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Six Sigma Employee Assessment

Aug 17, 2007
A typical business environment would like all processes to be assessed for improvement possibilities. The competitive business world demands that all business processes be at their peak performance levels at all times to meet challenges. These challenges, as defined by the 'Voice of Customer' and the projections of ROI, are not fixed but moving targets.

For business success, organizations have to realize the contribution of employee assessment. Employee assessment results in measurable metrics called 'Employee Ratings'. Business organizations embarking upon an employee rating exercise, use internal and cross organizational surveys which assess 'as is' conditions with regard to perceptions of employees about their work environment.

The survey may be divided into two parts; one preliminary and the other comprehensive. A representative sample of employees may be taken into confidence for conducting what can be called a preliminary interview. The interview has to be invariably conducted in a formal environment for the feedback to be as real as possible. The purpose of this employee assessment exercise is to find out the present situation so that the metrics can be compared with the goal, point by point.

Preliminary Assessment Guidelines

Some researchers have identified 15 such aspects that affect organizations' working environments. Employees may be interviewed for, for example on:

* Whether Six Sigma implementation reduced their workload
* Whether Six Sigma implementation improved their work climate
* Whether Six Sigma implementation helped reduce process time in their perception
* Whether Six Sigma implementation helped eliminate process variation
* Has it come to their notice that reduced defects reduced wasteful reworking
* Whether Six Sigma improved the position of the organization, in their view

The findings of the preliminary survey may be representative sample feedback and further assessment is strongly advised. The feedback may reveal two different things. The obvious one being the assessment of employees and the other important one is employee perception of the project itself. Although the latter is only relative, it serves as a wakeup call.

Before embarking on a comprehensive survey, the feedback from the initial survey must be analyzed in view of theoretically expected results, which were set at the time of project implementation. All possible deviations must be scrutinized with a view toward concluding whether there has been positive impact on employee performance. The analytical results lead the way for the final, comprehensive employee survey.

A Brief On The Comprehensive Employee Survey

For conducting the final survey, the team must consist of at least a couple of Master Black Belts, one from the HR department and the other being from another respective department for obvious reasons.

Having equipped itself with the preliminary feedback, the survey team need not take indirect paths to extract results. Further, the survey must include all employees, obviously for individual assessment, unlike the preliminary interview. The feedback is recorded on spreadsheets and charts are drawn.

Employee assessment is not necessarily for downsizing staff, as is the common misconception. For the future success of Six Sigma, the team must approach the assessment without being biased.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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