Performance evaluations tend to have a bad rap and are often overlooked. Many industrial companies view performance evaluations as something more suited for office or retail workers, and office and technical companies often view evaluations as “busy work” or a waste of time. The truth is that no matter what industry you’re in, your employees and your business will benefit from conducting regular employee performance evaluations.
Performance evaluations may not be required by law, but they are extremely helpful in making sure that your workers are meeting the demands of their roles within the company. Plus, conducting frequent reviews is a good legal defense against wage, termination, or discrimination claims.
Steps for conducting employee performance evaluations
While every company will undoubtedly have their own method of conducting performance evaluations, here are a few guidelines to help make them as streamlined, hassle-free, and effective as possible:
1. Don’t conduct annual reviews
You read correctly. Move away from the annual review and conduct them regularly throughout the year. The challenge with annual evaluations is that it’s rather difficult to recall an employee’s performance and attitude from the preceding year. Collect data routinely throughout the year so doing the dreaded annual review is viewed positively by the reviewer, instead of something that has to get done.
2. Develop a process
Create a process in which the reviewer uses a word document, excel spreadsheet or even a notebook as a means to periodically collect data or mini notes on your employees. So when it comes time for the actual review, the reviewer will possess enough information for an accurate evaluation.
3. Create a rating scale
For the evaluation, make sure to develop a uniform scoring system, which promotes a consistent standard within the company. Using a consistent format for your evaluations will make conducting them more efficient and much easier than starting from scratch each time you evaluate an employee. Along with your mini notes, it will also encourage you to think about various aspects of employee performance, from the ability to effectively complete a task, to the way they interact with other workers. Here’s an example of an employee performance evaluation for a quarterly review.
4. Don’t be vague
It’s okay to be specific about what you like and don’t like in your employee’s performance. In fact, it’s a good idea to go into detail and list specific examples so that the employee knows exactly what he/she is doing right as well as what areas need improving.
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 discussion. The worker 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.
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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.