Many organisations struggling to deal with the challenges of the current economic climate as well as technological, legislative and other changes are turning to formal assessment techniques to ensure they have managers and staff with the right skills, capabilities and motivation to meet the ever changes demands and challenge of their marketplace.

At its most fundamental, an assessment process needs to consist of the following:

  • Assessment criteria
  • Preparation for assessment
  • Assessment interview
  • Assessment outcomes
  • Follow up and Review

Assessment criteria – The process needs to start by the organisation identifying the criteria that describe the skills, knowledge and behaviours managers and staff need to meet the challenges facing the organisation.  The line manager then uses these criteria to assess their team members.

Preparation for Assessment – Both the line manager and their relevant team member will need to prepare fully for the assessment.  The line manager will need to collect evidence surrounding the performance of their team member from for example, personal objectives, training and KPI’s and make an initial assessment of performance and development needs against each of the assessment criteria.  In addition, the team member being assessed will need to take a view on their own skills, capability and performance.

Assessment Interview – The actual assessment is made during a formal assessment interview, during which the individual should ‘present’ a brief summary to the line manager of their performance to date and the line manager will make an assessment of performance and development needs during the interview.

Assessment Outcomes – Clearly for the assessment process to be effective something needs to happen as a result of it.  The main outcomes of the process should be an agreement of:

  • Where the individual meets and does not meet the set criteria
  • Training and development actions to enable the individual to meet the criteria standards.
  • The individual’s personal targets for the coming 12 months, as well as any relevant KPI’s.

Before any assessment is carried out it is important that the organisation is clear about what will happen if an individual is assessed having major concerns due to a fundamental weakness, and does not meet the criteria for their role.

Follow up and Review – The frequency of review meetings will be dependent upon the outcomes from the assessments and the needs of the individual.  As a minimum, progress should be reviewed every three months.

As stated earlier, many organisations are turning to formal mechanisms to help them to assess the ability and motivation of their managers and staff to deal with the ever changing and challenging demands of their markets.