Employee Evaluations - Employees dissatisfied with our current evaluation system

B

Big Red

#1
This is not an ISO issue, but I wasn't sure where else to put it.
We are a QS9000 registered mfg. company with approx. 200 union (IAMAW) employees.
In the interest of continuous improvement to our business plan we sent out a survey to each of the employees to see where they felt we needed to improve, what direction they felt the company needed to go (keep in mind that there isn't anyone here with less than 2 years seniority, so they know the company pretty well). 91% of them said that they were dissatisfied with our current evaluation system.
We have tried several different types of eval. systems in the last several years and none of them really seem to work. I understand that you can't make everyone happy when it comes to evaluating their performance, but we need a system that will at least make more than 8% of the employees happy.

If anyone could give me some ideas on what works for them, it would be greatly appreciated. We have developed a team to look at the evaluation system and as you may have guessed, I am on that team.

Thanks in advance for any ideas you throw my way.

Big Red
 
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B

Big Red

#3
I am new to this forum thing, so I didn't know you could search things here. I will do that.

I have pretty much told the other "Evaluation Team" members that I felt that the evaluation system was a waste of time. For a couple of reasons, (1) employees here get a yearly raise (3%) from the union contract, so it is rare for an emplpyee to get a raise through the eval. system (2) all of the employees here are veteran employees, what can we gain by evaluating people that have been here 3-45 years anyway?

And no I am not one of the 92% I am a salaried non-union employee. Our evaluation comes in the form of a check. If we did good, we get a fat profit share bonus, if not we don't get a puny little profit share bonus.

Thanks for the insite about the book, I will definitely check it out.
 
D

David Mullins

#4
When it comes to an employee survey, I have yet to see one that didn't tell you what you knew/suspected anyway. This means management already knows, and have either decided the evaluation system is better than nothing, or they've got to have something and that'll do, or if the employees gripe about that they won't be griping about other issues (it gives them something to focus their frustrations on).

Surveys are usually questions to which the answers are known and reactions determined.

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Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#5
Hello Big Red,

There have been many discussions regarding employee evaluations (performance reviews) here in the Cove. I would suggest you perform a search within this forum to get the most broad perspective to this topic (use the search tool provided by Marc).

Personally, I can engage in this discussion from the ground level every time that it is raised. It is an important topic. Performance Appraisals are simply destructive and are not worth the paper that they are written on, IMHO. Make the other 92% happy by eliminating them. I strongly recommend the book "Abolishing Performance Appraisals: Why They Backfire and What to Do Instead" by Tom Coens and Mary Jenkins.

Being on the committee to find an answer might prove to be quite a blessing. By the way, are you part of the 92%?

Regards,

Kevin
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#6
Big Red,

I believe you will find Part 2 in the book especially interesting. If at all possible, I would recommend that the committee purchase a few copies so that all may do their homework.

Bonus systems - basically lotteries. The one you describe is especially painful. This leads to all kinds of trouble. For a more complete explanation on this, I recommend two books: Out of the Crisis, by W. Edwards Deming (also a great resource on the removal of performance ratings) and Punished By Rewards: the trouble with incentives, gold stars, A's, praise and other bribes written by Alfie Kohn.

David's comments are pretty valid. Somehow, when written down, they are supposed to mean something more. In my experience, writing them down and still doing nothing creates further disharmony. Management needs to take responsibility when taking this route.

Regards,

Kevin
 
B

Big Red

#7
I wouldn't say that the survey was a waste of time. We got a lot of good feedback on other areas of the shop that was never thought of as a problem before.
We have started to address some of those issues that were raised and because the employees feel that they are being listened to, the moral seems to have gone up a little.

Some of the things that were brought up were easy to fix, but the evaluation system is not so easy.

And as for the profit sharing bonuses, that is strictly non-union (management). The shop personnel get a monthly bonus based on productivity and scrap.
That was one of the questions that was asked on the survey, because we wasn't sure if the employees were satisfied with the bonus program and 99% of them were very satisfied with it and the 1% that wasn't is not longer here anyway.
 
D

David Mullins

#8
Surveys initially increase morale due to increased expectations "management might do something about this".

If inactivity by management follows, (as Kevin said - disharmony follows) then morale will drop below its pre-survey level.

One company I know (approx. 500 employees) conducted a survey which revealed that >70% of the workforce HATED the company. (strong words and big figures) Management's reaction (having spent time, money and effort over the years to support and develop the workforce), we won't bother asking them again!

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B

Big Red

#9
Thanks for the input about the survey, but that wasn't really the question that I had. I wanted to know about employee performance evaluations. We have it written into our procedure that the evaluation is how we evaluate the effectiveness of training, so we can't eliminate it completely. We can alter it, but not get rid of it. I was just wanting to know what works for other places.

Kevin, do you have any idea where I could get that book? I haven't been able to locate it.
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#10
Big Red,

Amazon has a good selection. You should be able to locate all three there. If you belong to the ASQ, you can visit their book store for Out of the Crisis and save yourself a few bucks. Abolish Appraisals may also be located at *** DEAD LINK REMOVED ***

Let me know if you have any problem finding them.

I see that you have tied in your training effectiveness with the annual appraisal. I have proposed here at my work place a program I call Job Sampling. It offers 2 sessions annually between manager and subordinate which require feedback (note: feedback should be continuous, all year). Points of discussion are determined using a process of sampling method(pre and post) to determine areas require further training or resources and areas where the individual excels. There is no grading or scoring. Just yes/no type questions or open ended questions requiring thought (essay type). Merit increase fall under another process (controlled by senior management). So far, I haven't been able to disconnect the merit aspect from the sampling process. But I keep trying!

Regards,

Kevin
 
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