Performance appraisals cannot be done effectively unless the organization sets specific objectives and plans to achieve these.
In essence, an employee must know what needs to be done and have the tools to do it. Foremost in this activity should be the management of the organization (that is, those senior employees) whose job it is to achieve these objectives.
Unfortunately in Barbados, we have a huge weakness at the management level in that the majority of managers do not have objectives. This means they cannot be effective and they cannot be evaluated. Another unfortunate management perspective is the view that employee appraisals, like a lot of training, should start at the bottom.
We need to shift this thinking and require that our management be accountable for making things happen. This would mean that the organization should have objectives with specific measurements which in turn should cascade down to the management level and then to other employee levels.
This is much more difficult that it seems at first glance. Firstly, there is the problem of collecting the information on what we do and what we would like to achieve for the whole organization. Secondly, we need to break this down into specific deliverables for each employee – starting at the top!
And finally, we need to hold each individual accountable – which means we recognize and reward good performance and seek ways to improve poor performance, but obviously within certain limitations.
So, let us set our focus on management. They deserve higher pay because their responsibilities are greater. As their impact on the organization is also much greater, it is absolutely critical that they are held to account – whether it be in the private, public, sporting, political or social sectors.
This does not exempt the lower level employees, but should we really put the same onus on someone earning $10 an hour as someone earning $10,000 a month?!
– CHRIS DE CAIRES
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