versión impresa ISSN 1668-8708
Vis. futuro vol.11 no.1 Miguel Lanus ene./jun. 2009
Evaluation of Performance as a Tool for the Analysis of Human Capital
Montoya Cesar Alveiro
Universidad de La Salle -
Facultad de Sistemas de Información y Documentación -
Sede Chapinero, Cra. 5 N° 59A - 44 - Edificio Fundadores-
Nivel J - Piso 3 - Bogota - Colombia.
This work tries to show a scheme of performance evaluation for employees, considering that that, is constituted nowadays in the organizations as an essential tool for those who have the responsibility of managing human talent.
Due to the aforesaid, one must keep in mind the aspects on behalf of those responsible of the performance, within the organizations and thus to be able to give the importance to the innumerous elements that constitute themselves as an essential part, when defining the aspects or key points for the development of the evaluation.
KEY WORDS: Performance Evaluation; Human Capital.
For good enterprise development, and of the functions established in the organizations, it is indispensable to count with trained and suitable human talent. In order to be able to count on a team of competent people, that generate value in profit of corporative results, it becomes necessary to develop mechanisms able to recognize, accompany and orient the human resource in labor development.
It is due to the afore mentioned, that the necessity has been seen within organizations, to create a method that renders the possibility to define goals and to develop competences, (knowledge, abilities and attitudes that facilitate successful performance), that contribute to greater productivity and leadership, and that as well makes organizations more competitive and this is obtained through Performance Evaluation.
This paper has as a principle to serve as a guide in the key points to be considered for the elaboration of a performance evaluation, in the organizations which begin to give importance to this essential point of identification of advances and contributions of the employees, considering the continuous improvement and the impact that good development of a performance evaluation generates in the organizations.
To obtain acompetitive organzation, one needs to count on comprehensive human resourses, and capable of rendering the organization all its knowledge and capacities. Even if this is not reached, if in the selection process, one does not use a fundamental principle, when recruiting, such as induction. I. e., induction must be considered as a woven system, which begins in the employment cycle and ends up with the exit interview, which also should be checked when evaluating the pesonnel's peformance.
It is necessary then, that in all the organizations, once the person has been selected, they be informed: the objectives, policies and philosophy of the enterprise to which he/she has just entered, to introduce him/her to their superiors and fellow workers and to orient them as to the functions, procedures and responsibilities in post. When within the organizations one has personnel who knows clearly their functions and the enterprise mission, is that it is possible to begin to speak about performance evaluation, performance evaluation is a continuous feedback, support and follow up process between leader and collaborator, which characterizes itself by being participative and dynamic, which promotes mutual learning, and that makes them owners of the development of their competences in the improvement of the processes and organizational objectives reached, that is to say, performance evaluation is an administrative strategy that implies a series of permanent interactions (continuous dialogue), which allows the employee a role in the planning and development of his work, assuming a greater responsibility due to the results.
In order to be sure, that those who are at the head of an organization administrate it effectively, it is required to examine the way in which they fulfill each one of the administrative functions: strategic planning, organization, integration, direction and control. Therefore, if in all kinds of business, educational or services activities among others, to reach the plans and objectives effectively and efficiently, it is necessary to design and to implant procedures to evaluate the performance and to improve therefore the human resources of the organization.
Why is the performance evaluation program needed?
The performance evaluation, is a direction technique essential in the administrative activity of the organization. With base on the kinds of identified problems, the performance evaluation, serve us in the determination and development of a suitable policy to the necessities of the organization.
That is to say, the evaluation of the employees consists of evaluating the quality of their performance, in obtaining the results which are their responsibility. For that reason it becomes necessary that managers, directors, coordinators and supervisors understand the importance of the necessity to evaluate the yield (or performance) of the employees; both need their feedback on their efforts.
When the evaluations are truly effective, they should be included in the promotion system, since the quick stimulus by the demonstrated profit, is the most powerful motivating force known. This will allow the people who work with the organization to:
Receive feedback on the performance of their work.
See clearly, which are their resources that allow them to reach better results.
And to get to know on behalf of the human management area, what it expects from each worker which has to do with the enterprise. [Werther y Davis, 2004, p. 296](1).
