You are here

How to Improve Employee Annual Evaluations?

Research: the impact of performance evaluations on an individual's network.
Published on
19 December 2017

Employees often perceive annual evaluations as stressful, childish or demotivating. As a result, this performance measurement tool is controversial and could gain much if it was improved to encourage positive interactions between employees and evaluators. We speak with Isabelle Né, a professor and researcher at Grenoble Ecole de Management who specializes in behavior in organizations and psycho-social risks.

What should be the goal of an annual evaluation?

The evaluation, or better yet, the appreciation is a logical part of job and competency management systems. Evaluations are designed to help understand a company's needs and encourage growth in terms of career advancement, skills or specific knowledge.

You have to think of how to anticipate, adapt, evolve, develop and management talent. Evaluations are particularly useful in terms of analyzing jobs (job tasks, descriptions, required skills, and needs in terms of adaptation, evolution and training). An evaluation tool should be structured in terms of these needs. Think about the future, not just the past.

Can you speak about some fundamental concepts that are useful in terms of evaluations?

It's important that we underline the fact that a negative evaluation leads to a loss of motivation, engagement and can sometimes encourage a depression or burnout, in particular for employees who are very invested in company life. Remember that you are not evaluating an individual, but their work. This distinction is essential to everything else I will suggest. Avoid categorizing people as skilled or unskilled.

Remember that work is not simply a sum of key figures. Employees often have key knowledge of their job which is unknown to management. This is part of the concept put forth by Christophe Déjours, which underlines the difference between real work and assigned work. In other words, how employees actually appropriate their job and its tasks.

One of the first recommendations you make in terms of annual evaluations is the fact companies should create an evaluation that includes meetings, informal exchanges, and even other employees. Why?

This collaborative approach helps overcome fears of being judged or treated in a childish manner. Much like student evaluations for teachers, this approach enables employees to speak more freely about their experience and their difficulties. Informal exchanges during the year enable employees to speak about problems more immediately and not wait until the end of the year.

How do you then integrate informal exchanges into a structured evaluation?

A formal meeting can be a good way to speak about personal troubles or even an employee's boredom at a given job. However, this doesn't mean you have to record everything, especially if it concerns personal troubles.

You and other researchers highlight the need to go beyond taylorism…

Transforming the role of managers is the key to transforming annual evaluations! This means not thinking in terms of being a “control” person, but rather a “support” person who has the capacity to listen and address issues as they arise. Currently, managers have to deal with complex markets and organizations. The solution is to act as a “servant leader” who is at the service of employees.

Horizontal management organizations are less complex and managers are there to provide support. Individuals are rarely “checked up” on. There’s a real paradox between school and work. Young children are taught to become autonomous and organizations are constructed on the opposite postulat.

As a result, you highlight the need to leave behind rigid evaluation methods and adopt a certain flexibility…

Flexibility enables conversations and a real discussion about careers and possible advancement. What's done, is done. You have to look to the future, especially when there are major problems. The real conversation is about listening and providing empathy in order to overcome sticky situations. It's essential for quality customer relations. And in the same way, it's essential for employees. The less they feel like they're being treated in a childish manner, the more responsibility they can take on.

A study by Deloitte highlights the importance of managerial training in order to improve positive and constructive feedback…

The feeling that work can "lose its meaning" is not new. Individuals have always tried to appropriate their job. In organizational theory, many support the idea of participative approaches because it's very different thing to have power "over" individuals versus "with" them. This provides managers with legitimacy and they don't have to coerce employees.

On the same subject

  • Les dynamiques de pouvoir dans le domaine du coaching
    Published on 24 January 2019

    The power dynamics in coaching

    Interpersonal relationships are a fundamental key to successful coaching. However, recent research highlights the importance of going beyond the coach-coachee relationship in order to consider triangular power relationships between coach, coachee...

  • Grenoble Ecole de Management se mobilise pour Giving Tuesday
    Published on 23 November 2018

    Giving Tuesday: an international day of fundraising

    On Nov. 27th, Giving Tuesday will be launched for the first time in France. The event comes as a response to Black Friday, an opportunity to focus spending on philanthropic causes. GEM will be an active participant to foster support for its...

  • Grenoble Ecole de Management étaye son offre de services corporate
    Published on 23 November 2018

    GEM: a catalyst for innovation

    Serious games, the first-year challenge, research chairs, a business lab… Innovation is at the heart of Grenoble Ecole de Management. The school offers students, researchers and businesses an environment to foster creativity and collaboration.

