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Easy and Effective Employee Reviews

In the manufacturing industry, employee reviews and performance management are increasingly common topics. To remain competitive, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) need to continually improve efficiency and effectiveness in all aspects of the business. Forward thinking companies like Fusion are implementing innovative solutions that ensure processes deliver results and improve performance. One example of such a solution is our Employee Check-In (ECI) Program.

Fusion is committed to maintaining an environment that respects employees and supports their growth. In order to accomplish this goal, we developed the ECI Program, a monthly check-in between employees and their Department Managers. This program was designed with the following features to ensure successful working relationships:

Training Management. Managing the performance of another individual requires many skills, including how to: understand human behavior, inspire, develop, listen, provide coaching and deal with conflicts. Prior to implementing this program, Department Managers were trained to ensure they were prepared to effectively complete all the tasks related to conducting a successful ECI meeting. As a result, they are empowered observers able to assess a situation, provide encouragement and identify potential issues that might affect employee performance.

Preparation. For the ECI meeting, it is imperative for both the Department Manager and employee to prepare ahead of time. Managers schedule an appropriate place and time with no interruptions. Employees arrive prepared with the information necessary to provide valuable input. Frequent communication from Senior Management about the ECIs during our morning huddle conveys a message related to its importance. This organizational recognition and support drives performance improvement.

Open feedback. A cornerstone of our company culture at Fusion is open and honest communication. Performance feedback to employees is objective, supportive, and delivered with respect. Specific examples of jobs well done provide clarity and help the employee focus on future improvements. Conversely, it is essential that employees feel comfortable sharing their observations and experiences during their ECIs. Department Managers have a responsibility to listen and include this feedback into future plans.

Link between business objectives and day-to-day actions. Employees want to feel successful and that they are making a valuable contribution. The ECI Program reinforces individual opportunities for improvement and how they fit into our Painted Picture. Identifying obstacles contributes to success and bottom line results. Regularly tracking progress also provides the opportunity to recognize and reward employees for performance and exceptional effort, contributing to both job satisfaction and productivity.

Documentation. The ECI Form is a record of the ECI meeting generated for each employee. It was designed to be effective and efficient, which is important to support performance-related decisions. Thorough notes are captured regarding feedback to and from the employee. The Department Manager can record successes or performance that requires improvement. These are retained electronically and used as references during subsequent ECI meetings. As a result, Department Managers have a historical record of events and do not have to rely on recent memory. Furthermore, the ECI Form can also act as a reminder for coaching and follow up discussions can promote continuous improvement.

Monthly analysis for the Leadership Team. The program provides the opportunity for Department Managers to gather performance data that is selectively reviewed with upper management. In our case, this has led to several unscheduled performance reviews and increases in employee compensation.

Individualized feedback delivered when it is most relevant enhances learning and provides the opportunity to make necessary adjustments in order to meet performance goals. The ECI Program is efficient and simple, while still providing necessary value. Ongoing feedback is crucial to our success as a contract manufacturer and has helped both our recruitment and retention efforts.