Re-evaluating evaluation

After fighting the war for talent, employers now need better systems to measure employee performance
By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/14/2002

HR departments are turning their attention from finding people to ensuring the people they have are doing a good job — the problem is that many of the systems designed to measure performance are themselves flawed, according to a recent study by a leading HR consulting firm.

The survey of 25 firms in the Chicago area, conducted by Andersen consulting, revealed most managers and employees do not value their performance management systems, many of the systems are obsolete, and while the vast majority of employees receive reviews, more than 50 per cent said they found the feedback insignificant.

There are a number of reasons for the surge in interest in performance management, said Christopher Ryan, director of people strategy and HR management with the Chicago office of Andersen consulting, from the need to identify potential leaders to the popularity of the Jack Welch book which detailed the forced ranking system at GE. But the most important reason was the shift in focus from retention of all employees to retaining the best employees.