Performance evaluations are a chance for you and your employees to set performance goals and track performance over time.
You know they’re important, but writing a performance evaluation may seem like a daunting task.
The performance evaluation is the opportunity for you and your employees to set performance goals and track achievement over time. It can be written once or twice per year, depending on your organization’s policies.
Employees need critical performance feedback to grow professionally. Evaluations can be challenging, but if you follow these tips, you’ll find the process much easier:
Be timely with performance reviews
By waiting to discuss performance issues with an employee, you’re wasting time and may cause more problems down the line. Employees need to know what they’re doing well and where they can improve right away so that performance can continue to grow. If performance is already lagging, it’s even more important to provide performance feedback right away.
Ask your team how often they want performance reviews
Not all performance evaluations are created equal. Some employees would like verbal performance feedback more frequently than others, while some might prefer it less regularly or not at all. If you don’t know what performance plan best meets the needs of your employees, ask them.
Focus on performance for the future rather than dwelling on performance in the past.
Employees want guidance on what they need to do differently going forward–not just what went wrong before. Discuss performance goals that are achievable, valuable, and have a clear path to success.
Make it an ongoing conversation instead of a single performance review
When the performance evaluation process only allows one time per year to get feedback, employees might not feel comfortable bringing up performance concerns during the evaluation process and may wait until later to share them with you. If your performance plan is an ongoing conversation rather than a single performance review, performance issues can be discussed immediately, so they don’t get out of hand.
Instead of the standard annual evaluation and having a continuous process and open dialogue regarding job performance, many businesses find employee morale and job satisfaction to improve.
Focus more on future performance and not just the past
A good performance review process will set the tone for future goals and expectations. If future goals aren’t met, then appropriate action needs to be taken. Don’t wait until the next evaluation though, address any lack of accomplishments and completing assignments as they happen.
Performance review appraisals can be used to analyze an employee’s performance such as interpersonal skills, communication skills, punctuality, employee engagement, and overall performance.
Consider taking a 360-degree view of the employee’s performance
The 360-degree evaluation is a common tool in human resource management. Simply put, it is a mechanism for evaluating someone’s performance based on feedback from everyone the individual comes in contact with—supervisors, peers, coworkers, partners, subordinates, the general public. It is a method of collecting input from many sources in an employee’s environment.
This can be a powerful tool. Every employee wants to know how they’re doing in the organization. The 360-degree method of collecting evaluative input is an excellent source of employee motivation because it provides a truly honest assessment of how a variety of constituents views the employee and her performance.
In the more traditional performance appraisal method, supervisors meet with employees one-to-one to discuss performance. By contrast, the 360-degree process uses confidential input from many people who can genuinely respond to how an employee performs on the job. The supervisor and employee meet to discuss the feedback received.
This type of feedback helps employees see themselves as others see them and thoughtfully examine their behavior. It can reveal areas in which employees are performing exceptionally well and those areas in which there are weaknesses. It provides information of which neither the employee nor the supervisor may know. Specific input allows employees to adjust their performance.
The most challenging aspect of the 360-degree evaluation is the evaluators’ concern about confidentiality. When implementing this type of evaluation, it’s best to assure other employees that what they share will remain strictly confidential. Likewise, explain to each employee that he will be evaluated by many people, including those who know his work best.
Start with sample performance review templates
If you aren’t sure where to start, search for performance evaluation templates to get a start. Modify them to fit your organization, but be aware of any legal standards to which performance reviews must be held.
Finally, remember performance reviews are much more than just checking off performance boxes. They should be an opportunity to coach employees toward performance improvement and to help them feel good about what they’re doing well.
Don’t allow performance evaluations or performance review forms to become just paperwork or legal proceedings. Keep these points in mind, and you will find them to be a valuable performance tool for you and your employees.