Performance evaluations are extremely helpful in making sure that your workers are meeting the demands of their roles within the company. Conducting regular reviews can also be helpful in protecting your company against wage, termination, or discrimination claims.
There are many methods for conducting performance evaluations. Here are a few guidelines to help make your company’s performance evaluations as streamlined, hassle-free, and effective as possible.
1. Conduct performance reviews frequently
Move away from the annual review and conduct regular Micro-Evaluations® throughout the year. The challenge with annual evaluations is that it’s rather difficult to recall an employee’s performance and attitude from an entire year.
Collecting data throughout the year will yield insights that are much more accurate and actionable for you and your employees.
2. Standardize your evaluation process
Performance evaluations are only as effective as the process behind them. Taking regular notes on your employees’ performance is often easier said than done so make sure you create a process that works for you.
It does not matter if you use a Word document, an Excel spreadsheet, or even a notebook—create a process that works for you. Robust human resources information systems like HR Symphony offer convenient online evaluation tools that are attached to employee records.
The key is to periodically set aside a few minutes, for example at the end of each pay period, to reflect on each employee’s most recent performance. If you make this a habit, when it comes time for the actual review, you will possess detailed information for an accurate evaluation.
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3. Create a performance rating scale
The easiest way to do these frequent micro evaluations is to develop a uniform scoring system. It could be numerical, appraisal of task completions or goal expectations, even something icon-based could work. The key is to be consistent with each individual and across the company.
Using a standardized format for your evaluations is much faster and more efficient than starting from scratch each time you evaluate an employee.
Using a uniform scoring system will also allow you to compare your staffs’ performance over time, which will facilitate decision-making for promotions, raises, and terminations. It might also help you detect any warning signs that an employee is looking to quit or other serious issues like domestic abuse and workplace bullying that may affect an employee’s performance.
4. Provide specific feedback
Don’t be vague when discussing your employee’s performance. Your employees need to know exactly what they are doing right and what areas need improvement, so be specific with your feedback and provide them with examples.
Since no one likes negative feedback, it’s a good idea to train managers on how to give constructive criticism that focuses on concrete solutions on how to improve.
5. Require employees to sign their evaluations
Bring two copies of the evaluation to your meeting and ask the employee to sign them at the end of your meeting. The employee can keep one copy and you should store the second copy in your files. This step is especially important if you ever need to use the evaluation as legal protection.
Ideally, you want to keep a digital copy that can be shared with the employee in an electronic filing system or tool, such as HR Symphony, where employers and employees can access files 24/7.
Performance evaluations are easy to push aside or ignore, especially in the midst of project deadlines and busy workdays. However, consider the fact that conducting performance evaluations are a great way to make sure your workers are staying productive and are on board with the goals of the company.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should first consult their attorney, accountant or adviser before acting upon any information in this article.