Measuring Performance

In order to determine how well a church is doing, the church must find a way to measure its performance.

This part of control is referred to as evaluation. Evaluation is a process of comparing what is with what ought to be, in order to determine reasons for success or failure, and how to improve. Through evaluation, the reasons for failure or success are determined. Evaluation is something we all do every day. When a person says, “I like X better than Y,” he is evaluating. When a person says, “He is the best teacher I’ve ever had,” he is evaluating. When a person says, “I thought he would be the one promoted,” he is evaluating. The simplest concept in evaluation is comparison.

This part of control actually has four steps:

1. Gathering data about the present performance

Good records and reports are mandatory for this to be meaningful. The reports may be regular reports or special reports for this occasion. Interviews and questionnaires may also be used to gather data. Observation can be used to gather data. As one gathers data it is wise to remember that people don’t do what we expect, but what we inspect.

2. Comparing data with standards

A comparison of the data gathered on performance to the standards will reveal the strengths and weaknesses. This is when the standards established earlier become so important. If the standards are not available, the data gathered may not mean very much. Some comparison is necessary.

3. Analysis of the findings

Now the object is to not only find the differences, but determine the whys. There are reasons for failing to reach the standards and reasons for exceeding the standards. These reasons need to be discovered and reacted to. Sometimes they provide justification for missing standards.

4. Commendations and recommendations

Recommendations for improvement should now be possible, and this will prepare the way for the final step of control, and that is to correct the performance to conform to the standard. An outsider may be effective in this process, as he will be more objective, ask more questions, and may provide better answers.

How often to measure the performance needs to be established. The “when” might be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annually. Southern Association reevaluates colleges every ten years. An emergency situation would cause the measuring to be done more frequently. The importance or danger of a performance would call for more frequent evaluation. How the performance will be measured needs to be planned and understood.

Evaluation of individuals

Evaluation happens as the leader measures the actual work being done by the standards that were established. Here it is important to emphasize results and not activity. Some can be very busy, but not be producing the desired results. Regular reports are one of the most important instruments to use in measuring progress. Weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reports all have their place. Without a good set of records and reports it will be difficult, if not impossible, to evaluate the performance of individuals.

The periodic performance evaluation is one of the most important and valuable devices available to evaluate the work of an individual. When properly designed and executed, it becomes the vehicle through which the supervisor and the worker will increase their productivity. These meetings might be used to review the duties as outlined in the job description and see how the actual performance is measuring up to the outline of responsibility.

Standard forms are available for employee evaluations from supply firms. One such form, called a trait-oriented performance appraisal form, has a number of traits, abilities, and characteristics that are considered important for success in business. Each of these has about 5 points to rate the performance of the individual as outstanding, good, fair, or unsatisfactory. The types of things selected for evaluating include: accuracy, alertness, creativity, friendliness, personality, personal appearance, physical fitness, attendance, housekeeping, dependability, drive, job knowledge, quality of work, willingness, cooperativeness, sensitivity to others, resourcefulness, decisiveness, enthusiasm, confidence, initiative, aggressiveness, stability, courtesy, and an overall evaluation. These forms have a place, but they do have certain limitations.

Evaluation of organizations

An organizational evaluation is a part of the long-range planning procedure. It is called an internal audit. It needs to be performed every 5–10 years and maybe more often when major changes are being considered. Organizational evaluation especially might consider using an outside consultant to assist. He will be more objective and less defensive. If a consultant is used, he should prepare a report with commendations and recommendations. The types of areas to evaluate and some possible questions to ask are given below:

1. Evaluation of management
a. Are there goals?
b. Are the goals being met?
c. Is a reporting system in place and being used?
d. Do reports reflect objectives?
e. Do reports show consistent growth?
f. Is the communication system adequate?

2. Evaluation of personnel
a. Is there adequate staff?
b. Is there too much staff?
c. Do all staff members fit?
d. Is there an organizational chart?
e. Does each staff member have a job description?
f. Are job descriptions reviewed every year?
g. Is the enlistment procedure adequate?
h. Is the training adequate?
i. Do staff have goals, and are they being met?

3. Evaluation of program
a. Are physical facilities and equipment adequate?
b. Are physical facilities and equipment excessive?
c. Are the units in the program the right size?
d. Do all programs have clear objectives and goals?
e. Do objectives of each program relate to church’s objectives?
f. Are goals being met?
g. Are goals and objectives understood by workers?
h. Is the program needed?
i. Should the program be altered? How?

4. Evaluation of teaching
a. Is the curriculum adequate?
b. Is the Bible being used in teaching?
c. Is there class participation?
d. Are there a variety of methods being used in teaching?
e. Are AVA materials available and being used?

5. Evaluation of finances
The finance audit should use a Certified Public Accountant and the standard audit procedure.

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