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专栏 - 向Anne提问

什么方法能取代人人厌恶的绩效考评

Anne Fisher 2016年02月24日

Anne Fisher为《财富》杂志《向Anne提问》的专栏作者,这个职场专栏始于1996年,帮助读者适应经济的兴衰起落、行业转换,以及工作中面临的各种困惑。
几乎人人都认为年度考核没什么作用。一些大公司正在尝试big 5绩效管理法。这种方式涉及两个简单的问题:自从我们上一次会面后,你获得的5个最大的成就是什么?到我们下一次会面前,你最大的5个目标是什么?

亲爱的安妮:我差不多又到了对28名下属进行年度绩效考核的时候了。有些公司已经取消了这一乏味冗长的流程,我非常羡慕这些公司的经理们。令人鼓舞的是,我所在的这家中型制造企业似乎也打算用更频繁(同时也更有用)的反馈模式取代年度绩效考核。

人力资源部门仍然要求定期报送每名员工的“进度报告”,但他们把决定权交给了每名经理,由他们决定自身团队的绩效评估方式。我正在研究在新的一年里应该采取哪种方式。我想问的是,你是否知道哪种绩效评估方法既简单又有效?我想用最简单的流程实现最佳效果。——匹兹堡的皮特

亲爱的皮特:正如你所说的,很多公司正在尝试取消年终考核,他们的理由是充分的。据薪酬咨询公司韬睿惠悦对北美地区169家公司进行的一项最新调查,只有大约四分之一(26%)的经理人和员工认为这种传统的流程有效。北美地区约有50%的雇主表示,他们正在取消年度考评,用关于目标和绩效的实时对话取而代之。

咨询机构Big 5绩效管理公司负责人、《终于管用的绩效评估》一书的作者罗杰•弗格森指出:“如今商业的发展速度太快了,年度考核的效率已经跟不上了。人们想要的是即时和有意义的反馈,这就是为什么好的经理人每天,甚至整天对员工进行辅导,这种辅导并没有正式的流程或体系。”

不过,弗格森还指出,为了应对员工通过均等就业机会委员和国家劳工关系委员会提出索赔或诉讼,人力资源部门还是得有一些能够证明员工绩效的文件材料才行。“毕竟我们是个非常喜欢诉讼的社会。”这就是为什么完全取消正式考核流程的企业只占所有受访企业的8%,这也是为什么很多公司的人力部门仍然要求书面的“进度报告”。

因此,除了你可能已经在团队中实施的日常反馈,你还能使用哪些简单有效的书面评估流程呢?弗格森给出的“Big 5”绩效管理法不失为一种好办法。在他担任摩根大通和Fluor等公司人力资源高管的30年职业生涯中,他就是用这种方法取代了传统的年度考评流程。

“Big 5”绩效管理法主要是让员工和经理回答两个问题:自从我们上一次会面后,你获得的5个最大的成就是什么?到我们下一次会面前,你最大的5个目标是什么?

这些问题的答案通常都是比较简短的列表,基本上不超过半页纸。两次评估的间隔短则一个星期(很多销售团队都是一周一评),长则一个月。弗格森表示,这样做的意义是让员工“保持灵活和专注,产生紧迫感。”当然,每份报告也能让你简单明了地了解团队成员的工作进度,你也可以据此给出一些纠正建议。

弗格森表示,“Big 5”评估法的一大优势是,它建立在人们日常应对工作的方式之上,反映的是大多数人都会制定的“待办事项”清单。“我们已经做了大量的规划、排序和报告。为什么不用文件把它固定下来,并且用它来做绩效评估呢?”

“Big 5”评估法的一个附带好处是,“大家都喜欢把他们的贡献归功于自己。”弗格森回忆道,在一家采取了这种方法的公司,有一位前台接待员质疑称,她不知道自己每个月能否总结出5个成就和5个目标来,因为“她做的所有的事情就是接电话。结果在她第一次写完‘Big 5’报告后,她对我说:‘直到我把它写下来以前,我都不知道我自己竟然做了这么多事情!’”给每个人一个正式的机会,定期向老板小小地自我吹捧一番,“可以在职场中创造正能量。”

当然,不管两次报告的间隔多长,你都必须得留出时间与你的团队成员进行讨论。“如果一名经理没有意识到员工发展的重要性,不愿意在这上面花时间,那么任何一个体系都没法让他重视对员工的辅导。”

