other employees with their projects and tasks, and providing suggestions and recommendations for improving work processes (Judge, 556). Evaluating employee behaviors like these along with individual task outcomes will more objectively measure an employee’s performance in a performance evaluation.
Finally, employees’ personal traits are also a means for evaluating employee performance. Traits such as dependability and a positive attitude somewhat reflect employee performance, but they may or may not be highly correlated with task outcomes (Judge, 556). For example, an employee’s efforts toward completing tasks and their behaviors could also be accompanied by traits such as excessive tardiness or absences, having a poor attitude toward organizational goals, or not getting along with coworkers. An employee possessing these personal traits may score well on the first two criteria, task outcomes and behaviors, but overall performance evaluation may suffer due to these traits.
360-degree evaluations are becoming more popular as a performance evaluation approach in organizations, which provides