The success or the failure of the Performance Evaluation in the organization depends on the philosophy used to establish it, the attitudes of the personnel at Management level, Direction, Coordination and Supervision towards the program and its capacity to fulfill with the objectives and plans.
The general policies of the organizations in the performance evaluation must be based on:
That all the organizations must have an only Performance Evaluation system, and that this must be led by the department of administration of the human resources, who must offer advice, support and the necessary support for its implementation and application in all the areas of the organization.
To be a tool that allows to analyze the profits, contributions, strengths and areas of improvement of the employees of the organization, in their personal and professional development, with the purpose of creating and implementing strategies for the development and qualification of human resource, and thus prepare the organization to compete within the sector of its activity.
Carry out the performance evaluation on results directly attributable to the individual and personal work.
Give the responsibility to the employees who have personnel under them, who must know the potential of the human resource in its area as in other areas, and thus be able to offer the information that allows the enterprise to conform charts of replacements for future vacancies. [Werther y Davis, 2004a, p. 299](2)
Which is the responsibility due to the performance evaluation?
The responsibility due to the Performance evaluation in the organizations must correspond to the area of Human Management, Human Development, Personnel Department, independent of the name that the organizations give the area in the administration of the human talent and according to the policies that they must develop based on:
The application and later pursuit and control to the program on behalf of the administration area of the human resources in the organization, whereas each director applies and develops the plan in his area.
In naming a Performance Evaluation Commission, where the precise participation of evaluators of all the areas is necessary, where this commission is made up of permanent and transitory members. It is necessary that all members participate in all evaluation and where the general manager must be in the commission and be its president.
The transitory members have the role to bring the reports to the evaluators and proceed to their evaluation.
The following could be the conformation of the performance evolution commission. According how presented by [Werther y Davis, 2004b, p. 299](3).
Performance Evaluation Phases 1
It is responsibility of the direction of every organization, to carry out the performance evaluation, for continuous improvement. From the moment of induction (be it by the incoming of new or temporary plant personnel) the post should be explained to the collaborator in what consists the process of Performance Management, as to its usefulness, operation and competence profile required. In the same way it is the responsibility of the area directors and coordinators to carry out the different phases of the process, be it as much for the new collaborators as old ones, within the times determined by indication of the direction of the department in the administration of human resources.
The process is defined in three phases (see illustration 1) that is recommendable to execute every year and that following are considered and are explained.
Ilustration 1 Phase of Performance Management
Source: Own elaboration
Phase 1: Performance planning: For the new collaborators. Once the collaborator knows how the process operates, there should be a self evaluation of the organizational, functional and specific competences, that is to say to hasten the format that all organizations must design, according to the criteria that it considers pertinent to evaluate, and that must be handed in and be explained by their leader at the moment of the induction to the position. The collaborator must read the organizational competences, beginning by the basic level and give a qualification to each behavior according to the scale. The leader as well as the collaborator must agree on a setting off qualification, to each competence behavior (organizational, functional, specific and of leaders when applicable), which should be entered into the Performance Management information system which must generate the direction of the department of human resources, together with the informatics department.
For old collaborators: leader and collaborator, in a work session must define as minimum three objectives and profit indicators at the beginning of every year, making sure that they are concrete and related to the development of the position and the challenges of the area, where they must be assigned a ponderation, in agreement with the impact of each one in the performance.
Phase 2: Support and Follow up: The objective of this phase is to carry out a monitoring and to give support to the collaborator to assure the success of the goals and the development of the competences. This phase is of vital importance within the process; since it allows to give a permanent feedback and to guarantee that the agreements and plans stay effective or be changed in the case of there appearing organizational or particular circumstances.
Phase 3: Evaluation for the development: this phase is due to be done at the end of each semester, for comfort this phase is done in a single session at the beginning of the following semester together with the planning phase. The objective of this phase is to carry out an analysis between collaborator and leader on the fulfillment of goals and the level of competence, demonstrated with respect to what established in the performance planning, as well as sharing, communicating and conciliating in a constructive and receptive form, the favorable aspects and to improve on the demonstrated performance and the level of evidential competence.
Design of the performance evaluation system
The success or the failure of the evolution of human performance in the organizations depends on the philosophy used to establish it and on the attitudes of the personnel. according to what was established by Parra [in Montoya, 2007, page 388](4). At this stage the evolution system is designed, therefore one must not forget that this one must cover the interest and value, be it for the organization as for the employees whose performance is evaluated.
