In search of the best worker

Public Health Emergency Fund

The journey that leads to the discovery of employees who represent the organization’s culture and image of excellence could be more complex than we would normally think.  The search for such workers calls for a multi-faceted approach.


To begin with, organizations and companies use the interview process to identify candidates who would most likely provide value-added services to support their business entities.   Interviews therefore aim at discovering such candidates through the following documents provided by the interviewees:

  • Application Letter.
  • Curriculum Vitae / Resume.
  • Letters of Recommendation.


Organizations use various methods to evaluate the performance of their staff. Some institutions use a pro-management approach in their assessment. At the end of the fiscal year, the employees’ performance is assessed by their supervisors. The employees have no say in the evaluation of their own performance.

This type of evaluation is one-sided and appears rather subjective. Quite often, the appraisal ends in disagreement. Many employees find the assessment too negative and a misrepresentation of their hard work.


Fortunately, today, progressive organizations are adopting more comprehensive and innovative methods to evaluate staff performance.  One such evaluation method, which is gaining popularity in business circles, is the 360 Degree Performance Evaluation. The 360 degree evaluation provides a more holistic and objective approach to staff performance appraisal.


Many workers have very weak connection with their organization’s vision. Their reason for working in a certain company or institution is to earn money. Once they get their salary and benefits, they are happy to sing to the company’s tune.  When the company begins to experience setbacks, they look for ways to jump out of the boat.

On the other hand, there are other employees who demonstrate loyalty and true commitment, when their organization begins to experience challenges. They become part of the solution, and look for ways and means of contributing their quota to the general effort to revitalize the organization.

The Parable of the Talents.

Some workers spend too much time complaining about poor conditions of service and inadequate resources.  In the Parable of the Talents narrated by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew Chapter 25:14-30, we find an example of a worker with a negative attitude to work. In the story, three workers are given capital resources, according to their abilities, to accomplish corporate goals.  Two workers receive relatively higher amounts.

The third worker receives the lowest of the resources and he finds a problem with that. Feeling disappointed, he refuses to work with his portion.  While his other two colleagues were working hard to add more value to their resources, this disgruntled worker chose to wait and complain to his master about perceived unfairness.  In the end, he is punished for being unproductive.


In using the 360 degree evaluation tools to determine the level of staff performance, the following stakeholders are invited to play a role.

  1. The Employees themselves (self-evaluation)
  2. The Supervisor of the Employee.
  3. Subordinates of the Appraisee.
  4. Colleagues/Peers/Team members.
  5. External Stakeholders (Customers, Agents etc).

Self- Evaluation

The employees themselves are given the chance to evaluate their performance against their assigned responsibilities.

Other Stakeholders

All the stakeholders concerned are also requested to complete feedback forms which are submitted to the employee’s direct supervisor for processing.

Summary Report

The summary report is given to the employee (appraisee) to study and respond.  With this objective approach, most employees accept the evaluation report, without complaining.


Supervisors are required to monitor the implementation of goals and objectives in their constituencies.  They are also expected to provide their subordinates with the needed resources for work.


The results of the staff appraisal are usually categorized as follows:

  • Outstanding/Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Average
  • Below Average

Generally, Below Average and Average performers may be:

  • Sanctioned (demoted etc.).
  • Re-trained and given another opportunity to improve performance.
  • Given no Salary Increase.

Good and Very Good performers are awarded one or a combination of the following:

  • Salary Increase.
  • Additional Benefits.
  • Promotion to Higher Job Positions.

Employees with Excellent and Outstanding ratings are accorded very high recognition by the leadership.  They may enjoy:

  • Increase in Salary and Benefits.
  • Promotion to Higher Job Positions.
  • Special Bonus.
  • Scholarship for further Training etc.


Many employees are only interested in achieving their own goals and objectives, without due reference to other members of their team.  Such employees tend to underrate the synergy in teamwork.


Leaders have a responsibility to create the right environment to motivate employees to make maximum use of their knowledge and skills to promote the organization’s mission.

The case of a Jewish maid and her Syrian mistress, Naaman’s wife, as narrated in 2 Kings Chapter 5, points to a favourable environment within which an employer and an employee operate constructively.  The Jewish maid is able to have a good conversation with her Syrian mistress and makes a suggestion which, in the end, brings total healing to her master, Naaman, a Syrian army commander, who was suffering from leprosy. Instead of minding her own business or even wishing the worst for her Syrian family members, she rather worked for their good.  This maid certainly deserves a best worker award.

Her mistress, Naaman’s wife, also did a good job by creating a favourable environment (in her home) that enabled the girl to put her knowledge and skills to good use.


Best workers apply their knowledge, talents and skills in creative and innovative ways, to accomplish assigned goals and objectives. They demonstrate total commitment to the vision and mission of their organization.

The Leadership also plays an important role in creating a conducive environment, which motivates the workers to make significant contributions to the overall success of the organization.

The writer is a HR/Management Practitioner

Phone: 0244599628 E-mail: [email protected]


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