Review season is just around the corner! And this time, in addition to the standard challenges that accompany the review process every year, you’ll be facing a new conundrum. Why? Because you’ve added a few employees to your roster who simply can’t be boxed into your existing review protocols. And if you subject these employees to a standard evaluation of performance (using your typical five point system based on ten metrics or ten point system based on five metrics), the results will be absolutely meaningless, if not downright damaging.
Maybe you hired these employees as unique independent contractors, or maybe you brought them on board because they have rare talents in a very specific area, and they can’t or shouldn’t be expected to meet any performance metrics that lie outside this area. Maybe your employees are taking on additional or temporary responsibilities outside their standard scope, like an accountant who happens to pitching in to help repair the gutters on the roof. Or maybe your company is flexible, innovative and risk tolerant and you’ve just created a brand new position or launched an HR experiment.
Whatever the reasons, you can’t evaluate these employees by standard means. But performance still matters, and come what may, the quality of any work completed on your watch has to be monitored and measured. So what can you do? Take these factors into account as you put your non-standard review plan together.
Non-Standard Employee Reviews
Narrow your metrics. If seven of your ten metrics don’t apply, toss them out. But weight the remaining metrics accordingly.
Be flexible and human. Don’t let your evaluators act like robots. Make sure they understand all the factors that contribute to the situation and make sure they’re capable of making accommodations.
Be smart. Your evaluators should be able to make a cogent argument for or against any ruling on performance quality. If they can’t, don’t give them this task.
Don’t be afraid, but do consider the future. If, for example, you have a person on staff who can complete one task well but struggles with other, less relevant tasks, don’t be afraid to tactfully nudge the person in a direction that keeps everyone safe, confident and productive. But think ahead. Consider the consequences of your words, and make decisions carefully.
Be sure your reviews are meaningful. If your performance reviews don’t make each year better than the last, then you aren’t finished. Keep shaping until you get it right. Wehn designing your forms for non-standard employees, don’t be afraid to customize them for each special role. Software like emPerform can help you take performance data and shape that data into goals that are realistic and valuable.