The German witness practice is an absolute curiosity in the global workplace: the performance of a worker is assessed in a rigid form by means of antiquated language, which has not changed significantly in 50 years. That needs to change!

compensation-work certificate

Dusty and superfluous

Dusty on the one hand, superfluous on the other, because many HR departments issue letters of approval, according to the common one Opinions about the use of job references today. Some job references sound so dusty that you can almost hear the scratching of the pencil on Miss Hermann's shorthand when she reverently listens to Director Stichling's dictation.

The actual benefit is therefore considered to be very low, especially for staff, but without the employees' work is not - one Application without certificates? Inconceivably. A contradiction that perfectly introduces into West German working reality. You could also say that we have a Bonn post-war relic that really overslept the move to Berlin.

Biggest mistake: legal claim to a good report

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Ignorance, little experience, and most of all, time deficits ensure that a large proportion of the work products are subject to complacency.

According to a study by the Federal Labor Court, almost 90 percent of all certificates with the grade “very good” to “good” were issued, which seems to confirm the suspicion.

Why are certificates of convenience issued or unwelcome employees “praised”?

The behavioral uncertainty results from the assumption of some kind of legal claim on a good testimony. So you could once again exemplary in the ZEIT:

“Through the legal right to a good job reference, it loses its Significance.” This is just plain wrong! Correct would be: “By the erroneous belief in a legal claim a good job reference loses its meaning. ”

Need for Action - 4 truths about work references

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Because everyone is doing so, make it all so. How do we leave the emerged paths of the stuff politics?

First of all, it is very helpful to understand the difference between testimony practice and legal ones Basics to be aware and to position oneself accordingly. So there is:

  1. only one Entitled to a simple certificate, not to a qualified. The simple testimony merely provides information on the nature and duration of an employment relationship.
  2. a claim for a satisfactory assessment of the employer. So the note 3 is set first and if the judge does not find it, he has to prove that he is better. If an employer rates worse than 3, he / she will be required to provide evidence as an employer.
  3. an already existing intermediate certificate can not be ignored because the final certificate must be written in accordance with the previous assessment and must not deviate significantly from it.
  4. a duty of truth and benevolence on the part of the certificate issuer, which the Federal Labor Court puts it simply but well: a certificate should be “benevolent in the context of the truth”.

Overall satisfaction formula overestimated

However, the qualified certificate has established itself as the standard. In addition to five individual performance criteria, a summary assessment is also given here. In this sense, the so-called “total satisfaction formula” is understood as the core: “Always to the fullest satisfaction” with the grade “very good”, “always to the full satisfaction” with the grade “good” etc., from which the overall grade could supposedly be read.

Anyone who issues a qualified certificate must use the full range of options so as not to “fall on the nose” with the overall satisfaction formula. There is hardly a statement in the testimony that is more overrated than this. Most of the time, the satisfaction formula even contradicts the rest of the statements and is therefore not credible.

The obligation to meet the requirements

Work performance should be documented annually! What in bigger Company in the form of assessment sheets, which has long been customary, is also worthwhile for SMEs and saves a lot of time and work when creating certificates. The external and self-assessment is usually carried out together with the employees and is discussed in the so-called annual target agreement talks or Employees/ Supervisor talks communicated.

Analogous to the certificate components, information about the status of specialist knowledge, further training, Motivation, Work ability, working method and results are given. In addition to the positive effect for personnel development and performance control, this documentation can be a welcome by-product for the fair creation of certificates, as it is extremely low in conflict and transparent from the start.

Major failures are, however, still a testament

The assessment of the regular execution of the work must not deviate significantly from that of the interim report. However, if gross misconduct has occurred, such as theft on Workplace, this must be communicated.

But not in the form of a devaluation of the performance appraisal. A possible “place” in the certificate would be, for example, social behavior (relationship between superiors and employees) or the termination initiative on the part of the employer, from which a termination without notice can be read.

It can also go without secret codes

There is no question that the case law has presented us with a very real dilemma in practice by imposing “true but benevolent”; Reacting solely with tokens of favor or secret codes is not Solution. Because there are a variety of ways to appropriately accommodate "real" information about the actual work performance in a reference.

If, for example, a person is leaving the company, where the work performance was satisfactory, there is no reason not to present it as already mentioned above.

Intermediate tones are difficult

More difficult is the case when assessing notes between 3 and 4, if the conflict of the employer is not to be risked by the employer.

A benevolent solution in a “true framework” could, for example, be a rather passive description of the task, which definitely represents the person's limited ability to perform. The individual performance criteria could then correspond to grade 3, as could the satisfaction formula. If, in addition, the regret about the employee's departure is not expressed, the overall grade is 3 to 4.

The good news to the end

Writing good, fair and transparent references is possible and feasible. Objective it should be possible to get a good result in as little time as possible, because sophisticated literary references are required HR-Departments do not produce.

In this sense, it does not preclude the use of ready-made building blocks based on the company's internal assessment sheets. One or other good software can be found on the market. Please also buy expertise or develop a standardized procedure, everything possible, please do not write any complaints!

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