How Do You Measure Employee Performance?

Whether you’re the boss doing the evaluation or the employee being evaluated, it’s not a fun time on either side of the process. Evaluations never are, except maybe when you are rated “fabulous” by a boss who loves you.

Unfortunately, many bosses feel the need to find something wrong with an employee when doing their evaluation. The reason, I suspect, is to show that they know more than the employee or to give the employee something to work for in the coming year or to tamp down any employee expectations for getting a raise in pay.

Also the size of the organization, often determines how many questions make up the evaluation process. Some mom and pop operations probably avoid them altogether.


Studies have shown that 60 to 90 percent of employees, including managers, dislike the whole evaluation process.  Worse, the evaluation process has been shown to be ineffective, unsatisfactory and unreliable, and contribute nothing to making positive changes going forward.

So why does any organization do employee evaluations? Because they’ve always been done? Because every organization does them? Because (fill in the blank)?

Not very satisfying answers.


But the Harvard Business Review recently published a new way Deloitte is doing these dreaded annual reviews.   And I really like the concept.  Let me give you the “Reader’s Digest” version, but I encourage you to read about it in more detail.

The basic problem with employee evaluations is that they really tell us more about the person doing the evaluation than they tell us about the person being evaluated. That’s just messed up!

Ashley Goodall, director of leader development at Deloitte Services and Marcus Buckingham (author of the book “First Break All The Rules” which I recommend you read as well), worked on the employee evaluation redesign at Deloitte.

What they came up with is so simple, but beta test results show it to be effective too.

The new evaluation process contains four simple questions. That’s right, only four. The first two questions are ranked on a scale from one to five; from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The other two questions are answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”

So what are the four questions? They are these:

  1. Given what I know about this person’s performance, and if it were my money, I would award this person the highest possible compensation increase and bonus.

  2. Given what I know about this person’s performance, I would always want him or her on my team.

  3. This person is at risk for low performance.

  4. This person is ready for promotion today.

What do you think? I think it’s powerful.

But whether you adopt this concept or not, can we all agree that the employee evaluation process is due for a much needed overhaul?

What’s your new plan for evaluating your employees?

1 Comment

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One response to “How Do You Measure Employee Performance?

  1. Pingback: Looking Back at My 1st Year of Blogging | DickTaylorBlog

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