Step 3: Evaluate results, give feedback and coach
The third step is most effective when steering controls are selected. With thesecontrols, forecasters of the results can also be used for early warning that specificactions may be required.For example, high morale is a popular goal but one that is difficult to measure.Forecasters such as number of accidents, absenteeism, and employee turnovermay be evaluated together and serve as a surrogate measure for increasing ordeclining morale.However, careful evaluation must be used. If the accident rate increases rapidly in the production area, it would suggest declining morale when a significantincrease is caused by employee carelessness. However, if the cause is related toequipment that suddenly wears out, then there probably is not a relationship between accident rate and low morale.It is essential that managers carefully evaluate deviations before taking action. Itis also important that they remember that deviations can be positive as well asnegative and that they reward employees for positive deviations. Unfortunately,this step is often omitted and only the negative aspects of deviation receiveattention. Who should receive feedback from this evaluation and how often should it beoffered?
The person who is accountable for accomplishing the standard shouldreceive the information first.
The employee's boss, or whoever is in a position to reward the employeeshould receive the information at about the same time or a little later.
Then peers, staff people, subordinates and other line people can receivethe information. At this time, the boss ought to have some suggestionsabout how to get back on course if the employee needs help.The boss's most important job is coaching subordinates and a good planningcontrol system provides an excellent framework for such coaching.Feedback must be reliable, relatively frequent, and prompt. The feedback has to be reliable for the employees to be able to change the behavior or plan in order toget on course. Frequency of information has to do with the interval for which dataare received.If, for instance, costs would not normally get out of control in a short period, thenmonthly reports might be adequate. On the other hand, a delay of 6 monthsmight allow the situation to get so far out of control that it would be too late totake corrective action.