Saturday, March 10, 2007

Constructive Criticism, Part 4: The PRICE of a Task or Standard

Many businesses and government agencies are enamored of the term “task and standard” for measuring employee performance; however, managers often struggle with writing appraisals that are consistent with those terms. A definition of each would help:
  • task: a piece of work assigned to the employee; an employee’s job requirement
  • standard: a quantitative or qualitative level serving as the basis for measuring a task

Keep in mind that a task should describe a piece of work, and a standard a level of quantity or quality. In other words, the task or standard should have a high PRICE: precise, reachable, important, cohesive, and exclusive:

  • Precise—It should accurately describe the expected behavior or standard.
  • Reachable—It should reflect reasonable and achievable expectations.
  • Important—It should link to the company’s stated goals and the employee’s actual work.
  • Cohesive—It should correspond to the performance domain being reviewed.
  • Exclusive—It should not repeat other tasks or standards.

To purchase your copy of The Art of On-the-Job Writing by Philip Vassallo, click here: