How to Hold Employees Accountable for Their Job Performance Through Evaluation

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A recent study by Salary.com showed that 60 percent of workers do not believe that performance reviews, or evaluations, do much to boost employee performance over the long term. Many managers are ineffective at conducting performance evaluations, which also includes helping their employees set goals and defining clear objectives for job performance, and managers often fail to hold their employees accountable for meeting job objectives. Defining employees' job descriptions and your expectations for their performance is the first step in holding employees accountable for meeting their objectives.

  • Ask your employees to define their job descriptions and objectives. Have each employee write out these objectives for you to review. Have each person list the training or education requirements for his job, as well as personality traits that are important to do the job correctly. Have each employee list her daily duties that she must perform, and if she thinks that any of these jobs would be better performed by other employees.

  • Review the job descriptions that the employees completed. Look for any discrepancies between what the employee feels is expected of him and what you actually expect. Make notes of areas where you need to reinforce your expectations more clearly.

  • Meet with each employee on a one-on-one basis. Tell each employee how you assess her performance and how well you feel that she keeps up with her responsibilities at work. Clearly define all of your performance expectations for your employees. Whenever possible, use quantifiable performance criteria. For example, setting a standard for a 5 percent sales increase is better than just saying that you want a sales increase. The objective to treat customers with respect is not as effective as saying that all customers will be greeted within 30 seconds.

  • Evaluate your employees' performance regularly. Do not wait for an annual performance review to do this. Having employees meet your objectives is important enough to make the time available to do this as often as possible. Share the observations that you have made concerning an employee's performance. Reward the areas where the employee has met or exceeded objectives, and counsel regarding areas where the employee's performance has been substandard. Ask the employee to help you determine how he should meet these standards.

Tips & Warnings

  • Develop ways to have employees hold each other accountable. Peer pressure is a powerful influence in the workplace. Create ways to have employees give regular feedback on how their department, as well as other departments, is performing to give them ownership in their company.
  • Hold nonperforming employees accountable. If you do not do this, your employees who strive to meet their objectives will take notice, and they could begin to resent the employees who do not perform to the accepted standards. If a substandard employee does not follow a plan to meet acceptable standards, you will be better off terminating him.

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