There is a little fear about giving employees references when they move on to other jobs or are fired. When fired the provable reasons are undependability, less productivity than required, and bad communication skills or bad teamwork players.
Attendance records and completed tasks are objective standards of evaluation and the subjective parts which don’t have to be proved are communication skills or getting on well with coworkers and/or the boss or manager.
In a good recommendation you merely have to say that they were dependable, productive, team players and the reverse if it is a bad recommendation. Honest communication between employers is desirable and fear of being sued should not be a serious consideration if the reasons are broad or general enough and not specific or arguable reasons.
Timely attendance or punctuality is vital in a retail establishment dependent on customers. If a worker comes in slightly late and spends an hour overtime without pay at the end of the day then rigid punctuality should not be an issue unless there was an important meeting to attend at the very beginning of the work day.
Making a bell curve for employee performance is junk science and not an objective standard of evaluation because the tasks assigned to the employees are not alike and it will just cause unneeded stress in the workplace. Demanding employees to measure up or to do the impossible or be constantly striving to be at the high end of the bell shaped curve will kill objective just motivation.
Simplistic attempts at disciplining or threatening an employee with three strikes and your out is stupid management. It is possible that after two or even one colossal failure that the employee has to be fired and what also must be considered rationally is whether the failures all occurred in a row or were distributed over a relatively long duration. We all fail sometimes and if it is not frequently enough then it should be no reason for being fired.
Opportunities for advancement should be available within the organization. If you are just a replaceable part always functioning under the same rules then you have no possibility of improvement or advancement and will probably go elsewhere where potential advancement is not only possible but encouraged.
Delegation of authority is one way to accomplish a feeling of movement within an organization so that an employee feels that they are advancing forward in their job career if they have managerial potential. Opportunities for educational advancement or training in skills required in other departments is another possible motivating factor which keeps a job interesting and not in stagnation mode.
There are still many boring repetitive jobs filled by unsatisfied employees but these are not progressive companies with a bright future in this competitive technologically changing business environment.
Obsession with measurement of employee performance with parameters like keystrokes, volume of words used, time spent on subset tasks, time spent doing email or texting, and other senseless parameters or variables is never going to be a foolproof method of evaluating employee performance. As a manager more time should be spent worrying about how to motivate properly with emotional intelligence rather than on micromanaging details and keeping track of minutiae.
An employee will either be efficient or inefficient in how they work and your job is to motivate the efficient ones and get rid of the inefficient ones sooner rather than later after they have done too much damage to the organization and employee esprit.
Good business management and hiring is knowing the difference between technical expertise, a well defined structured job, teamwork human skills, and job experience.
If there is no job experience then there should be some kind of mentoring program within a company to in effect apprentice the new employee.
When hiring a manager emotional intelligence is of primary importance although the best of both worlds is one with emotional intelligence and good technical knowledge or skills. Managing technicians with emotional intelligence alone is bad company policy and business survival in the long run will not materialize.
The technical expert will play an increasingly important role in the businesses of tomorrow and the probability is great that many will be introverted, have little emotional intelligence, have mediocre language skills, and not be very fond of idle chit chat. Managing them will be very challenging but it can be done. Even your average employee will probably have relatively poor communication skills because of so much time spent on social media and cell phones.
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