3 Ways To Involve Company Management In Personnel Assessment

Why should business leaders participate in appraisal procedures, what does this give the company, appraisers and the managers themselves

Who needs staff assessment in the first place? Who is the true customer of the assessment? We once asked these questions to the participants of the session “Self-Assessment Center: Life Hacks and Company Experience” at the conference of the “State” magazine. The audience was divided into three groups:

  • 43% answered “business”;
  • 32% chose the answer “for both business and HR”;
  • 25% settled on HR.

These results surprised us: it turns out that personnel assessment is still used in many companies not for solving business problems, but for internal HR processes. Probably, this is also the reason for the ambiguous and even skeptical attitude towards the assessment – among potential customers from among business leaders and the participants themselves.

We believe that personnel assessment has a positive effect on the final business result only if business representatives are interested in assessing and developing their people. Interested, and therefore included. In this article, we will share three ways how to involve the top management of the company in personnel assessment.

The initiator of the assessment is the company’s management

In this scenario, business leaders initiate an assessment, participate in determining their criteria, and conduct assessment centers. With this approach, HR plays the role of a classic service function: it administers and facilitates the assessment process, reinforcing its own conclusions and impressions of employees with its results. However, the leading role belongs to a business. And this is logical, because they make key personnel decisions, and assessment centers ensure the transparency and objectivity of these decisions.

For example, one of our clients has 20 top managers certified and today, as assessors, are fully responsible for organizing the assessment. We trained them:

  • exercise;
  • to objectively interpret the behavioral manifestations of the participants;
  • determine the level of their skills in accordance with the competency model;
  • give the participant feedback on the results of the assessment.

This option is suitable for your company if:

1.  Business leaders have been certified, that is, they have mastered the technology of assessment using the “assessment center” method.

2.  And they are willing to spend an impressive amount of time on the assessment: the assessment center takes full time.

What will you get as a result:

The special status of the procedure in the company: when the management is responsible for the assessment, the participants see its significance and their career opportunities – after all, they are assessed by the leader. The management gets more opportunities in personnel management, the subordinate gets more motivation for development.

Top manager paired with an external consultant

This option is suitable for “skeptics”. It happens that the management of a company treats personnel assessment as an “HR toy”. If you, as an HR specialist, implement appraisal procedures in the company, but are afraid of resistance from the business, immerse the business in the appraisal. This is the most reliable way to show skeptics what ensures the quality of the procedure and why you can trust its results.

A business representative and a Formatta consultant – in this composition, in pairs, we go to the assessment of employees in this scenario. Together we conduct exercises and interviews, draw conclusions based on the results of the assessment center and write reports, as well as give feedback to the participants in pairs.

This option is suitable for your company if:

1.  Business leaders want to be convinced of the value of the asset center: to see how employees show themselves and what the conclusions of the assessment from the consulting company are based on, but they do not yet have the technology at a level to conduct the assessment on their own.

2.  Top managers are ready to take the time to study the content of the exercises and the rules of conduct at the assessment center.

What will you get as a result:

Objectivity and effectiveness of the assessment for the participant: first, he discusses his results with an independent assessor, and then a representative from the business is connected, who speaks with him in the same language and is immersed in the same context. He gives real examples from practice and, based on them, analyzes how the strengths, development zones and limitations of an employee manifest themselves in work, and also discusses which development tools to choose.

HR and top management

This is also teamwork, but in this case, a representative from the business goes for an assessment in tandem with an internal HR expert. This was done by one of our clients, an FMCG company, which decided to evaluate employees after the restructuring of the commercial function.

The business needed to evaluate the employees:  which of them would fit the updated position profiles.

HR functions – to involve stakeholders in the assessment, because it was the business leaders who would lead these people. But there was a concern – managers could disclose the content of the exercises to their subordinates.

For this, we certified the entire team: we trained the HR function as full-fledged assessors and business leaders as observers. The latter were immersed in the assessment technology, taught to correlate behavioral manifestations with indicators of the competency model, to draw conclusions, but the exercises themselves did not show.

This option is suitable for your company if business leaders are ready to participate in the assessment “on the sidelines”. Their task in this version is not to interfere in the assessment process, to perceive the participant’s behavior “impersonally”: not to demonstrate support and not to offer resistance.

What will you get as a result:

Top management will feel the importance of the work of HR specialists and will learn how to layout the actions of employees according to indicators – it will develop objectivity.

Team play with management will help the HR function to better understand the needs of management in people, look at the competency model and position profile more strategically, from a business point of view.

Eventually

The participation of the company’s management in the assessment solves various problems: the transparency of personnel decisions, the effectiveness of measures for personnel development, the solution of a specific problem caused by structural changes.

The corporate culture of the company also plays an important role: for example, the third option, with business representatives exclusively in the role of observers, is not suitable for companies with a rigid vertical of management.

One thing is clear: a business in an appraisal is real. Only in this way does assessment begin to play a role in business decisions and influence business outcomes.