At the Plastics News Executive Forum, Peter Bemis described a new self-evaluation process for employees that gives a well-rounded, updated look at candidates for promotion at Bemis Manufacturing Inc.
``It's a living resume, is really what it is,'' said Bemis, co-owner and executive vice president of the 105-year-old Sheboygan Falls, Wis.-based corporation that bears his family's name. He will become chief executive officer July 1.
The company launched its ``management development road map'' in mid-2005 for salaried employees. Next year, it plans to include hourly office employees and people in skilled trades.
Company leaders developed the road map in-house. The goal was to create a comprehensive description of a manager's full base of experience.
``The real element was to create a pool of multifunctional managers who have kind of a broad breadth of experience that I can draw from, with the intent of moving toward a goal of 80-90 percent internal promotion, vs. going to the outside for an executive search,'' Bemis said.
Each employee fills out a detailed form on a computer, showing levels of expertise in specific areas, such as customer negotiations, process design, problem-solving and financial skills. Different sizes of circles indicate the level of the employee's involvement. A color-code indicates the level of competency in that skill.
By clicking on each skill, the employee can type in new information, listing a range of specifics, such as special projects, attendance at seminars, and new experiences and achievements. Employees also can signal areas in which they want more experience.
``Instead of me being responsible, or [human resources] being responsible for the maintenance of these lists and files, it's the individual that's asked to fill out this information and report it,'' Bemis said.
The database is constantly upgraded.
A manager sits down to discuss the self-analysis with the employee. That leads to good, open communication, Bemis said. An evaluation of the employee also includes a peer review, with five volunteers from the company.
These types of self-evaluations should be optional, and executives should let everyone know it is the system used for annual reviews and promotions, he said.
Bemis said he was pleasantly surprised to learn the level of employees' community involvement - another category on the form. Volunteering shows a well-rounded person, and it's something people usually don't talk about at work, he said.