Organizations in the manufacturing and service sectors such as hospitality, infrastructure, security, logistics and retail have a large component of their work force below the supervisor levels.
In general, work force below officer/supervisor level is referred to as workers or blue collared workforce. This article discusses issues related to performance management of workers.
Special characteristics of workers
The workers function as groups or teams and seldom as individuals.
This includes features such as :
- Have the right to form unions as per the industrial norms applicable in their country
- Generally, have team targets, as opposed to individual goals
- Job profiles are based on ’skill sets’
- Growth is linked to the expertise acquired in their skill-domain
- Occasionally, get nominated as a team leader when multi–skilled
- Schedules are time based and shift-driven
- Motivation includes over-time wages, profit sharing (in form of bonus), rewards and recognitions
- May not be accustomed to the use of computers at the workplace
- May be agreeable to serving in the same role for an extended period of time when given due pay increments and promotions
- Have merit-based provisions for career growth to a supervisory level, in some organizations
Why performance management for workers?
Given the special characteristics of workers discussed above, is there a need to manage worker performance? After all, workers do not have significant career changes and growth opportunities that are typically seen by the white-collared workforce.
- In my opinion, worker output does have a measurable impact on the bottom line. Workers appreciate automation, efficiency and understand the benefits of technology.
- Since workers perform as teams, which are largely inter-dependent, it is important to counsel them in areas of team work and mutual co-existence.
- Workers form a large and loyal base of employees that can be groomed for supervisory level and even higher level positions. There are many cases of employees in lower level positions working their way to better levels.
Parameters for performance evaluation
Irrespective of the type of industry, rating workers on the following attributes may help constitute a simple appraisal instrument for performance evaluation:
- Timely attendance/ punctuality
- Compliance with the company policies
- Acceptance of additional work
- Professional knowledge
- Completion of assigned tasks
- Learning potential
- Contribution to team effort
- Initiative, drive and energy Levels
- Quality consciousness
- Safety Awareness
line managers/supervisors can:
- Understand the training needs of workers through the appraisal process. This would enable HR to undertake organized planning of training thereby improving the performance potential of the task force.
- Get each worker evaluated by other members of the team (i.e., peer level assessment). A simplistic approach is that of relative grading, which is a manual process.
- Use the above merit list, coupled with the ‘Performance Appraisal Report’ of the workers to nominate them for different awards. This information can also be used for counseling and employee development.
Advantages of performance evaluation of workers
Organizations that undertake performance appraisal of their workers gain the following:
- Ability to drive performance culture across the organization.
- Opportunity to develop people management skills of their front end managers/supervisors.
- Ability to effectively deploy career/ promotion management policies for the workers.
- Ability to impart need based training to improve skill levels of workers across the organization.
- Opportunity to interact with unions based on performance statistics of workers.
- Ability to use performance data base for job rotations, transfer management and out of turn promotions.
- Ability to introduce rewards and recognition schemes linked with performance.
- Ability to create a spirit of competition in the environment.
- Ability to negotiate effectively with the contractors providing skilled/non-skilled labor for better quality workers.
A ready-to-adopt solution to manage performance at workers level for all types of organizations including government departments is ‘Empxtrack’. Learn more