Saturday, July 9, 2011

Using quantitative or qualitative approach to evaluating employees

Performance management can be approached in many different ways. One of the debates that has continued over the years is the question of whether to have a quantitative or qualitative approach to evaluating employees. Analyze the pros and cons in this debate and share your personal perspective based on your experience

The reason this makes for a good debate is because both sides have a valid point, but in my opinion certain variables come into play which will make one option favorable over another. A quantitative approach for performance is much easier when an employee's work can be measured - a farmer can judge a seasonal worker by the number of apples he's able to pick, for example. A qualitative approach for assessing performance is more useful for employees who do a wide variety of work, and produce ideas, or lead others.

Of course, there is an argument to be made against the quantitative approach if external factors come into play - some might consider the personal situation or background of the seasonal worker in evaluating why he didn't pick as many apples as he should have. My argument is that in evaluating employees the main focus should be on what value the employee has brought to the company. There are laws restricting employers from releasing employees for sickness or pregnancy because quite honestly both of these things will affect the employee's contribution at least in the short to medium term. For small, fast paced companies this can become a major liability in the bottom line and may end up causing the end of the company!

A qualitative approach is more useful in assessing performance for those who engage in a variety of activities and who's personality or leadership style can be evaluated 100 different ways by 100 people. Of course, a methodical qualitative approach can still be used for those with a varieties of roles and attributes by breaking down those attributes and basing performance on a collection of them.

Either way, one would be hard pressed to rid any performance review of subjectivity unless of course the function is simply evaluated by 'picking X number of apples' or 'selling Y number of products'. The more accurate the assessment the more likely it is employees will be able to improve on their troubled areas.

No comments:

Post a Comment