ratingIn order for employee performance reviews to have value, the ratings used in these reviews need to make sense. And in order to make sense, ratings need to carefully calibrated. Different managers tend to hold employees to different standards, and what may represent exceptional performance for one team can be considered merely adequate for another. To keep things fair and to keep these variations from distorting and confusing the playing field, managers and HR teams need to focus on precise calibration. Proper calibration efforts drive truth and consistency into your performance appraisal processes, resulting in accurate talent metrics, and creating trust with employees. Before finalizing your appraisals, keep these considerations in mind.

1. Make sure managers keep HR in the loop as performance metrics are gathered and ratings are established. HR should sign off on all data used during the calibration process, and regular meetings should take place between HR and managers before, during, and after the evaluation cycles during which the ratings are applied.

2. Keep in mind that the stakes are high for both the company and each individual employee. Performance reviews have a strong impact on bonuses and annual compensation increases, and unfair distribution of these things can have a lasting impact on employee salaries, teamwork, morale, and turnover.

3. As problems are revealed, fix them. You can’t change the past, but when it comes to the future, don’t wait for an invitation. If unfair sliding scales or inaccurate calibrations are exposed within your employee evaluation policies, attack them before the next annual cycle.

Nine-box emPerform Matrix4. Use every tool at your disposal. emPerform contains out of the box reports, for example, that help managers view ratings and share them with HR. These reports also provide companies with a nine-box rating scale, which can be a great resource during calibration meetings. The standard nine box rating reveals anomalies and trends, and can be linked directly to individual appraisals for further drill down.

5. Back up your ratings. Managers struggle in calibration meetings when there isn’t enough proof to backup their ratings of employees. Avoid great debate and necessary headaches by giving managers the tools needed to record performance observations and goal status and then keep them accountable for ensuring they are kept up to date. emPerform has been helping managers and HR with this by providing out-of-the-box functionality for accurately documenting performance year-round and using these records to support rating scales. Using emPerform, not only can managers attach files and make journal entries throughout the appraisal cycle, they are given accurate accounts of the status of goals, and can even use 360° performance feedback inside of appraisals to prove that their ratings are in fact accurate.

For more information about emPerform, including the Nine-Box Talent Matrix used for talent assessments and rating calibration, visit www.employee-performance.com