Association Leadership - May/June 2012 - (Page 20)
FE AT U R E D P E RS O NNE L
By Christopher Williston and Richard May
An Employee Perspective
As follow-up, we asked “Does anyone have anything nice to say about the annual employee review process?” Crickets. The last 20 years of technological development have brought endless changes to the way we communicate, share ideas and accomplish work. But despite this change, one part of our work lives has been largely untouched, lost in time and generally stuck: the process of reviewing employee performance. Ask around and most association employees will tell you their performance reviews are little more than administrative checkboxes to serve HR requirements. Supervisors will tell you reviews are dreaded headaches that do not accomplish the intended task. One thing is clear: It’s time to rethink reviews.
NOT ALL JOBS ARE CREATED EQUAL
There is a strange, prevalent and misbegotten notion that everything has to be fair and equal. In terms of employee reviews this means that everyone is evaluated using the same metrics for performance – e.g. communications skills, quality of work, customer service. Unfortunately, the qualities that make a great membership director aren’t the same ones that make a great IT professional. In many cases, those two might have very little in common other than they work for your organization and both, more than likely, hate the way their performances are reviewed. Each supervisor needs latitude to break the mold of standardized evaluation and develop criteria for effectiveness and development of their employees, based on the actual work a positions requires. The results are two-fold: Employees will be evaluated based on what they do, rather than esoteric criteria, and management will gain insight on the effectiveness of supervisors based on the thoughtfulness and creativity of the customized reviews.
e asked a simple question: “What’s the ﬁrst word that comes to mind when we say annual reviews?” The response of the dozen or so association staff from various organizations was not a word, it was a collective sigh. Followed by a unanimous “Ugh.” When pressed, the guttural responses transitioned into words like “dreadful,” “useless” and “futile.”
20 May/June 2012/Association LEADERSHIP
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