What is a job evaluation? Meaning, definition, objective

Published: Monday 21st June 2021

It’s important to understand that a performance evaluation is essential in more than just our careers. In agriculture, if farmers didn’t evaluate the effectiveness of their farming methods, they wouldn’t have the efficient and quality machinery that they use today. However, to evaluate a job isn’t necessarily about trying to make it redundant. It’s a learning experience for the employer and the employee. Ultimately it aims to help the business develop more efficiently.

Job evaluation meaning

Man conducts a job evaluation with an employee

So what does it mean when you’re asked to attend a performance review or job evaluation? It could be that you’ve worked at a business for 12 months and they want to assess the work you’ve done and where they can help you progress to next. This is typically referred to as job analysis. It’s likely forward-thinking and employee-driven businesses will have these reviews at least annually for all staff.

A job evaluation on the other hand is slightly more invasive. It’s not something you should worry about too much as an employee. In most cases, your job isn’t on the line. It just means that the company is conducting a review of the work you’ve been doing to ensure it’s having a positive impact and is aligned with the business’s goals. If the business strategy has changed, it’s likely a job evaluation will help identify areas of a job role that can be focused on more, relaxed, or removed completely.

Job evaluation definition

Observing stats and charts in a folder

It’s a systematic, formal process many organizations use to compare jobs to others across the company and the industry. A Job evaluation could come about when you’re being considered for a raise or promotion. The evaluation helps identify the work you do and compare it to other jobs to help your employer identify a fair salary.

Some other reasons why a job evaluation could be requested include:

  • Producing a fair pay framework
  • Reducing discrepancies in remuneration e.g. two colleagues with the same job title with different salaries
  • Creating a new job role prior to recruitment
  • Restructuring of the business for financial or performance reasons
  • Gender pay gap resolution

A Job evaluation will often involve the HR department. It’s quite often an objective approach is needed to these kinds of reviews. While the head of each department will certainly be involved, they may have personal relationships with the staff they work with closest. It’s the responsibility of an HR manager to consider the effect on the employees involved and resolve any potential disputes.

What is the objective?

Businessman holds blocks of lego - business restructuring

Once the evaluation is complete, you may be re-issued with an updated employee contract. This will include details of your new responsibilities going forwards and your salary and working hours, etc. You can dispute these changes with the business if you feel that the new job role or salary doesn’t suit you. However, it’s likely a lot of research and time has gone into the proposed changes which will have been signed off by the CEO or managing director. So you will possibly have to justify your reasons for any changes or be prepared to walk away from your job.

The main objective is for a business to run more efficiently. This can sometimes mean redundancies and restructuring. This is why it’s so important that new start-ups have a strong grasp of business management. It’s crucial to ensure that they set up in the right way from the start. It’s often the case that a few years down the line poor salary structures, unbalanced departments, and a lack of strategy can push businesses towards essential job evaluations. This can be for the department heads as well potentially.

If you’re involved in a job evaluation, it’s not the time to be modest. Make sure you tell HR or your line manager every little thing you do. If you work late, you work through your lunch if you have to pick up work on weekends, etc let them know. This will hopefully help them when restructuring your position and could help lead to a more balanced role. This could be less demanding or at the very least will see an increase in your pay.

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