Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the employee evaluation process, part of Managing Teams.
Few conversations are as important as the employee evaluations. Some organizations provide appraisals two or three times each year, but most opt for once per year. Some, unfortunately fail to administer any at all. Every employee deserves a thorough evaluation. Evaluations benefit the organization as well by creating informed employees who know what is expected of them and which areas of performance to focus on. In addition the evaluation process also mitigates many employment problems.
Performance evaluations can keep you out of legal trouble by helping you track and document your employees progress and problems. If you ever need to discipline a worker or worse fire them, you will have written proof that you gave them notice and a chance to correct the problem, which will go a long way towards convincing a jury or a judge that you acted fairly. To prepare for an evaluation gather and review all of the documents and records relating to the employees performance and behavior. Review the notes that you've been keeping and the employees personnel file.
You might also want to take a look at any other relevant company records related to the worker. For example, sales records, call reports, or time cards. Once you've reviewed these documents and gathered your thoughts about the employee's work, write the appraisal. Or if your system solicits input from other managers and employees, ask them to complete their evaluations so everything can be compiled. In many organizations the employee will also submit a self evaluation. For you and any other person submitting information, the evaluation should clearly note each standard or goal for the worker including relevant skills and competencies.
A conclusion as to whether the employee met the different standards and the reasons that support the conclusion. After all participants have made their contributions, set up a meeting to discuss it with the employee. Since this is a rare formal conversation, it is best to follow a well known schedule that is published for all to see long in advance. Remember this is very important to you and them, so be sure to schedule enough time to discuss each issue thoroughly. At the meeting, based on the input of all the participants let your employee know what you think he or she did well and which areas could use some improvement. Using your evaluation as a guide, explain your conclusions and remember to be very specific, be honest and stay positive.
Listen carefully to your employee's comments. Take notes during the meeting, and include those notes on the form as part of the employee's personnel file. After discussing the prior performance period, spend at least half to a third of the meeting addressing any revised or new goals. This might include target skills or competencies that'll become a part of their focus for the next performance period. Please note, I did not encourage you to discuss compensation. To help everyone focus on performance, the discussion of compensation changes should take place at another time. Here are a few great tips to help you decrease tension in the room. Make sure the location of the meeting is very private. Show respect by using eye contact liberally as opposed to just reading a form to them.
And be sure you're on time and well-prepared. Finally, you might also consider sitting next to the employee as opposed to sitting across a desk or table, which can often seem adversarial. From a process perspective, evaluation is a continuous cycle throughout the year. Following the evaluation, the employee has the burden to document their work and accomplishments over time until the next evaluation. Similarly, the supervisor, that's you, needs to stay in touch in order to see if they're following their new plan to make sure they stay up to speed and are not surprised by anything. And to simply signal to them your attention and support. When executed effectively, the evaluation process benefits everyone. It will give you insight about the talent you manage. And importantly it will help your employees understand how to move forward with confidence and clarity.
- Building initial rapport
- Signaling fairness and integrity
- Communicating proactively
- Facilitating efficient meetings
- Using your authority effectively