What are employee performance evaluations like in the trades?

I have quite a bit of experience with white-collar employee evaluations, which are rich in vagueness (cf. Dilbert). Innovative contributions, especially quantitative ones, such as improving a software design that reduces development time by 50% may be prized. Sometimes, employees may be encouraged to gain additional skills or certifications, or even a whole degree.

What do employee evaluations look like in manual trades? Would Joe Securityguard be commended for discovering that carrying a 22 caliber pistol rather than the company issued 38 caliber pistol reduced fatigue by 10% but had no measurable effect on stopping intruders?

No, but s/he might find a way to do walking rounds more efficiently, or improve a holiday schedule, etc.

He might go above and beyond, by washing the patrol vehicles, cleaning up paperwork and other stuff…

Be careful you don’t devalue non-Dilbert-type jobs. I know some former cops who are now in security and they’ve made numerous improvements. I know you are going beyond just security guards, but there are some examples for you.


Right. My question goes beyond security and involves all of the manual trades type work, but I decided to give that one example. I was under the impression that trades are more regimented than Dilbert type work, in that the worker is told to install 10 inches of #4 steel piping and apply one coat of rustproofer, without a lot of room for professional discretion, such as deciding that copper pipe is more economical for the business requirements or deciding to question the need for rustproofing.

Hubby is in charge of vehicle maintenance at our city.

Performance evaluations for his employees are often, sadly, vague as well.

However, mechanics can always help streamline processes by ensuring the proper paperwork is done on each vehicle, keeping the area neat and orderly, and notifying Inventory when stuff is running out (grease, paper towels, welding rods, etc.) They might be innovative by thinking up new ways to organize the welding bay, for example.

Disciplinary items might be things like inattention to safety rules, being late for work, lack of diligence when giving part numbers to the parts runner.

Did that help?

For a manual trade you might have the following items
Days missed
Efficiency (not the same as productivity)
Number of comebacks / do overs

Dilbert types are nothing but clerks. Trust me. They have task lists, and they have things to do and that’s what they focus on.

I know a carpenter who convinced his boss (@ a federal agency: Housing Authority) to let the workers reinforce commonly abused areas so repeat maintenance is not needed as often.

For example, door jambs, toilet paper holder, sinks and toilets, towel bars, etc. His crew was showing up too often to fix them. When building the units, he got a chance to recommend reinforced areas behinds the wallboards, making it a lot harder to pull a sink from the wall. And doors? Well, more work properly longer. The jamb/frame is reinforced with extra studs, longer screws, etc.

This kind of thing shows up on performance evaluations and contributes to raises, promotions, etc.