  • Gazi Islam, chercheur à Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 27 September 2018

    Does permaculture offer an interesting alternative for human organizations?

    Permaculture is usually thought of as a farming practice. Yet knew research explores its potential to help us reorganize society. Thanks to its alternative approach to organizations, permaculture could offer us a positive solution to overcome...

  • Séverine Le Loarne
    Published on 12 July 2018

    GEM - Les Prem1ères: an incubator for female entrepreneurship

    The FERE Research Chair recently partnered with France’s leading incubator network to launch a mobile incubator aimed at supporting female entrepreneurship in rural areas. The first of its kind, this incubator offers a new approach to encourage...

  • Olivier Blanc, GEM ESC 98
    Published on 26 April 2018

    Improving Your Recruitment Strategy: a Smart Investment

    The recruitment process can be costly and sometimes end in failure. Fine tuning your recruitment process will create concrete improvements in terms of company performance.

  • comment tester votre business model
    Published on 26 April 2018

    Startups: How to Test Your Business Model?

    Defining the right business model for an innovative product or service is essential to its success. Experimentation proves to be a useful tool for innovative startups to find the right model.

  • Analogical Reasoning, Generating Innovative Ideas With Customers
    Published on 08 December 2017

    Research: Analogical Reasoning, Generating Innovative Ideas With the Help of Customers

    All innovation processes begin with the generation of new ideas, the majority of which end up not being useful. To improve this process, businesses are involving customers. However, the quality of ideas generated by customers is often quite...

  • Diogo Hildebrand, researcher and Corporate Social Responsibility expert at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 17 November 2017

    Research: How Do Consumers Evaluate Corporate Social Responsibility?

    From fighting poverty and illness to providing disaster relief, corporations around the world dedicate considerable resources to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Contributions come in a variety of forms such as monetary donations, the donation...

  • Dominique Steiler propose de mettre l’entreprise au service de la cité
    Published on 14 September 2017

    If You Want Peace, Prepare for It

    Ready to evolve towards economic peace and well-being at work? Discover the experiences shared by partner companies and the latest research by the Mindfulness Chair.

  • Research: How we take breaks can impact performance at work.
    Published on 12 September 2017

    Let Your Mind Wander at Work!

    It’s time to space out at work… Recent research suggests that mind-wandering has a positive impact on concentration!

  • STAGES : Un directeur de la Fnac raconte son expérience
    Published on 10 July 2017

    FNAC: an Internship to Discover First Hand the Challenges of Customer Relations

    A student internship during the month of December provides student and mentor with the chance to learn hands on.

  • Lamya Kermiche, professeur associé à Grenoble Ecole de Management au département Finance, Innovation et Gouvernance.
    Published on 03 July 2017

    Audit Market Dynamics: the French Perspective on Mandatory Joint Audits

    The audit industry has garnered increasing attention from policy makers, in particular since the demise of Arthur Andersen in 2002. The industry is marked by the fact it has only four major players known as the Big 4. The concentration of audit...

  • Professeur Sénior  Professeur au département Homme, Organisations et Société  Doctorate of Philosophy, Institut Universitaire Européen, Grenoble EM
    Published on 12 June 2017

    Research: Indulgences or Abuse of Indulgences, a New Perspective on Corporate Sins

    From environmental damage to product malfunctions or bribery, businesses around the world are often responsible for wrongdoing. However, assessing the moral stature of a business is considered to be a notoriously difficult task. Not only are...

  • Research: Safety at Work in the Construction Industry
    Published on 20 April 2017

    Safety at Work in the Construction Industry

    A recent study of safety at work in the construction industry provides insights to understand the evolution (and uberization) of work and potential safety risks.

  • fornerino-marianela
    Published on 19 April 2017

    Sensory Marketing: Reinventing the Customer Experience

    How can images, sounds, smells, touch and taste impact a customer’s intention to purchase?

  • Pourquoi des entreprises investissent dans la création d’un Mooc ?
    Published on 07 April 2017

    Why Are Companies Investing in MOOCs?

    The New Energy Technologies MOOC provides an innovative portal to promote a culture of renewable energy. In addition, MOOCs enable companies to share expertise and foster collaboration.

  • Published on 19 March 2017

    Easy-to-Read Food Labels Increase Intention to Purchase

    The battle for healthy food has become a worldwide concern. Public health agencies have invested energy and resources in fighting health risks such as obesity. In this battle, food labels that indicate nutritional facts have come to play a vital...