The system that must be implemented for the evolution of the performance in the organizations, is the product of the development of the area of human management, easy to apply, to obtain results and is the base of information for promotion.
Implantation of the performance evaluation system
When a human performance evaluation system, is well planned, coordinated and developed, it generates short, medium and long term profits. The main beneficiaries are the employees, their boss, the organization and the community.
It is the evaluator who has the greater responsibility to evaluate and to reaffirm his authority and his relationships, using criteria and providing direction for a better future performance.
The evaluated one, when knowing his strong and weak points, will work with greater security, if his possibilities of being promoted in the enterprise are greater. [Daniels 1993a, p. 258](5).
Development of the evaluation system
The performance evaluation process within the organizations must be the product of the development of the following important stages and that in each case are the result of the application of information, through formats and that should be governed by principles and criteria, which must have a percentage which defines the state of the operation of the one evaluated and future commitments in both directions. [Levy and Prieto, 2001a, p. 161](6).
1. First stage: performance planning. At this first stage it is precise to identify in a concise and objective way:
a. The commitments and results that must be fulfilled in the exercise of a post during a determined period of time, according to the functions and responsibilities.
b. The conditions necessary for their development are identified, made precise, defined and established in the formats that the organization defines.
The special objectives or commitments are the product of the challenge or remarkable demands for the abilities, skills, activities or employee's knowledge, stimulating innovation and creativity and impels him to assume calculated risks. From these objectives one should have an expected result. The evaluation must be related to the work so that it is valid and reliable.
Also the special necessities should be identified and precise, special training, qualification and development necessities that the employee requires to receive at present, be it internal or external, which contributes to the successful result of their work plan or performance.
2. Second stage: the performance evaluation in the organizations should be focused on the objectives fixed and supported by the enterprise policies. The enterprise must develop through the area of human management, a specific system according to the level and to the areas of distribution of its personnel, and the description of the functions and responsibilities thus:
a. performance evaluation for operative posts (qualified personnel, non qualified personnel)
b. performance evaluation for administrative employees with or without personnel under them (from managers up to supervisors)
At this stage the labor behavior is qualified and one must value each employee's set of abilities and skills. The immediate coordinator or supervisor must find himself in the best position to carry out the performance evaluation.
Performance evolution for the operative posts: the performance evaluation for operative posts should be made for the posts identified as such, according to the functions and responsibilities by area and must be in charge of the coordinators and supervisors.
To the factors a percentage from 1 to 100 is due to be assigned to them, depending on the degree of importance in the performance of the post, the distribution of the percentage must be responsibility of the area of human management according to the value that each organization, gives the defined factors.
Responsibility: refers to work punctuality and attendance. The order, care of and conservation of work elements and tools. This factor analyzes the rational use of work elements, the care and the good handling of the tools contributing in this way to reduce costs. In this factor it is possible to emphasize the importance of attendance for the development of the daily labors as the use of equipment and elements.
Respectful and cordial interpersonal relationships: refers to the respect towards the immediate superior, to the respect and cordiality towards his fellow workers and what is more important is the respect and good relation towards the public and users, rendering service in an effective and efficient form, offering the enterprise's best image. Cooperation: this factor refers to the collaboration to carry out urgent works and team work, which at all times must be a spontaneous and mutual union and understanding with the fellow workers, coordination with the bosses and the opportune attention of specific areas in profit of the users. This aspect is fundamental for the good development and team work as part of the organizational culture of the enterprise.
Efficiency: this factor has to do with the amount of work in a correct, satisfactory and opportune way: i. e., to carry out a good amount of work or services with minimum error. It is the factor that measures the productivity and good reputation of the enterprise.
Industrial safety and occupational health: this factor has to do with the fulfillment and application of the norms of industrial safety established and occupational health; with the suitable use of the safety elements in the performance of its functions and in general in the fulfillment of all the norms to do with industrial safety and occupational health.
In order to evaluate the operative posts, managers with personnel in post and the directors without personnel in post, the following valuation scale can be considered, for the degrees thus:
(E): attitude, ability or skill that is obtained in a high or maximum level. Excellent.
