Failing to make the grade in performance evalsNews added by Benefits Pro on July 14, 2014

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By Alan Goforth

Although most companies conduct regular employee performance evaluations, their effectiveness leaves much to be desired, according to the latest BLR Performance Management Survey of human resources professionals. More than three-fourths of respondents give their employer's performance reviews a "C" or lower.

More than 1,480 HR professionals participated in the study, which was conducted by Business & Legal Resources (BLR) in Brentwood, Tenn. Most companies (92 percent) conduct regular performance appraisals. Of that number, 73 review employees annually, while only 13 percent do so every six months.

Half of HR professionals said their organization uses these evaluations to determine pay increases. The most common reason cited for not linking the two is to focus on employee performance instead of the amount of a raise.

The specific role of the HR department in employee evaluations varies among businesses:
  • 60 percent provide informal coaching for evaluators.
  • 57 percent file the paperwork.
  • 55 percent review all evaluations.
  • 51 percent provide formal training for evaluators.
How well is this process working? The employee performance report card from HR personnel shows that most companies have plenty of room for improvement:
  • A - Excellent, 2 percent
  • B - Above average, 22 percent
  • C - Average, 51 percent
  • D - Below average, 23 percent
  • F - Terrible, 2 percent
"If you are going to invest in performance reviews, then it is only sensible to take the time and resources necessary to make them worthwhile," said BLR legal editor Holly Jones.

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