Employee Evaluations That Work

In any job function, it’s important to know what’s working and what isn’t. If an employee has no idea what they’re doing right or wrong, then it isn’t likely they’ll know how to work toward bettering themselves. This is where performance reviews come in handy. Performance reviews or employee evaluations are regular assessments of each individual’s work including the positives they bring to the table, areas they may need work on and goals to set for the future.

These evaluations give employees real time feedback on the job they are doing and allow everyone to get on the same page as far as expectations of one another and areas that may need some work. This is also the perfect time to talk about promotions, negotiate compensation, or even establish some disciplinary action.

Although some companies may shy away from regular employee evaluations, they can become a very effective tool to motivate employees and inform everyone on where they stand within the company.

Here are some simple tips for getting the most out of your employee evaluations:

1.    Evaluate regularly. You should be conducting performance reviews annually at the very least but ideally every half. This gives you and your employees the opportunity to address any issues that may occur and give feedback that is relevant. Be sure to evaluate them over the entire period; don’t just focus on the last month or so.

2.    Be consistent. Everyone should be evaluated along the same guidelines and held to similar standards for their position. Although negative points need to be addressed, focus on the positives the employee brings to the company and their progress from the last evaluation until now. Use documented examples to back up all of your statements and show your employees that you do pay attention.

3.    Set goals. After every performance review, the employee should leave with a goal in mind to work toward for next time. This goal should be tangible and realistic; something along the lines of increasing productivity, expanding education or personal development.

4.    Face the problems. Although problems should be dealt with as they occur, this is a good opportunity to revisit those problems and determine whether or not they have been resolved. Make sure everyone is up to speed on the progress of the issue and, if necessary, establish disciplinary action.

5.    Open dialog. During the meeting, conversation should be open between the employee and supervisor. If it feels as if the meeting is one-sided, then you’re doing it wrong. Make sure the conversation is focused on the employee. Although this is the time to address performance, it is also their time to express opinions and expectations moving forward.

6.    Write it down. After meeting with your employee, provide them with a hard copy of the points discussed, strengths, weaknesses and goals for the future. This not only gives the employee somewhere to refer back to when thinking about their progress, but it also gives you a record of things discussed to evaluate progress in the future.

Although performance evaluations can be awkward and may take some time, they’re worth the effort for all the benefits they can bring to everyone. Go into these meetings with an open mind and the willingness to have a candid conversation with your employees. The more transparent you are, the more they will respect you.

For more tips on effective employee evaluations, take a look at these resources:
3 questions to help ensure effective employee evaluations
Writing a great performance review
10 ways to ruin an employee evaluation

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