(G): attitude, ability or skill that is obtained in a good level. Good
(A): attitude, ability or skill that just manages to recover a good level. Acceptable.
(U): attitude, ability or skill that does not surpass a mid or minimum expected level. Unsatisfactory or deficient.
Criteria to hasten the performance evaluation format: the criteria to hasten any format of the performance evaluation are:[Daniels 1993b, p. 258](7).
The employee as his direct superior should work on the performance evaluation format in their original, so that both can do it and comment on it later on.
With sufficient anticipation one should call each one of the participant employees of the evaluation process; to have an appropriate place to carry out the performance evaluation and to calculate the time necessary to carry out it.
To have an ample knowledge of the format that is going to be used in the process.
To develop the section of performance evaluation through reading a text in a loud voice, in the presence of the employee, as much the definition of the factors, as the corresponding qualification alternatives; making sure that what has been read was understood; besides carrying out the explanations the employee asks for.
To involve to the employee in his evolution: i. e., to orient the interview in such a way that, it is the employee himself who analyzes the successes and the faults (weaknesses) in the performance of his functions and proposes corrective mechanisms to overcome them.
Objectivity when considering the positive and negative actions keeping in mind the conditions under which the employee carries out the functions assigned during the labor period contemplated for the evaluation.
Ensure communication: it is precise to speak to the employee in a spontaneous, sincere and direct way; to listen carefully to his exposition. To formulate open questions, clear, concise and to use clarifying examples if it were necessary.
To confront, for follow up reasons, the plans and commitments proposed with those obtained; to analyze the possible causes that facilitate or prevent them from being reached.
To take into account the employee's behavior, performance and results provable; to abstain to base the evaluation on appreciations or subjective impressions of the employee's personal characteristics.
To orient the dialogue between the direct superior and the employee in such a way that it allows to establish objectives, highlight strengths and weaknesses, to know the quality performance in its different manifestations and to establish a concrete opportunity for improvement and development.
To prepare the material and to establish clearly the moment and the intention of each one of the evaluation sections.
Every process of performance evaluation is a communication act that requires dialogue, participation, objectivity, observation, aperture, sincerity and honesty.
After a constructive dialogue, employee and direct superior must select for each factor, the alternative answer that better represents the performance of the employee, marking this with an X.
Once each factor is qualified, it is possible to calculate the performance average, (summing up of qualifications divided by the number of described factors) in charge of the human management direction.
Performance evaluation, for administrative employees, with personnel under them. The performance evaluation for employee with personnel under them must be in post of managers and directors.
Knowledge to exert the post: refers to the knowledge (operative and technical), information and abilities for the accomplishment of the work in an efficient way for the area to which he was contracted and previously defined in the profile in charge of the manual of functions and responsibilities. It is an important and basic factor to exert the post.
Quality and presentation of the work: refers to the effectiveness in the performance of his work compared with that normally demanded in the profile of the post described in manual of functions and responsibilities. It corresponds to the normal factor that the employee carries out and the one demanded by the profile of the post.
Amount of work: it is the volume of work that the employee does, compared with what is normally demanded by the post, fulfilling in an effective and opportune way according to his knowledge.
Development in the post: has to do with the interest of the evaluated person to remain updated and to integrate new strategies and technologies related in the post, a result of research and development of general and specific objectives, previously known through the enterprise's policies. This factor is very important, because it is the interest of the employee in his professional development.
Punctuality: it is the fulfillment of the schedules established according to internal regulation of the enterprise, delivery of information and reports in an opportune way and participation in meetings and committees programmed in precise form. It is less important that the previous ones, but are part of the evolution since the success of the management, it depends on the employees' punctuality.
Planning and organization: it is the ability of the employee to structure information, to anticipate necessities, to fix objectives, to program the work (man-hours) and the responsibilities using the necessary resources in an optimal way tending to lower costs and managing to turn conviction into action. This factor is one of most outstanding since it is the demonstration of the employee in his management abilities and handling of resources and time.
Decision making: it is the capacity of the employee to solve situations and problems in an immediate way, considering the general and specific objectives to obtain and value the consequences of the decisions made without obstructing the normal activities of the operation. These are so important in the performance of the functions, since the decisions are due to be made in an immediate form for the success of the tasks.
