In most workplaces, nobody better understands the needs of a position than the manager who supervises that position. When it comes to evaluating the fitness of a job candidate, onboarding and training a new employee, assigning responsibilities to that employee, and evaluating how well those responsibilities are carried out, immediate supervisors have the optimal vantage point. While department heads, upper management, and HR all play a role in employee development, none of them have the proximity that makes a direct manager a crucial player in the assessment process.
So where does that leave HR managers during a company-wide employee evaluation cycle? Since every employee in the company will be evaluated at the same time, and the process will be standardized to accommodate the needs of every position, HR managers are indispensable. But their input doesn’t usually trump that of a direct manager. Here are a few ways HR pros can stay close to the process without interfering or altering vital assessment data.
1. HR managers should be present during negative reviews.
Since negative reviews can generate unpredictable feedback, up to and including lawsuits, HR managers should stay close to the process to protect the company from exposure. Negative reviews also sometimes represent the first documented step toward termination, and HR managers should be present while this step is taken.
2. HR managers are data keepers.
While individual reviews provide meaning and development for individual employees, the company as a whole can only learn and grow from broad data sets that allow HR managers to analyze trends. These trends can help managers set quotas and adjust expectations. This is where great talent management software like emPerform with easy-to-use reporting can help HR managers make sense of company-wide reviews.
3. HR managers should participate in reviews that involve behavior as well as performance.
Most employees and managers only have reason to discuss performance issues during the review process, but employees who struggle with company policy should be approached by HR as well as their direct supervisors.
4. HR managers provide guidance
…to supervisors, as they complete evaluations, and they can help supervisors find effective coaching methods that work for specific issues and specific employee personalities. Historically, this was a daunting task as each manager approached HR with the same set of questions regarding comments, scores, and compensation decisions. Online appraisals do more than save paper – they also offer a way for HR to embed suggested comments and help for managers within the appraisal itself – giving supervisors a self-help kiosk inside reviews. (see emPerform appraisals).
5. Building the foundation:
In most companies, it is HR who must develop, implement, and monitor the vital bones of any good appraisal process. By benchmarking against industry trends and regulations as well as historical company data, it is HR who recommends ideal performance management processes and regulations and then communicates those to the rest of the organization. During an appraisal cycle, HR should be constantly monitoring completion rates, scores, and status reports in order to identify if the entire process is moving forward as planned.
For more information on helping managers and HR complete better reviews, visit www.employee-performance.com
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