Behavior Assessment

The old adage, “Hired for experience, fired for behavior,” is as true today as it was 50 years ago.

When talking about performance, most managers mistakenly combine social performance with job performance.

The fact is that an employee can be an excellent job performer and still be terminated for his/her counterproductive social performance.

We define these two performance measures as follows:

  1. Job Performance – Work-related activities, actions, and interpersonal expressions that are measured against benchmarks or standards.
  2. Social Performance – Non-work related interpersonal expressions and behaviors that a manager expects of his/her direct reports in order to promote a desired culture.

Unfortunately, when managers combine these two performance measures, they often leave their organizations open to various aspects of employment litigation.

With regard to social performance, it is extremely important for a manager to periodically assess an employee’s non-job behaviors and engage an employee in a discussion related to social behaviors that the manager wants the employee:

  • To exhibit.
  • To exhibit more of.
  • To stop exhibiting.
  • To exhibit less of.

We call this review of social performance a Behavior Assessment.

The philosophy behind the Behavior Assessment is:

  1. It is human nature to avoid confrontation and to sweep disruptive issues “under the rug” in the hope that they will go away on their own. A Behavior Assessment is a regularly scheduled exercise to address disruptive behaviors while they are still controllable.
  2. Most managers know how to tell employees to stop negative behaviors. But, they are not trained to eliminate the negatives by encouraging and reinforcing positives behaviors. A Behavior Assessment allows a manager the opportunity to reinforce the positives.

In the creation of a Behavior Assessment, we utilize a formal process for identifying the positive behaviors that the organization expects employees to exhibit as part of being a good corporate citizen and, to a lesser degree, the negative behaviors to avoid.

Next, we create an easy to use form for an employee to conduct a self-review and the manager to add his/her agreement and comments.

We also train the managers in the proper use of the Behavior Assessment.

The Behavior Assessment is designed to provide managers with a tool that will allow them to set non-work behavior expectations that promote and maintain a positive and productive organizational culture.

Because organizational cultures vary in intensity, our Behavior Assessment is customized to meet the expectations of each business.

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