Interpersonal reports: have to do with the ability to work with and through other people in a cordial way, coordinated and as a whole, establishing effective forms of communication with all the people, within and outside the enterprise, with mentality on service and collaboration. In the good performance of the work this one factor is considered essential and has to do with coordination, communication.
Delegation and control: the direction and supervision personnel must have the sufficient capacity to guide the activities of the post personnel, towards the objectives proposed by means of the leadership exercises, the delegation of functions and its adequate control, motivation handling, suitable communication upwards and downwards and the training. In the modern administration, the knowledge of how to delegate and to control functions is an important affluent factor for the performance of the employee with personnel under them.
Sense of belonging: it is the identification with the enterprise and refers to the positive disposition towards work and enterprise; to the ability to indeed transmit to others the values of excellence to prevail, mission, vision, policies and norms of the organization. This factor is part of the values that in many enterprises have been lost and the employee of direction and management must possess with absolute security.
Dynamism: it is the disposition to work with energy and enthusiasm, without giving up under adverse and negative situations. He is to work hard, firmly, to obtain the objectives proposed within his area and the enterprise. The dynamic personnel transmit this, and this one factor must be part of the evaluation.
Responsibility: it is the way how the employee assumes and fulfills the mission, objectives, action plans, projects and tasks with the personnel under him, the enterprise and society, to the benefit of the service for which he was contacted. This factor is of similar importance to the previous one and is key in the performance of his functions.
Initiative and creativity: the employee must have the sufficient capacity to act without the need to receive instructions permanently. He must be recursive in the solution, decision taking or search for alternatives. He must have the capacity in the execution of new ideas or forms of work, which contribute to the improvement of the functions to be done. This factor is very important since it highlights the evaluation, creativity, dynamism and discards what is negative.
Adaptation: is the capacity of the employee to adjust to new conditions and changes, be they to do with labor, personal or family. He must have a permanent desire of overcoming for which he will have to correct his deficiencies and weaknesses and to improve his knowledge in the normal development of his activities and through the continuous development of the training programs.
Security: it has to do with the expression of firmness and confidence that manifests itself in the accomplishment of his functions and responsibilities, in the argued communication and calm as to criteria, opinions and all those ideas in the development of his work. The factor analyzes the confidence of how the employee develops his daily activities.
Dominion and control of himself: a capacity that the employee must have to handle in a calm and capable way difficult and stressing situations, without losing control of emotions, respect to others and to himself, obtaining therefore a permanent balance in the development of his functions. It is more important that the previous factors, and seeks to qualify the employees who have self control in difficult situations and of handling.
Communication: this factor is very important and is the capacity to receive and to transmit information in a precise, opportune, effective and transparent way. The employee must have the disposition to relation himself in a permanent way to the other areas facilitating the team work. One should highlight that good communications are key in two-way traffic, when carrying out any communication.
Leadership: it is the effectiveness in the direction and coordination of the human efforts, towards obtaining the general and specific objectives proposed. Leadership is the ability of the employee in the motivation and suitable use of authority on the personnel under his direction. The factor emphasizes the employee's capacity of direction towards his subordinates and is one of the management tools.
Effectiveness: this factor is evaluated in the following way:
Planning and organization: is the evaluation of the employee in the organization of the work itself, in coherence with the objectives of the enterprise and the area, assigning the priorities and defining the plans, using the necessary resources in an optimal way tends to optimize costs. The excellent handling of this one factor causes the enterprise to develop its services effectively, improve its productivity.
Punctuality: is the precise delivery, or ahead of time of the asked for or assigned work, surpassing any accidental situation that appears in the development of such. It is consequence of the previous one and it contributes to improve productivity and efficiency.
Precision in the information: it is the presentation of the information and/or written reports that contributes excellent information on documents, clear and complete presented/displayed to the immediate superior in a truthful and opportune way. As part of the integral effectiveness, the factor considers the precise and opportune information.
Amount of work: this factor has to do with the amount of work that the employee does in a correct and satisfactory way with minimum of errors and optimizes the time. Finally the amount is a logical consequence of the other factors.