  • Published on 17 March 2017

    Auchan Banks on Work-Study Programs to Fill Key Positions

    Work-study programs provide companies with access to a talented pool of potential recruits.

  • BAROMÈTRE DU MARCHÉ DE L’ENERGIE
    Published on 13 March 2017

    Energy Market Barometer Report: Winter 2016

    This Winter 2016 edition of the Grenoble Ecole de Management Energy Market Barometer explores the opinion of French energy experts about the decentralization of the electricity sector in France. French experts were also asked where the focus of...

  • Published on 10 February 2017

    Pitch and Win: How to Optimize Your Crowdfunding Campaign

    With an average pitch of only 640 words, how can you make the most of your crowdfunding project presentation?

  • Daniel Ray, enseignant-chercheur à GEM, démontre comment la satisfaction client influe sur la rentabilité de l’entreprise, en calculant son « loyalty model ».
    Published on 08 November 2016

    Capitalizing on Your Customer Relationships

    How to implement a sustainable and profitable customer culture? Discover the answer with Daniel Ray’s Loyalty Model.

  • Published on 22 September 2016

    Energy market barometer report - Summer 2016

    Digital transformation in the electricity sector: this Summer 2016 edition of the Grenoble Ecole de Management Energy Market Barometer explored the assessment of French Energy experts regarding the digital transformation of the electricity sector in...

  • Federico Pigni, Professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 01 July 2016

    Research: Creating Value from Digital Data Streams

    The big data era is upon us. Startups, major companies, organizations and governments are all rushing to extract essential insights from big data. Yet in doing so, many have overlooked the potential value of the digital data streams (DDS) that make...

  • Published on 27 June 2016

    European CFOs are against Brexit: new Global Business Outlook survey reveals

    European CFOs are overwhelmingly against a British exit from the European Union, the latest round of the Global Business Outlook Survey reveals. More than 75 percent believe it is good for the U.K. to remain in the European Union, and a like number...

  • Business Transfer Ecosystem in France: Situation Analysis in 2015
    Published on 22 June 2016

    Business Transfer Ecosystem in France: Situation Analysis in 2015

    Every year, approximately 150,000 business transfers fail in Europe threatening some 600,000 jobs. BTAR's European project, launched in early 2015, aims to target the vulnerabilities in business transfer systems and draw on best practices in order...

  • Published on 26 April 2016

    Plain food packaging increases unhealthy food consumption among men, new study finds

    Findings cast doubt on effectiveness of plain food packaging as strategy to tackle obesity

  • Research: the impact of performance evaluations on an individual's network.
    Published on 22 April 2016

    Research: Positive Performance Evaluations Help Employees Develop Internal Networks

    Interactions are an essential part of any organization. Whether it is receiving help from colleagues or gaining access to crucial information, developing a strong internal network makes it easier for an employee to get things done. This latest study...

  • Published on 31 March 2016

    UK CFOs are less optimistic and more uncertain about economy now than end of 2015, global survey finds

    Economic and political uncertainty and currency risk are among major concerns, indicating that a potential Brexit is damaging confidence. UK Financial Executives have the highest understanding among Europeans of recent innovations such as the...

  • websites such as TripAdvisor have given consumers the power to impact a company's image.
    Published on 22 March 2016

    TripAdvisor: How Companies React to Negative Ratings

    The world wide web has revolutionized the hotel, restaurant and other travel-related industries. From online bookings to customer ratings, companies have to learn how to operate in this new environment. While an organization's market identity used...

  • Research: Creating Visitor Engagement Through Music
    Published on 29 February 2016

    Research: Creating Visitor Engagement Through Music

    Digital communications have created an information overload for customers. To stand out on the world wide web, companies have to offer clients a high-impact experience. When used properly, music provides a simple yet effective means of creating a...

  • Published on 04 February 2016

    Low oil prices cause investment in renewables, biofuels and energy efficiency technologies to decrease

    The current weak price of crude oil is having an adverse impact on the amount of investment in renewables for heat generation, biofuels, and energy efficiency technologies, according to Grenoble École de Management’s Energy Market Barometer Reading.

  •  Thibault Daudigeos is a researcher in Sustainability, Corporate Social Reponsibility, Alternative forms of Organization, Sharing economy, and new models of management at Grenoble Ecole de Management.
    Published on 26 January 2016

    Research: Corporate Social Responsibility at Odds with Global Markets?

