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Performance Management Definitions

Updated on December 6, 2012

Employee Performance Ratings

Good employee performance rating guidelines are key for building a high performance team, but applying them correctly during a semi-annual and annual performance review is easier said than done. Why? Because we all seem to over-rate ourselves!

...we all seem to over-rate ourselves!

Appraisal Process

I've been in the workforce over three decades now and I've seen the appraisal process change happening. It’s not uncommon for staff to think that day-to-day work activities should be applied to bumping their appraisal rating from a “Solid Performer” to “Often Exceeds”.

Dude, you get paid for 8 hours of work! Unless somehow you can show how you are squeezing 10 or 12 hours of work into 8 hours through a new process you have developed you are just meeting expectations!

Provide Lots of Examples

The way to get value from using these management rating definitions is to review them with you team thoroughly in advance and give good example for how they will be applied before you use them.

As an IT Manager, I know IT personnel are especially finicky when it comes to ambiguous statements. They need clear and logical examples to reference how a performance rating is applied.

For example: A help desk support person that closes 100 support tickets in 90 days might meet expectations as a “Solid Performer” - granted there weren't complaints or too many redoes. However, the same person who is consistently closing support tickets and regularly gets compliments emailed to her manager because of the thoroughness of her work, as well as never having to redo anything could be rated as “Often or Always Exceeds”.

Performance Rating Definitions:

Note: When applying these management definitions, there should be clear expectations set. For an IT department this could be something as simple as meeting your SLA, but there are many other metrics that can be used to measure improvement, such as closed support tickets or sales quotas. Whatever your metric, there must be something to base the expectation on.

Always Exceeds

Consistently exceeds performance expectations to a level which is obvious to managers, customers and peers. Excels in demonstrating the knowledge, skills and expertise that result in the effective performance of the position requirements. Serves as a role model and mentor to others. Contributes at an outstanding level that is well beyond the position requirements. Produces high quality results that add additional value.

Often Exceeds

Frequently exceeds performance expectations. Often excels in demonstrating the knowledge, skills and expertise that result in the effective performance of the position requirements. Often serves as a role model and mentor to others. Contributes at an above average level of effort well beyond position requirements. Produces high quality results that add additional value.

Solid Performer

Meets established performance expectations. Demonstrates the knowledge, skills and expertise that result in the effective performance of the position requirements. At times exceeds expectations. Produces quality results that add value.

Needs Improvement

Does not meet performance expectations on a consistent basis. Does not demonstrate enough of the knowledge, skills or expertise required to perform the job.or tasks assigned. Performance may be uneven or inconsistent, and must be improved. Requires supervision or reminders. Produces low results that rarely add value.

The key measure for performance is "Value Add"!

Read more: 5 Insider Tips To Help Start a Career in Virtualization, Becoming a High Performance Team, Joe's Virtualization blog.

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