As I confirmed yesterday, I have always worked with the following formula: Attitude + Skills + Process + Knowledge = Success
Therefore, when measuring my teams, I always ensure that I benchmark against that criteria: A simplified example might look something like this (although I have to admit that my own companies' measurement system is much more rigorous)
o Self-organization & planning
o Motivation and attitude
o Ability to work under pressure
o Team playing and interpersonal skills
o Personal presentation
o Communication (oral/written/listening)
o Performance vs. objectives
o Account management
o Business development
o Opportunity assessment -qualification
o Negotiation skills
o Presentation skills
o Strategic work
o Achievement of targets
And for those with supervisory responsibilities you could add:
o Delegating authority
o Decision making
o Motivating - i.e. Creating enthusiasm and confidence
o Appraising and assessing
o Selecting and recruiting
o Coaching and developing
o Planning and allocating resource
Next you need to implement a grading or scoring system - I use the following:
E - Poor: Definitely below acceptable standards; performance of job requirements is consistently deficient.
D - Fair: Improvement is needed to meet acceptable standards; performance of job requirements is inconsistent.
C - Average: Meets acceptable standards; performance of job requirements is consistent.
B - Good: Above acceptable standards; performance usually exceeds job requirements.
A - Excellent: Outstanding; unquestionably above acceptable standards; performance consistently exceeds job requirements.
In addition I translate these marks into scores, because that provides me with an overall numerical total which is so much easier to use when making comparisons:
I.e. using the above measurement scale: A=5, B=4 etc
In fact, I allow myself further "latitude" by using + or -, which in effect provides me with not five levels of rating but fifteen!
So now I have: E- = 0, E = 1, E+ = 2, all the way up to A+ which is now the equivalent of 14
This makes it so much easier to avoid the two common mistakes in rating i.e: Firstly, a tendency to rate nearly everyone as "average" on every characteristic instead of being more critical in judgement. The evaluator should use the ends of the scale as well as the middle.
Secondly, the "halo effect," i.e. a tendency to rate the same individual "excellent" on every characteristic or "poor" on every characteristic based on the overall picture one has of the person being evaluated. However, each person has strong and weak points and these should be indicated on the rating scales.
What Else Should An Effective Appraisal Include? Mine Include All Of These:
Performance versus Commercial Targets
Specific Objectives vs. Results Summary
Quarterly Performance Rating
Commercial Targets For The Next Twelve Months
Specific Objectives For The Next Twelve Months
Performance versus Commercial Targets:
In this section, I review performance against all commercial targets for example:
o Revenue achieved.
o Overall gross margin.
o CCT (Customer contact time) as a % of TWT (Total working time).
o New accounts opened.
o Revenue increases from existing accounts.
Specific Objectives vs. Results Summary:
Specific objectives are all those targets that are "non - commercial" for example:
o Increase product knowledge in x areas.
o Profile any key accounts.
o Improve presentation skills.
o Attend a "Key Account Management" course.
o Become more involved with the induction of new recruits
Quarterly Performance Rating:
I have always believed in frequent reviews and as a consequence, I hold QBR (Quarterly Business Review) meetings at the end of each quarter. The scoring system is identical to the annual appraisal and in fact the QBRs provide most of the information and data for the annual session.
Commercial Targets and Specific Objectives for the Next Twelve Months:
A good appraisal should always conclude with agreement from both parties on the targets and objectives for the next twelve months.
These do not have to be set in stone and can be reviewed at the next QBR; however it is essential that every individual buys in to what is expected of them.
Target setting is a vitally important part of a manager's function because if targets are set too high that will only act as a demotivator: Equally, if they are set too low, typically that is all that will be achieved.
In the same way the high jumper just clears the bar and does not leap a metre over the top, salespeople sell to expectation and have no inclination to burst through targets - unless of course, there is a significant incentive on offer! Although that begs the question of why they were not challenged with a higher target in the first place?
Finally, it is important that the manager uses the occasion to send the apraisee away feeling good about themselves, fully motivated and believing that all of the targets that have been agreed are indeed achievable - a motivational summary works wonders, even if there were areas of concern during the meeting, always focus on the highlights.