Tag Archives: appraisals

Nearly Half of American Workers See Little Value in Performance Reviews

A GloboForce survey supports the belief that performance reviews may not be as beneficial to employees as they are designed to be. According to the results, 51% of the U.S. workforce believes that the review does not accurately evaluate their work.  

The survey also revealed a couple other important issues for HR to consider:  

  • They found an overall dissatisfaction with frequency and effectiveness of performance reviews
  • Only 25% receive a review every year while a surprising 22% have never had a review
  • 24% of respondents dread the annual review more than anything else on the job  

“Our survey results show what many in the HR community and business world feel right now: the annual performance review is broken. Providing employees with feedback and recognition only once a year is a huge missed
opportunity and simply unfair, given the fact it’s a based on a biased sample,” said Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce.  

Read the Boston Business Journal article  

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Myth Buster: Do Pay Increases Really Make Employees Work Harder?

I declare today as Human Resource Myth Buster Day on our blog. Each week, I’ll be taking up a new HR topic on common assumptions of employee behavior or needs that are found in practice. By digging a little deeper and looking to a variety of experts and research studies, HR professionals can challenge themselves (and their organizations) to apply such knowledge to effectively engage workers in their jobs, make incentives that work, develop office policies that do more help than harm, and so on.  

To begin, let’s discuss fact vs. fiction when it comes to pay raises and pay cuts. Is financial gain the simple equation to boosting productivity? According to recent experts in behavioral economics, pay and performance don’t have the perfect marriage.  

Henry Ford’s Efficiency Wages

The discussion could go further back into history for a better understanding. In 1918, Henry Ford discovered the revolutionary concept of “a higher paid worker means a more efficient worker.” He exceeded his competitors by offering $5 a day to prove the success of what became known as the “efficiency wages” model. It was a win-win scenario – not only was he able to boost productivity, but his business attracted the best of the best talent.  

Gift-Exchange Experiments

In an article by Slate Magazine, they featured one of many experiments to demonstrate the relationship between pay and productivity among employees.  For a position advertised at $12/hour, the first set of workers received $12/hour as expected while the second half was overpaid at $20/hour at the end. Some of the results showed that while productivity among the second group was higher in the first 90-minute period, it began to significantly lower with passing hours.  

Unfortunately, an inquiry into pay cuts or raises is not simple. In the economic downturn, many employers were faced with the choice of cutting wages versus laying off a few employees. Results have shown that in this type of major change, giving out the pink slip to a few workers is better on employee morale than cutting everyone’s pay. However, when considering general employee motivation following pay raises and other financial perks, the gift-exchange experiment challenges us to consider long-term results of the monetary incentive.  

If you’re interested in reading more about the behavioral economics studies, check out the Slate article.  

Also, look out for the second feature on the Weekly Myth Buster series for The Human Resource blog the same time next week. Comments and suggestions are welcome!

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3 Critical HR Trends in a Knowledge Economy

Gary Becker, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, had coined the term “human capital” – asserting the belief we know and understand that people are the most fundamental resource of any business. The more an organization is able to understand and tap into the power of its individuals, the more successful it will be in the end.

Today’s workforce is commonly called the Knowledge Economy, because we recognize that people and their unique talents are what make the difference. In order to capture the same spirit of human resources leadership, today’s blog focuses on a few of the most critical HR management trends that are taking place in 2011.  

Creating Stronger Leaders

Investing more into fostering effective leadership will serve an essential stepping stone to recruiting and keeping top talent for organizations. Across virtually every business sector, human resources programs will put emphasis on education and training that will help build leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills that managers need to motivate the workforce.  

Focus on Work-Life Balance

In particular, there has been a reported increase in work-life balance programs among multinational organizations as well as those in the information technology fields in the U.S. Companies will be reassessing their current policies on flexible work options like telecommuting and work sharing, and looking into new health and wellness benefits for employees to live healthier and more productive lives (on and off the clock).  

Recognition and Rewards

As companies revisit their aspirations for growth as the economy gets healthier, as should employees be encouraged to aspire in their careers. This is a time for rewarding good employee performance frequently during the year to reinforce an employee culture where hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. On the same token, HR professionals should revisit or update the organization’s performance management system, so that it upholds fairness and transparency. Determine a clear method for setting performance benchmarks and motivate employees to do more in their roles.  

Read the full article in the Deccan Herald

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When New Jobs Are Born: DHS Faces Challenges in Defining a Brand-New Role

The American workforce changes quickly. With each new year, we find new career paths arise from the evolving needs of different organizations. So what happens when a new job is born? Writing effective job descriptions is a strategic part of HR programs that can impact performance assessments, recruiting strategies, and appraisals over the years.  

Defining the Cyber Workforce

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security encountered the obstacle of defining a new job function within their organization. In the past three years, the DHS sought to hire 1,000 new IT employees focused in cybersecurity, but have fallen short. Cybersecurity is a focused expertise that has grown in more recent years, and now the challenge remains in defining what the role is, what a competitive salary would be, and what are the most critical competencies. All of these elements of an effective job description will be important for a company’s leadership team as they examine the actual impact that hiring has on their bottom line.  

“That’s really the issue,” said Nancy Kichak, associate director of strategic human resource policy at the Office of Personnel Management at the Executive Leadership Conference last fall. “Despite the fact that we all use the terminology cybersecurity, just what does it mean? And how do you definite it, and how do you identify these special skills that the cyber work force has?” Kichak said the government is still determining whether it can hire cyber professionals under the current pay structure and what job positions comprise the cybersecurity work force.  

Beginning this month and wrapping up in October, DHS is hoping that an in-depth cybersecurity survey will provide answers to these questions. The agency is also looking to outside focus groups among human resource managers to determine how to approach a new job function.  

Read the full article in the Federal Times


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