Evaluations and Change
Evaluations and Change
Decision-making is a critical function in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Mulyono et al. (2021) define decision-making as the process of determining the nature of an existing opportunity or problem and choosing the best alternative from the available ones to take advantage of the existing opportunity or solve a problem. Usually, organizations make decisions to achieve the set organizational goals (Mulyono et al., 2021). On the other hand, evaluation is the process of gathering and evaluating data in order to offer valuable feedback on a program or a program activity. Most decision-makers utilize the evaluation process during decision-making. This paper analyzes the importance of using the evaluation process for decision-making. It further assesses the future evaluation challenges that organizations may face. Finally, the paper presents a proposed plan for implementing the change of an evaluator within a workplace.
Importance of Using the Evaluation Process for Decision-Making
Evaluation activities support effective and efficient decision-making in several ways. Firstly, evaluation activities assist in setting priorities during decision-making. Research reveals that decision-makers have difficulty in effectively setting priorities due to a lack of agreement on which values should guide their decisions (Sibbald et al., 2009). Evaluation activities assist decision-makers in identifying the best practices for meeting the intended goal. For instance, if decision-making is intended to solve a particular problem within a workplace, the evaluation process can help compare the potential solutions and identify the most effective solution that will solve the existing problem and bring about the desired change.
Secondly, evaluation activities assist decision-makers in deciding how to allocate resources to best achieve the desired outcome in an organization. Notably, business organizations utilize a variety of resources, such as labor and time, which are expensive and limited in nature. Sometimes, decision-makers are required to distribute the limited resources among different projects or activities (Mueller et al., 2018). In such cases, these decision-makers must make the best decision on the best ways of allocating their limited resources in a manner that maximizes benefits to the companies. The evaluation process assists in ensuring that the right amount of resources is allocated to the right projects. The evaluation process may identify the projects that require more resources than the other depending on the expected contribution of these projects. Resources are then allocated based on the evaluation results.
Furthermore, using the evaluation process for decision-making promotes shared learning among decision-makers. After making critical decisions, decision-makers evaluate the effectiveness of their decisions by assessing the components of an initiative that worked and those which did not work. This helps the decision-makers to learn about where they did not and the mistake they made while making their decisions. Therefore, they sit down as a team and learn other ways of completing the failed components of an initiative. This allows them to learn from their past mistakes and from each other and improves their decision-making skills.
Future Evaluation Challenges that Organizations Might Face
One future challenge organizations might face as they relate to evaluation is ensuring that their organizational culture supports evaluation. Supporting the fact that the right organizational culture supports evaluation, research conducted by Morariu et al. (2016) found that having the correct culture is vital to the success of the evaluation process. 77% of organizations cited leadership support and a pro-evaluation culture as the two most important elements in the success of their evaluations (Morariu et al., 2016). Due to globalization, the workforce in organizations is becoming more diverse with people from different cultures and is expected to become more diverse in the future. This may challenge the evaluation process since evaluation is not a one-person activity, but rather it is about having a group of people who are committed to continuous improvement and have a growth attitude. Diversity in the workplace will make it difficult to set an organizational culture to support evaluation. Also, in an organization where there is no right culture, the evaluation process may seem like a means of criticizing and pointing out shortcomings in the organization. Therefore, as organizations struggle to set organizational culture due to diversity in the workplace, this will negatively affect the evaluation process.
Lack of technical expertise is another evaluation challenges that organizations may face in the future. Research reveals that many organizations have difficulty doing evaluations because they lack the necessary staff knowledge, skills, and/or resources required for evaluations (Morariu et al., 2016). The authors further add that the availability of sufficient access to skills and knowledge contributes to successful evaluation processes. However, organizations are already experiencing a lack of technical experts, with only 8% of nonprofit organizations having staff who exclusively perform evaluations (Morariu et al., 2016). This implies that there is already a lack of access to evaluation specialists. It is also anticipated that organizations will have a smaller pool of core full-time workers for a specific function in the future (Bresnahan & Yin, 2017). Thus, it can be logically inferred that evaluation specialists who will be exclusively performing evaluations will be a challenge in the future.
Another future evaluation challenge that an organization may face is difficulty in identifying which areas to focus on. Currently, there is a plethora of data and information about organizations’ projects and their outcomes that an organization may choose to gather. It is expected that such data will continue to increase. With the rich data available, it can be quite challenging to figure out how best to spend an organization’s time and money to get the best outcome. Evaluations may often feel overwhelming, especially when there is no clear understanding of why an evaluation is being conducted or what an organization expects to achieve. Unless such things are clear, an organization may spend a lot of time gathering data without learning anything. Therefore, one of the best ways to support an evaluation in the workplace is by first understanding why there is a need for an evaluation and what is expected to be learned from the entire evaluation process. Then, an organization can focus its resources on fewer areas which can contribute significantly to achieving the organizational set goals.
Plan for Implementing the Change of an Evaluator in a Workplace
Often organizations are faced with the need to change an evaluator. Implementing the changes of an evaluator in the workplace depicts a shift from the current way of undertaking the daily business to the new strategies. It entails inducing the employee strategies that consist of using contemporary technology and software. Notably, implementing the changes requires a change in management that enables the employees to prepare for the transition within the organization by applying the new strategies and resources. As such, there is a need to develop a plan to implement the evaluator changes in the workplace. Therefore, the plans describe the comprehensive implementation of strategies that defines the evaluator in the workplace through a step-by-step model.
The plan for the evaluator begins at the top level of the company and the gradual inclusion of the employees at different levels in the change management process. Starting at the top also entails initiating the changes using the C-suite and VPs to ensure the alignment of all the supervised staff (Ballaro et al., 2020). After beginning at the top level, incorporate the existing company culture to ensure that the functional details like decision making and source findings are implemented. Consequently, involving all roles entails a strategic plan which enables the team members to fully vest into participation and have input in the change management strategy. Moreover, the organization should use emotive and rational approaches that enhance the workforce’s motivation by appealing to their emotion.
Most importantly, focusing on the vital behaviour critical to the change initiation as the practical planning step enables the organization to set the productivity objectives by focusing on the essential staff actions. The evaluator should communicate effectively to ensure the planned underway reaches the entire staff at the appropriate time (Ballaro et al., 2020). Further planning includes engagement of the brand ambassadors, creation of the formal and informal solutions, and the evaluation of the accommodated changes to align with the mission of the company’s changing dynamics.
Overall, implementing the change of an evaluator plays a critical role in the organization by enabling the employees to adjust to the new management strategies. As such, it requires planning that ensures the profitability of the workforce within the organization. The plans entail beginning evaluation at the top level, incorporating the beneficial existing company culture, involvement of all roles, focusing on the key behaviors and initiating effective communication. Furthermore, gearing the brand ambassadors, creating the formal and informal solutions and evaluating the accommodated changes enhance the effective evaluation process in the workplace.
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