The first recorded history of standardized testing was in China, where aspirants to Government jobs were given mass tests to ascertain their knowledge about Confucius philosophy and poetry. We have come a long way since then, wherein tests, quizzes, assessments are a part of our professional careers from the day we step into school to our day of retirement from a job.
Assessments are a big part of Employee Performance Management . Assessments are not only a way to ascertain the performance and capability of the employee but also a great tool to improve performance when coupled with positive feedback, constructive criticism and developmental inputs. However, there can be some amount of negativity that can be associated with assessment if not done with due care. Here are some very simple steps to make assessment a very effective employee engagement and development Tool
- Out of Sight, Out of Mind – While this adage holds good for personal relationships, it is even more applicable in case of Assessments. A line job can be very demanding, when everyday focus on operations leaves one with very little space and time for any other activity with longer term focus. But, if one does not spare time for continuous assessment it will only lead to heart burn and negativity in the future. When it comes to Assessments continuous is not just good, Continuous Assessment is the way to be. It helps in ensuring a positive climate within the team and also acts as a great opportunity for the manager to have a quality interaction with her team members
- Use the Job Description and Goals Effectively – A well written job description and start of the year goal setting are equal to half the work in people management. Spare some time to set very clear and SMART goals at the beginning of the year and ensure that you have discussions around the same during the continuous assessment Sessions
- Record, Record and Please Record! – Create a Playbook of sorts, with all the Assessment criteria and Record both objective and subjective aspects of your discussions with employees. Recording Feedback and developmental inputs can be very helpful during year end performance assessments. This is where Hippo Quiz can help you. It has a drag and Drop builder which can be used to record KRAs ( Key Result Areas) and you can consider using a scale of 1 to 5 to evaluate where the employee stands with respect to KRA achievement. Additionally, you may record subjective aspects as well. Hippo Quiz can be accessed anywhere anytime and can be shared with multiple stakeholders ( such as partners, reports, customers and the employee himself)
- Give Feedback & have an open dialogue– Each time you sit down to have an assessment session with the employee. Remember the following
- Don’t just make it about KRAs and their achievement, instead have conversation about what went right, What helped and what were the impediments and how you can help your team member in performing better
- Do not Focus Just on the Negatives – Remember, no one likes negative feedback! Use the opportunity to have an open dialogue. Start with the positive aspects of performance. Talk about professional development and growth and finally steer the conversation towards aspects that need improvement
- Prepare – Yes True, You can be a great Assessor only if you come prepared for the Assessment session. Use Recorded observations ( The Playbook) to go through what you had discussed in the previous sessions to ensure that there is consistency in inputs and feedback
- Use Employee Portal – Integrate the continuous Assessment Playbook to the Employee portal as a way to create open dialogue and transparency . This allows the employees to see for themselves all the assessments, performance and developmental inputs
- Use Recorded Inputs for Developmental Purposes– Even if an employee is an excellent performer, use recorded inputs for his developmental purposes. Create Opportunities for professional growth based on your assessments. This will ensure a positive working climate for yourself and your team.
The idea of a test or quiz has created a lot of negativity in the minds – remember all the late nights for all the school board exams, the college entrance tests and umpteen other tests we have taken in our professional careers. As People Managers, it is our responsibility to ensure a smooth and happy assessment of our employees, following the above steps can help us in reaching that goal.