Personal presentation and vital tone: it is an important factor and it has to do with the image and aspects projected to the others, as far as conditions of order, cleanliness, harmony, personnel organization and the job itself. The vital tone is the physical vigor and enthusiasm whereupon you transmit orders to the personnel under one. With this factor one seeks to analyze the presentation of the employee to those under him, which radiates image, the same as the physical condition.
3. Third stage: control and performance follow up. The evaluation done by the superior ones, is more objective and offers one a more ample perspective of the employee's performance. In addition, at that stage the superiors must be conscious of the kind of evaluation errors and the damages that could arise. The success of the performance evaluation system depends on the use and feedback of the resulting information of the execution of the evaluation. Such information is equally valuable to make changes in the diverse programs of direction of human management.
The obtained data must be communicated to the employee, so that he himself obtain the change. Nevertheless, as much the evaluation interview, as the one of results with the employees, must be carried out correctly.
The primary target of the evaluation of obtained results, is the decision making to correct deficiencies, therefore interviews with the employee, must provide the information of such deficiencies in the performance, as well as the bases to plan their improvement by means of putting into practice the training under the direction of human management. [Levy and Prieto 2001b, p. 161](8).
The direction of human management must count on a specific section or a responsible person for the performance evaluation of the work, besides making decisions on problematic cases and to study, evaluate and solve on the evaluation information, it must also advise the actions to follow in relation to these.
At this stage one must value and appreciate the potential of employee development, and one should establish an action plan to establish the following:
Maintain or reinforce strengths and successes given in the labor behavior.
Correct weak aspects or errors observed in the performance of the post.
In a parallel way a follow up to the performance evaluation as a complementary action, elaborating a format of performance follow up.
Regularity of the performance evaluation: the regularity of the performance evaluation, should be done with the frequency required to let the employees know what kind of work he is doing, and if the performance is not satisfactory, the measures and corrections that the evaluator advises so as to obtain an improvement and excellence in its daily work.
For some organizations, the objectives of the evaluation of human performance cannot be obtained by means of an annual evaluation. Therefore, it is advisable that the evaluations be made, on the personnel, three or four times a year.
For the organizations it must be done as the objectives are fulfilled, for all the posts and be carried out between every feedback period, the development of plans, actions and training which will be great contributions in the development of human talent and that requires a specific area dedicating itself full time to this work, under the direction of the human management.
So, for the evaluation process of independent performance at administrative level in which the evaluated one is, there must be a precise clean feedback. That is to say, the communication process between the evaluator and the evaluated one, must be under the criteria of disposition and respect, because "as human beings it costs us to listen to our errors or what other people must say as to our behavior. It is for that reason that the person who receives feedback must first of all, want to receive it and to be willing to listen. If not all the conversation is useless and will probably stress the relationship". [Bossi, 2001] (9), allows to argue the fear due to performance evaluation and this is due to listening to those negative aspects and which require improvement. It is there, where the evaluator must have in the communication an encouraging, friendly and diplomatic aspect, instead of displaying a judging and culpability tone.
The Performance evaluation, appears in the organizations as a key point for the identification of the competence that the personnel displays, because it is through him who it is possible to identify the most important aspects and which generate impact in the service and the organizational development.
From history, it has been shown that not all the processes used in the evaluation have had the same characteristics, in addition all the models used changed, beginning with blank sheets up to the pre designed formats that has had as primary target to allow the evaluated ones in the organizations, to be able to interpret and to shape the new challenges that must assume so that its labor performance is significantly increased. It is what previously mentioned then, that it becomes necessary to present a model that allows the enterprises to conserve the factors of quality, trustworthiness and veracity, thus allowing the possibility to approach points that allow to be taken into account by the direction of human resources so that it is possible to count on a level of objectivity and respect of opinion.
On the other hand, one can also conclude that, the direction of human resources, will have in its hands, the model used, a tool the results of which, offer him results which are not the end of the process, on the contrary, they are the beginning of a cross-sectional intervention plan which will include the whole organization of the work teams as of the people, thus allowing to adjust the behaviors and performances that are expected in the whole organization, according to the results of the participants in the evaluation process.
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(9) BOSSI, I. (2001). ¿Para qué dar feedback? ¿Cómo hacerlo en forma efectiva?. http://www.cema.edu.ar/~jib/Documentos/DT_05_-_El_feedback_efectivo_v2.pdf (consultado el 7 de marzo de 2009).
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