February '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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1 0 P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 DO YOUR EMPLOYEES KNOW WHERE THEY STAND AND WHAT THEY NEED TO DO TO ADVANCE? The Lost Practice of Performance Evaluations WHY PERFORM PERFORMANCE REVIEWS? The Florida State study reveals some inter- esting findings: • 39% of workers said bosses failed to keep their promises • 37% said their supervisors didn't give credit when it was deserved • 27% said their supervisor "bad mouthed" those they supervised to others • 23% said their boss blamed others to cover up mistakes or to minimize their own embarrassment I'll wager less than one percent of those bosses intended to commit those supervi- sory missteps. Performance reviews, done properly, can have a positive influence in reducing or eliminating each one of the above allegations. Good working envi- ronments—that is, ones with an open ex- change of feedback, positive recognition, and performance development plans—are often viewed by workers as more important than pay raises and promotions. Employees in companies with a well-run performance evaluation program are more likely to take on additional tasks beyond their assigned duties, willingly work longer hours and on weekends, and are generally more satisfied with their jobs. THE KISS METHOD, APPLIED In another study, only 6% of CEOs thought their performance-appraisal system was effective. It's no surprise that, in the same study, only 14% of employees said the feedback in their performance reviews was meaningful and relevant. Both facts point to simplifying the process as a first step to- ward improving it. T hey say that employees don't leave their jobs or company; they leave their bosses." That is a quote from Wayne Hochwarter, professor at Florida State University, who—along with two doctoral students—completed a study consisting of more than 700 interviews of people in a wide variety of jobs, about how their bosses treat them. Poor owners, managers, and supervisors create plenty of problems for businesses, including, but certainly not limited to, poor morale, substandard production, and higher operating costs. One way to reverse deteriorating performance and improve productivity is to provide time- ly, meaningful feedback in the way of performance evaluations. The formal meeting between supervisor and worker to discuss accomplishments and areas for improvement—commonly called the performance review—regained popularity in the mid-1980s, but its practice with- in small- to medium-sized companies has waned over the past 30 years. Why? Perhaps it's because many companies found that conducting performance reviews gave employees false hope for double-digit raises and accelerated promotions that never ma- terialized. Another commonly cited reason for not completing formal performance reviews annually is the administrative burden placed on the manager who now has dozens of direct reports whereas in the past, organizational charts were taller and supervisors only had half the employees for whom to be accountable. Still, the practice and policy of affording every employee a yearly performance evaluation should not be abandoned simply because it's too cumbersome. Let's explore ways to simplify this human-resource development tool and reap its benefit when done properly. BUSINESS MANAGEMENT Your Personal Business Trainer V i n c e D i C e c c o "

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