How to Conduct Effective Performance Evaluations?

Posted by Kirsten Ross

Various ISO standards require you to carry out performance evaluations for your employees, but when it comes to doing this, it often lacks resources and is not done properly.

In this video, we had a chat to Nicholas Graham from SRM in South Africa to discuss the concept of performance evaluation and resourcing in South Africa.


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What Makes Resourcing And Performance Reviews Effective?


"When we talk resourcing, a lot of people just focus on the human component of that. There's a lot more to resourcing a management system than just deploying people. You've got your infrastructure, you've got finance, you've got a budget.

What we found to be effective is where a performance review is facilitated by both the employee and the employer. For example, on a monthly basis, the employee should evaluate their own performance against a set metric. And then quarterly, the manager will sit down and review the employee's performance and how they've evaluated themselves".


"I understand that and it's actually good practice, but I think production pressures and business pressures get in the way. 20 years ago, when I was a quality manager, I had to do performance reviews of my staff. Data was never available and it became a chore because there was no systems. Even the employees didn't see the point of it because it didn't have an outcome".


Are Performance Reviews Just 'Lip Service'?

Craig has worked as an auditor for many companies, so has a lot of experience in this field. 


"Performance reviews are a tick-and-flick activity. If you see you have them coming up, you might tick a few boxes, then file it away. But as Nicholas says, it's got to be a two-way street - a continuous, everyday review. There can be a full one every quarter with the manager, but you should be talking with your staff, being out on the shop floor with your staff, and having a two-way conversation everyday".


"In my mind, what underpins any of these things is trying to build a positive culture. We know from ISO 45001, we have to create a positive OSH culture within the organisation, which can be done through trust, communication and participation (which are all requirements of the standard).

If we can get regular consultation, participation, collaboration, the employees know that they can trust management and we're going to start creating the cultures that we so eagerly desire"


I think another thing is that people over-engineer it. Organisations really have to think, how can we do this simply? In our office, we don't do a performance review at all. We have some meetings where we talk about how the organisation is going, but if I want to know how a developer is working, I will go and sit down and have a chat. 


Auditors And Performance Reviews

Do some organisations simply see performance reviews as a way to show the auditor that they are maintaining their systems, or are they actually getting value from them?


"I think a lot of people adopt a formalized or structured approach to performance reviews in order to placate auditors, rather than to get the value out of it.


"That's the key thing - I think they're doing this formal system just so that the auditors will sign them off to say that they've passed the standard, but that's not necessarily true".


"I think it's wrong. Auditors need to make sure that when they go and audit a company, that they can demonstrate that the person who is looking after the system is trained appropriately". 



  1. Keep it simple and use the tools that you've got
  2. Invest money intro raining your quality, health and safety, or compliance managers
  3. Don't just think about performance review from the auditors perspective - there's more to it than that!

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Want more of an insight into compliance in the workplace? Check out our other episodes here. 

Tags: Compliance, Compliance Conversations