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Understanding Six Sigma Employee Assessment

May 31, 2008
They are also trying hard to get the best possible performance out of their existing business processes so as to achieve maximum productivity at all times and also to stay ahead in the race.

Efforts are also being made to create competencies that make it easier for businesses to tackle critical business challenges such as VOC (voice of customer) and ROI projections (return on investments).

Easier said than done, all these challenges often require a lot more than just the machinery, equipment, or management plans and strategies. Businesses have realized that the thing that ultimately makes all the difference is the contribution of their employees. And this is exactly why they are opting for employee assessments that help a lot in finding the existing motivation levels among employees, their grievances and what they think is good about the company's policies, rules and regulations.

Such assessments are necessary, especially when the business is trying to bring about an organizational change such as those effected by Six Sigma implementations.

The Main Components of a Six Sigma Employee Assessment Plan

Most Six Sigma employee assessment plans have two main components, the first being the 'Preliminary survey' and the second being the 'Comprehensive Survey'. For better understanding, let us discuss each of these individually.

-Preliminary Survey: The preliminary survey involves a few select employees who are interviewed individually by the management. During the interview, a variety of generalized questions are asked such as "Has the Six Sigma implementations reduced their workload", "Has it made them more efficient", "Has it helped in making positive changes in their immediate work environment", "Does it actually reduce waste", etc.

These questions help management to understand the perceptions that employees might be having about the ongoing Six Sigma implementations. It ultimately helps them in devising newer employee friendly policies based on the inputs provided by the employees.

The aim is to satisfy employee needs and requirements so that they give their best to the ongoing Six Sigma implementations.

-Comprehensive Survey: As compared with preliminary surveys, a comprehensive survey is a lot more specific and personalized. These surveys are conducted in an informal environment so that employees feel free to share their true feelings about the ongoing Six Sigma implementations.

Most of these surveys are conducted in the presence of a qualified interview team composed of at least a Master Black Belt, a HR representative, a representative from top management and a senior member from the same department as that of the employee. Input provided by employees are recorded and processed, after which they are displayed through easily understandable graphs and charts.

Employees are generally of the opinion that employee assessments are the first steps towards downsizing and that if they provide any negative inputs, they might lose their jobs. Businesses need to realize this and do everything in their capacity to communicate the right purpose of the assessments to the employees.

It will help in gathering realistic input, a prerequisite for getting the support and co-operation of employees. This in turn will contribute a lot towards ensuring the success of the ongoing Six Sigma implementations.
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 six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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