Business HR

How startups can tackle the employee performance appraisal

Startups should be designed to be lean and mean.

Typically, a startup’s forces are made up of small teams of talented (and often young) professionals ready to show the world what they’re capable of. Throw innovative ideas that solve real problems in specific industries into the mix and you could have a recipe for great success.

Due to their foundational structures, startups may function differently from conventional corporations. This includes the management of their people.

The performance appraisal puzzle can be a hard one to tackle for many managers across organisation sizes. You could say that there are usually no guaranteed initiatives or methods for when it comes to evaluating your employees’ performance and, in fact, a performance appraisal process left unchecked can be hurtful, arduous and demeaning for both employees and yes, managers too. Tread lightly (this can be especially true if you’re a startup).

Here are a few ways in which startup managers can get a handle on things when the time for performance appraisals rolls around.

Get with the times

Traditional methods of appraisal which place more emphasis on rating individual personality traits are slowly giving way to a focus on the evaluation of job achievements and objectives. Startups should use performance management methods that don’t depend on the judgement of the raters which may lead to biased evaluations. Instead, a stronger focus on assessing employees through metrics based on objectives should be required.

Reward incremental progress

You might find that many human beings are highly-incentive driven. Daunting projects can be seen as long tunnels with rewards at the far end (which may not be very appealing for employees) so instead, focus more on multiple milestones and not just on big accomplishments. By rewarding your employees for making incremental progress, you could nudge them towards the overall goal and encourage them to ‘level up’ at every step of the way.

Competition driven gamification

Let’s face it, appraisals are usually boring (yawn). By utilising the concept of gamification, startups could encourage employees in fun, engaging ways. If you want to make the most out of gamification, why not make things social? Promote the appraisal system through an open environment that lets people share their accomplishments and revel in their achievements (think of it as social currency instead of bragging). Publicising appraisals could also instil some good old productive competition and drive employees to collaborate/work more effectively.

Management by Objective

With traditional appraisals, there seems to be a constant need to give feedback to the employee. However, the management by objective method does away with the need for this. By utilising this interactive (and rather fair) form of appraisal, managers can benefit from a less time consuming and more cost-effective way to manage employees. Either employer/manager or both employee and employer can begin setting up objectives and goals for the employee, which can, in turn, help him/her perform better. This is due to the fact that it lets employees know the goals they need to reach as well as the quality and quantity needed to achieve them. It should also be worth noting that, if both employee and employer decide on objectives together, the probability of meeting those goals can be much higher.

Assessment Centre Method

The assessment centre method is another modern appraisal performance method that has a tinge of gamification at its core. Individuals are tested in various social situations via a number of procedures, in order to evaluate them by assessing performance on job-related simulations. These could be in the form of role-playing business games or in-basket exercises. Ultimately, this can help gauge an employee’s ability to take on a certain job as well as other qualities like planning skills, organisational skills and interpersonal skills.

Measuring your employees’ worth in the form of his/her performance can be a tricky process. If your organisation is a startup, teams should be equipped with proper foundations in order to help them progress. Consider these tips for a more effective employee performance appraisal and make empowering a more dynamic workforce part of your internal process/system.

At TraitQuest, we aim to bridge the gap between employee and employer relationship by providing a robust talent management, employee engagement and talent retention system. As strong believers in growth and progress, our continuous efforts leverage on data-driven decision making, derived traits profiling, workplace gamification via a well-rounded multi-level engagement platform which ensures organisation to achieve top level productivity. To sum up our value proposition – we provide enterprise cloud-based solutions for workflow management and collaboration to drive employees’ motivation and engagement, cultivate a healthy corporate culture thereby retaining your valued employees. We are one of the recipients of HR Vendor of the Year 2018 for Best HR Start Up Company in Malaysia.

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