Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Performance Assessment Challenge

Accurate Performance assessment of every employee is a challenge being faced by most of the organizations. The process of performance measurement may be process driven and objective but if at all it truly measures one’s true contribution and performance potential for future is a debatable issue. It’s also one of the critical challenges being faced by HR folks today.Tim Adams tries to find a solution on how to reduce the guess work involved in performance assessment. His views on some typical observation during assessment are;
One-Dimensional Assessments Don’t Work:
Even organizations that recognize the ineffectiveness of standard assessment processes for measuring individual knowledge have had a difficult time identifying better solutions. Typically, they have improved the technical aspects of assessment processes, but they have not been able to overcome the “guesswork” factor involved in the testing outcome. In fact, this cannot be avoided in a single-dimensional assessment approach.

I Guess I Know This…
One of the most important questions in training these days is how to ensure that employees really understand what they need to know to perform quickly, confidently and reliably. Current multiple-choice tests fail to measure the degree of confidence that individuals have in their knowledge or the amount of information they retain that can be applied in the performance of their duties.

I Know I’m Right—Even If I’m wrong!
In addition to individuals who guess correctly (those fortunate few “lucky guessers” who knew they didn’t have a clue), there are also individuals who may be wrong about an answer but strongly believe that their wrong answer is correct. This high level of confidence in incorrect information is commonly referred to as “confidently held misinformation.” Such misinformation not only leads to poor—sometimes even dangerous—decisions and errors in performance, but can also become counterproductive to learning new material effectively.

Confidence-Based Assessments
Recognizing some of the issues around potential errors in the assessment process, UCLA professor James Bruno developed an assessment methodology that remedies these problems by using a two-dimensional assessment model that:

Identifies a person’s certainty of information as an essential element in defining that person’s knowledge.

Employs a method of testing, scoring and interpreting the test results based on a model that underlines the confidence a person has in the information as well as identifying the correctness of their answer.

Bruno’s research noted that traditional multiple-choice testing techniques used to assess the extent of a person’s knowledge in a subject-matter area typically include a number of possible choices that are selectable by right or wrong answer.

Covering Both Bases
Using confidence-based assessment methods allows employers to determine not only whether or not their employees are able to identify the best answer, but also how confident they are in their answers. Have they truly mastered the appropriate knowledge? Will they retain it? Will they be able to apply it? Test scoring based on confidence-based assessment evaluates not only the employees’ degrees of correctness, but also their level of confidence in gauging what they know and don’t know.

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