The performance evaluation system is one of the most critical internal processes in any company. It can be defined as a regular review of how well employees perform their duties (Portolese, 2015). The system can serve several vital functions both for the workers themselves and the organization that employs them. A well-organized evaluation can show the staff how they function in their job and motivate them to improve their conduct (Portolese, 2015). Meanwhile, the company’s management and HR department can use the assessment data to promote or discipline workers and develop performance improvement tools for individual departments (Portolese, 2015). The system involves several components: setting specific goals for the personnel, training, monitoring, feedback, formal appraisal, and proposing an improvement plan if needed or rewards (Portolese, 2015). Overall, performance evaluation is an essential tool for human resource management, and every corporation should have a carefully designed system put in place.
The proposed performance evaluation system is aimed at the appraisal of the customer service department at the Large Technology Corporation (LTC). The system will evaluate how well employees in the department perform their duties and whether they need further training. As the staff’s primary duty is to resolve customer complaints, the Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS) would be the most appropriate method to employ in this case (Portolese, 2015). The scale can be designed specifically to evaluate the customer service representatives and whether their behavior and communication with the customer embody the company’s standards. The main advantage of the scale is that it focuses not only on the negative behaviors but also helps emphasize the positive ones (Portolese, 2015). Furthermore, if correctly developed, the scale helps avoid evaluator bias as it provides the supervisors with objective criteria and metrics for assessment (Muller, 2013). Setting specific criteria will also allow preventing complaints from the employees dissatisfied with the results.
Another way to avoid any complaints regarding performance evaluation being biased or unfair is to ensure that both the department manager and the staff participate in the appraisal process. Before developing a new system, it is important to establish what the employees and managers find useful or not useful in the existing system and which criteria they feel need adjusting or omitting. It would be more effective to give the department supervisor and personnel “buy-in” and invite them to define the competencies they will be rated on during the evaluation (Portolese, 2015). The input from the parties involved in the assessment procedure can be collected during a meeting, where desirable and undesirable behaviors are discussed and scaled accordingly. Ensuring that both the staff and the manager of the department have buy-in in the process opens a line of communication between the two parties and helps avoid any misunderstandings (Portolese, 2015). In addition, knowing the criteria on which they are evaluated can motivate the workers to be more mindful of their performance.
Guidelines for Providing Feedback
Providing feedback to the employees is an important aspect of the evaluation process. The findings can be delivered quarterly in one-on-one meetings or updates via email if there are no serious issues to discuss. The department supervisors should remember that the assessment is not set to blame the staff but to fix and improve their performance (Guerra-López, 2008). Thus, before the finds are delivered, the managers should clearly define existing issues in an employee’s performance and identify how to resolve the problem and the appropriate time frame for the resolution (Guerra-López, 2008). Workers should be encouraged to propose alternative solutions to promote their investment in resolving the problem (Guerra-López, 2008). All the proposals can be ranked to establish their feasibility and cost, with the most efficient and cost-effective one being implemented (Guerra-López, 2008). Managers should also remember to stay positive and emphasize to the reviewed staff that fixing the problem is their main prerogative.
Performance Criteria for LTC Customer Service Department
Five criteria should be utilized when evaluating the performance of customer service representatives in the company. The first criterion is the ability to maintain a positive and professional attitude when dealing with customers. Not all clients calling customer support can describe the problem accurately or, in some cases, be polite. Representatives of the company should be able to deal with aggressive and upset customers respectfully and professionally. The second criterion is the comprehensive knowledge of the company’s products. Representatives of the company should be familiar with its products and be able to assist clients with issues arising from any of them. Response speed to customer calls and emails is the third criterion in the proposed evaluation. Time management is another crucial criterion as the employees need to answer phone calls, emails, and questions in live chat, and it is important not to spend too much time on a conversation with one client. The last criterion is the ability to work as a part of a team. Although the customer service department’s primary duty is to assist the company’s clients, all personnel should maintain professional relationships with each other.
Guerra-López, I. (2008) Performance evaluation: Proven approaches for improving program and organizational performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Muller, M. (2013) The manager’s guide to HR: Hiring, firing, performance evaluations, documentation, benefits, and everything else you need to know. 2nd ed. New York: Amacom.
Portolese, L. (2015) Human resource management. Boston, MA: FlatWorld.