    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies have received much attention for their potential to improve societal conditions while creating value for companies. However, this latest study from Grenoble Ecole de Management highlights the fact that...

  • Published on 18 January 2016

    Refugees entering Europe: a positive impact on the economy ?

    The majority of European CFOs believe that refugees entering Europe will have a positive impact on the economy. Nearly 60 percent% of European CFOs believe that accepting migrants will help solve the looming demographic problems their nations face...

  • Federico Pigni, Professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 28 October 2015

    Congratulations Federico Pigni

    Duetto: Industry Transformation with Big Data, a case study in Harvard Business Review by Federico Pigni, Associate Professor in Information Systems in the Management of Technology and Strategy department at the Grenoble Ecole de Management (France...

  • Published on 13 October 2015

    Put Music on your Website

    Your web communication needs to offer a rich consumer experience to distinguish it from others. Nowadays, websites must evoke enjoyable and memorable feelings in their visitors in order to encourage them to revisit and recommend the website.

  • websites such as TripAdvisor have given consumers the power to impact a company's image.
    Published on 29 September 2015

    Customer reaction and Market identity

    This article, written by Tao Wang, Filippo Carlo Wezel and Bernard Forgues, examines the conditions under which organizations publicly respond to unfavorable consumer evaluations that challenge their market identity. This study relies on an analyse...

  • Published on 07 September 2015

    Energy market barometer report: the development of energy prices

    The next Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) will take place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December. The Paris Climate Summit, announced as one of the biggest climate negotiations in history,...

  • Published on 03 July 2015

    Making a success of your business transfer: new tools developed for a European project

    Every year, approximately 150,000 business transfers fail in Europe threatening some 600,000 jobs. BTAR's European project, launched in early 2015, aims to target the vulnerabilities in business transfer systems and draw on best practices in order...

  • Published on 22 June 2015

    Research: Microeconomic Degrowth, Community Supported Agriculture

    Economic growth is the cornerstone of mainstream macroeconomics. In the face of economic crises and unemployment, growth has long been the only acceptable solution. Yet many issues have started to challenge this dominant economic model. As a result...

  • Recherche : nutrition des sportifs et plaisir
    Published on 16 June 2015

    Is It Fun or Exercise ? The Framing of Physical Activity Biases Subsequent Snacking

    While the benefits of exercising are widely accepted by consumers and healthcare providers, people who begin an exercise program don't necessarily lose weight. A fact that can be frustrating not only for practitioners, but their coaches and...

  • Mark Olsthoorn, professor and researcher at Grenoble Ecole de Mangement
    Published on 07 April 2015

    Barriers to Electricity Load Shift in Companies, a Survey-Based Exploration of the End-User Perspective

    Overcoming the barriers to renewable energy systems is a key challenge. In shifting from centralized fossil-fuel energy production to decentralized solar and wind energy production, countries are being forced to act on multiple fronts : flexible...

  • Vincent Mangematin, Associate Dean for Corporate Relations and Research at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 17 March 2015

    Orchestrating Innovation with User Communities in the Creative Industries

    In search of continuous innovation, the digital creative industries have expanded their interactions with user communities to develop their products. This study highlights the evolution of these company-user relationships that allow for fluid...

  • Published on 16 January 2015

    Nostalgia makes consumers more likely to spend or donate money

    The use of nostalgia has been a top trend in marketing in the last few years, in commercials, product lines and even TV shows. The present study demonstrates that feeling nostalgic weakens the desire to hold on to money, and makes it easier to part...

  • Joachim Schleich, professor and energy markets experts at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 01 December 2014

    Research: Switching to energy efficient lighting : a bright idea!

    Energy efficiency policies such as the EU ban on incandescent light bulbs (and on halogen ones in the near future) have been the subject of much discussion in the last few years. The majority of the academic community predicted that new emerging...

  • Published on 07 November 2014

    Research : Digitization, Changing How We Work and Coordinate Projects

    All of us use digital tools and objects that can now be shared and combined in a variety of ways. This change has profoundly influenced the organization of work with projects being divided according to specialization and geographical location.

  • Erno TORNIKOSKI is a Professor in Entrepreneurship at Grenoble Ecole de Management.
    Published on 16 September 2014

    Research: How can the start-up process be accelerated?

    Success or failure of new businesses is what most studies related to the start-up process focus on. However, in today's dynamic market, time is a highly critical issue for nascent entrepreneurs.