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Practice might make perfect, but feedback is what truly fuels improvement. Think about the coach on the sidelines who guides a team to a win. Managers are in a similar position. Employees need relevant, timely performance evaluations in the workplace to get better at what they do. A scorecard is a tool that managers use to measure the results of employee work and offer the feedback employees need to do their jobs while contributing to organizational success.
For an organization, a balanced scorecard approach considers the four perspectives of customers, processes, improvements and profits. Begin your employee performance scorecard by aligning employee results with company goals. For example, if you manage a retail grocery store and you want customers to see you as a friendly place to shop, create a measurement for how cashiers, stockers and floor managers greet customers. Create similar alignments for how employee performance influences processes, such as inventory management; improvements, such as waste management; and profit margins by department.
Use the scorecard to define performance by setting measurements for each organization and department goal. The goals measure success and the employees’ contribution. Organizational goals, such as annual sales and customer satisfaction top every employee’s scorecard. However, different departments have different contributing goals, such as knife safety in the deli of a grocery store. What’s important is to clearly define how employees are to do their jobs, yet support the bigger organizational goals.
Feedback on the scorecard is in direct relationship to results of how each employee contributed to results. Quarterly results are a timely measurement to make certain that annual goals are on track. Yet, you can offer daily feedback to encourage those results. For example, if the administrative department has a goal to reduce waste and you notice that the accountant prints multiple copies of large reports, talk to him about creating electronic reports. Also, use the scorecards to provide feedback for new hires. The scorecard creates consistent expectations for all employees, but new hires need feedback more frequently, such as first day, 10 days and 90 days.
Ultimately, employees are accountable for their own performances. You can easily build in employee accountability when creating a scorecard by asking for employee feedback. For example, provide space below each goal and have the employees write their own commitment. When employees engage with the scorecard at this level of accountability, they will be more receptive to the feedback they receive and to support the company’s goals.
Charli Mills has covered the natural food industry since 2001 as a marketing communications manager for a highly successful retail cooperative. She built teams, brands and strategies. She is a writer and editor of "This is Living Naturally," a consultant for Carrot Ranch Communications and a Master Cooperative Communicator.
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