Last week, Government Executive published the article “How to Improve the Performance Appraisal Process.” In the article, HR Expert Stewart Liff explains how changing the process of the performance evaluation can ultimately help government agencies.
The current process offers several drawbacks, including issues in rating scales, frequency of evaluations, and communication. To solve these problems, Liff recommends a number of measures based on principles of equality, transparency, and consistency, which coincide with government trends and law.
Liff, who is the author and co-author of seven books relating to HR best practices, has been a long-time consultant of AINS. Liff’s guiding principles are the same principles that AINS has used to develop our eCase HR Suite of Applications. Let’s examine a few of Liff’s recommendations, and how they relate to eCase:
To counter issues of inequality and favoritism, Liff recommends transparency in performance evaluations. Agencies should simplify rating scales so that employee productivity is easy to track and measure. In eCase applications like eCase Performance Management, rating scales are simple and easy to configure based on an agency’s needs.
Liff also recommends making employee performance metrics visible in team spaces. The benefits of this approach are twofold: 1) it allows employees to share resources and learn from top performers; and 2) it encourages supervisors to rate employees fairly and motivate bottom-performing employees.
The approach is part of a larger concept Liff has termed Visual Performance Management (VPM), where visuals are used to reinforce an agency’s mission and goals. VPM has had measurable success in applied settings like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Los Angeles Regional Office, where Liff has served as Director. In eCase, VPM is the foundation of eCase HR dashboards, where HR managers and supervisors can monitor employee performance through an array of performance metrics.
To maintain consistency throughout an organization, Liff recommends setting a unified mission that drives their goals across every level of the agency. As Liff explains, this can be helpful in setting expectations for future work. Liff also recommends ample feedback through monthly reports.
In eCase Performance Management, agency goals cascade down through levels of management and employment. Users can easily see what they are expected to accomplish and align their work with employee standards. In addition, eCase Performance Management offers mid-year evaluations and unlimited progress reviews, which agencies can opt to use for monthly feedback.
In our government, we hope to see every agency operating as a well-oiled machine. Liff’s recommendations offer solutions to improve the HR process. With clear goals and visuals, agencies can begin to establish reliable consequences, which in turn leads to better results. eCase can assist agencies in meeting these goals, so the machine can keep on churning.