How Else are We Going to Know How High the Bar Actually is?
Over the past several weeks we’ve discussed how low the bar is regarding the construction industry and the need to raise it. We talked about how most people working in construction aren’t even aware that there’s a problem. Then we looked into how an evaluation system could improve those standards. Last week, we broke down what construction contractor excellence should consist of.
This week we’re going to look at the hard part of the process…putting numbers to performance.
The number of goals made or correct answers given provide a numerical value of a person’s accomplishments. Evaluating performance is harder, it’s about expectation and perception.
The variation of perception is one of the main reasons this process gets left undone.
What’s acceptable to me, may not be acceptable to you and vice versa. This is why a system for giving a fair evaluation is important.
The rating part of the process –
- This is an objective form of reasoning used to analyze and evaluate companies, contractors, and individuals in each of the five (5) different rating categories.
- Evaluations must be based on the company’s or individuals actual performance, not the comments or opinions of others.
- The evaluation must reflect the combination and culmination of events during the entire project. Single events of outstanding or faulty performance should be considered in context of the overall project.
The following tendencies need to be recognized and avoided in order to keep the ratings as objective as possible.
- “Halo Effect” – rating the company or individual the same in every category based on a general opinion of their performance. Each category must be evaluated separately and objectively.
- Bias – rating a company or individual based on whether or not the person doing the evaluation likes or dislikes the company or individual being evaluated.
- Undue credit for length of service – rating a company or individual based on their length of service instead of the quality of their performance. In other words, thinking that they must be exceeding industries standard because they have been doing this work for 15 years.
- Loose ratings – giving higher ratings out of a desire to please and remain in a positive light with the company or individual.
- Tight ratings – rating companies and individuals below standards due to the person doing the evaluation being a “perfectionist”. If all the companies and individuals are rated too low, it reflects on supervision!
We need a consistent and simple way to score each of the five (5) areas of accountability that we discussed last week; time management, attention to detail, communication, quality of work and respect for the budget.
Each area was divided into various sub-sections that scored independently and averaged together make up the score for each area being evaluated. These five (5) scores then averaged together give us the overall score of the evaluation.
The following notes offer a further explanation of ratings and describe standards of performance. They should be taken as general illustrations of the standard expected rather than as comprehensive definitions. Evaluators should use their judgment in determining other factors which should be taken into account in particular situations.
Here is the numbering system for rating each area –
- FAR EXCEEDS STANDARDS 4.7 -5.0 –
This is the highest level of performance. Few companies or individuals will score at this level. It is only attained by top performers, if ever. This performance rating is characterized by an exceptionally high quality of superior craftsmanship done in a timely manner. They constantly seek out and assume responsibilities above and beyond expectations and contribute new ideas or ways of improving operational and/or procedural matters.
- EXCEEDS STANDARDS 4.0 – 4.7 –
Evaluations in this range are very desirable. Companies and individuals who score in this range demonstrate above average performance in their position. Performance approached that of excellent in craftsmanship and production. Require a degree of supervision that is less than typical of most companies and individuals. They make significant contributions to production and periodically seek out and assume responsibilities beyond expectations.
- MEETS STANDARDS 3.0 – 3.9 –
Performs in a responsible and comprehensive manner, however, improvement should be expected on future evaluations. Requires a higher degree of supervision than should be needed. Performs work in a professional manner and makes acceptable contributions to production.
- NEEDS IMPROVEMENT TO MEET STANDARDS 2.0 – 2.9 –
Companies and individuals scoring in this range are considered marginal. Performance of is barely adequate. Requires extensive direction and review to keep projects moving forward. Companies and individuals scoring in this group should be informed that if there isn’t improvement they will NOT be used on future projects.
- FAILS TO MEET STANDARDS 1.0 – 1.9 –
Companies and individuals should never score this low. Performance in this range is nowhere near acceptable standards. The performance is low and chances for improvement are unlikely. Every project that this company or individual is on is sending a message to customers that job performance and quality are not important!
Once each of the areas has been rated based on the performance on the project and the overall average has been determined, that number is multiplied by 20 to give us the overall score.
These scores then will be as follows:
94 – 100 FAR EXCEEDS STANDARDS
80 – 93 EXCEEDS STANDARDS
60 – 79 MEETS STANDARDS
40 – 59 NEEDS IMPROVEMENT TO MEET STANDARDS
< 40 FAILS TO MEET STANDARDS
Today’s post along with the three previous ones will provide a construction contractor evaluation system that will begin raising the bar to a level of excellence.
- How Can We Raise the Bar of Construction Contractor Expectations?
- An Eye-opening Process to Hold Contractors to a Higher Standard
- The Next Step in Raising the Bar of the Construction Contractor Accountability
Like most things, this can seem a little overwhelming, but so did your first construction project when you started it.
Just start building the wall one brick at a time and before you know it…it’s done.
The key to building anything is having a good plan and following it. This construction contractor evaluation system is a part of such a plan.
Here at Timber Creek Construction, we’ve been looking for a process to hold ourselves and our production team accountable. Implementing this plan is how we’re going to do just that.