Performance assessment has to be SMART

In simple terms, performance assessment is the assessment of an employee’s performance during a period of time. Usually –although not necessarily –done once a year; a performance assessment is a major indication of what the employer thinks of an employee’s work. It is a determinant in pay raises, because most appraisals are carried out after a performance assessment.

The SMART approach

Organizational behavior experts propound the SMART approach to performance assessment: Specific outcomes, Measurable (How often? How well?), Attainable and Agreed upon, Relevant and Realistic to the department and employee, and Timeliness of accomplishment.

Quality should be the yardstick

The most important criterion of a performance assessment is quality. Nothing speaks of an organization more or better than the quality of its goods and services. So, the quality that an employee delivers at work should be the first measure for performance assessment, since this is what helps the organization produce the quality that is required for competing in the market.

True, targets are important, but no quantity of work is useful unless quality goes into it. Even in fields like sales and marketing, where everything is judged by numbers; quality is important because finding a few good quality customers is more important than selling to customers who will be forgotten the next day. So, for performance assessment to be fair, the quality of work the employee delivered is the most important benchmark.


This is a very important aspect of a performance assessment. Both management and HR should be completely fair and unprejudiced when carrying out a performance assessment. Fairness means giving the devil its due. It is quite natural to fall prey to some prejudged attitudes about employee behavior, but nothing should come in the way of a proper performance assessment. If an employee performed exceedingly well, but the management does not like his attitude to work, performance assessment should be understood for what it is –a performance, and not an attitude assessment. Attitude is important, but in the case of employees with sloppy attitude, the assessment has to be of a different nature.


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43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539


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