5 Tips to Conduct an Employment Performance Evaluation
An employment evaluation should be a one-stop snapshot of all of the accomplishments and challenges faced by each team member and performed by the employer on an annual basis. It is used as a measurement of success, examination of challenges, and as a motivational tool. It offers opportunities for monitoring progress, a review of performance objectives, and allows the employer to set clear and achievable expectations and goals.
Begin the evaluation with a review of all of the employees’ accomplishments and strengths. Starting off on the right foot so to speak in an evaluation eases some of the employee’s stress levels and will allow them to converse with the employer more freely in a non-threatening environment. The employer should sit in a chair on the same side of the desk as the employee to remove the stigma of the interrogation.
Allow the employee to provide a self assessment. This is something that should be planned a few weeks in advance and can be a helpful tool for the employee to see all of their job functions written down. In addition, it allows the employer to review some of the things that an employee has been working on that the employer may not be aware of.
Discuss any challenges or concerns with the employee’s performance. This is where it is vital to have documentation or examples of the employers concerns. Saying things like, “Well, you don’t try very hard” or “Everyone thinks that you are hard to work with,” is simply destructive to the employee’s morale. Have specific examples of the employee’s challenges with exact numbers, dates, and times.
Set clear and achievable goals to move forward. Even the most mundane and traditional position should have clear set goals with methods or strategies for meeting them. The employee can take courses in organizational skills or motivational methods. Always focus on improvement.
Remember that EVERYTHING that the employer writes down or includes in the employment file could possibly be part of court proceedings. If an employee is involuntarily terminated and feels that there was some sort of discrimination at hand, one of the very first things that opposing counsel will ask for are copies of the employment file and any employment evaluations.
Many employers are aware of the At-Will Employment laws which state that an employee can be terminated without providing cause. However, what they must realize is that even though they do not have to give a reason for termination at the time, the employer must have supporting documentation in case the terminated employee retains counsel. An employer must keep thorough records and record absolutely any issues with an employee to be used as supporting documentation later if needed. So keep it professional and be consistent with all employees.
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