不过,由于“Big 5”评估的频率要比年度考评频繁得多,而且它更关注即期和短期的效果,而不是遥远的过去,因此,你花在讨论绩效问题上的时间,也更不可能被浪费。

需要提醒的是,要小心“马屁精”。弗格森表示:“如果经理们想保留或加入传统考评流程的一些元素,比如对员工绩效进行排名,那么‘马屁精’就会出现。如果这种情况发生了,那么过不了多久,不管是‘Big 5’评估法,还是其他新方法,都会变得非常像那个我们已经厌倦并打算改革的旧流程。”(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

审校:任文科

Dear Annie: Once again it’s almost time to do year-end performance appraisals for the 28 people who report to me, and I’m envying managers atcompanies that have gotten rid of this tedious, time-wasting process. One encouraging thing is that my employer, a midsized manufacturer, also seems to be moving in the direction of replacing annual reviews with more frequent (and useful) kinds of feedback.

HR still wants periodic “progress reports” on each employee, but they’ve left it up to each manager to decide what form these should take for his or her team. I’ve been researching what approach to take in the year ahead and I’m just wondering, do you know of any simple, effective way to evaluate performance? I’m looking for maximum impact with minimum B.S. — Pittsburgh Pete

Dear Pete: As you’ve gathered, lots of companies are trying to move away from annual reviews, and for good reason. Only about one quarter (26%) of managers and employees think the traditional process works, according to a new survey of 169 North American companies by compensation consultants Towers Watson, and 50% of employers in North America say they are scrapping yearly appraisals in favor of real-time conversations about goals and performance.

“Business moves much too quickly today for annual reviews to be effective,” observes Roger Ferguson, head of consulting firm Big 5 Performance Management and author of Finally! Performance Assessment That Works. “People want immediate and meaningful feedback, which is why good managers coach their employees all day, every day, without a formal process or system.”

At the same time, though, your HR department still needs “documentation in the event of an EEOC or NLRB claim or charge,” Ferguson adds. “We are, after all, a very litigious society.” That’s a major reason only 8% of the employers in the Towers Watson survey say they’ve gotten rid of formal evaluations entirely (and why your HR department is still asking for “progress reports” in writing).

So, in addition to the day-to-day feedback you’re probably already giving your team, what kind of simple, useful paper trail can you create? One approach is what Ferguson calls Big 5 performance management, which he used to replace annual reviews during his 30-year career as a senior executive in HR and operations at JPMorgan Chase and Fluor.

Big 5 asks employees and managers to focus on two questions: What are your five most significant accomplishments since our last meeting? And what are your five biggest goals until next time?

These can, and probably should, be short lists — often no more than half a page — and the time period between them can be a week, as with many sales teams, or a month. The point is to keep people “nimble and focused, creating a sense of urgency,” Ferguson says. Each report also, of course, gives you a straightforward way to tell team members how they’re doing, and suggest any changes you’d like to see.

One advantage of Big 5, Ferguson says, is that it builds on the way people naturally approach their work, mirroring the to-do lists most of us make anyway. “We already do a great deal of planning, prioritizing, and reporting. Why not document that effort and use it for appraisal as well?”

A side benefit of Big 5 is that “most employees enjoy taking credit for their contributions,” he notes. At one Big 5 client company that adopted the method, a receptionist doubted she could come up with five achievements and five goals per month, because “she said all she did was answer the phone,” Ferguson recalls. “After her first Big 5 report, though, she told me, ‘Until I wrote it down, I had no idea how much I get done around here!’” Giving everyone a formal chance to brag a little to the boss on a regular basis “can create energy in the workplace.”

Of course, you’ll have to set time aside, at whatever intervals make the most sense for your team, for discussions with your team members, and “no system can make a manager care about coaching if he or she doesn’t see employee development as important and worth spending time on,” notes Ferguson.

But since Big 5 conversations take place so much more often than every 12 months, and focus on the present and the immediate future (rather than the distant past), the time you invest in talking about performance is far less likely to be wasted.

A word of caution: Beware of “creep,” which Ferguson says “occurs when managers want to keep, or add back, some elements of the old appraisal process — assigning employees a numerical ranking, for example. If that happens, before long, Big 5 or any other new approach can begin to look a lot like the tired old process we’re attempting to revise.”

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