5 Tips for an Effective Performance Evaluation
January 31, 2014 at 9:53 AM
As a manager, writing and delivering an effective performance evaluation is an important part of developing your employees. Following are five tips to help you make the evaluation process easier and as beneficial as possible.
Maintain a Supervisor File
Establish a supervisor file to compile items throughout the year, such as recognition and awards, work samples, and coaching or development notes. This file is separate from the employee's official personnel file that your Human Resources department keeps. Keeping this file will:
- Help you collect the year's accomplishments at review time.
- Assist you in identifying performance trends.
- Give you an overview of the employee's recent job activities.
- Provide documentation to justify performance rating and salary increase decisions.
At performance evaluation time, it's much easier to refer to your file than recall everything your employee has done during the year.
Complete an Interim Review
No one wants to get a poor performance rating especially if they were unaware that they weren't meeting performance expectations until their annual performance evaluations. Preparing and delivering an interim review midway through the year gives your employees an opportunity to correct inappropriate behaviors and improve performance. If you incorporate an interim review as part of your annual performance evaluation process, work with the employee to create a development plan that provides measurable actions to be completed by the end of the year. During the full annual review, indicate progress toward completing the development plan and rate the employee's performance accordingly.
Get Others' Perspectives
Be sure to include feedback from others. Save notes, letters, and emails that you receive from peers, partners, and internal and external customers. Set up a formal or informal feedback system where you get the answers to these questions:
- What has the employee done successfully during the year?
- What suggestions do you have for the employee?
- What should the employee keep doing, stop doing, and start doing?
Focus On the Performance
While it's easy to focus on personality, be sure that the employee performance evaluation focuses on summarizing actions that the employee can change. For example, the phrase "manages time poorly" doesn't give the employee enough information to change their behavior. Instead, use something more specific, such as "he missed three deadlines developing the marketing plan for the Acme product launch that caused a one-month delay in rolling out the new product."
Prepare For the Annual Review Meeting
Many managers make the mistake of not preparing themselves adequately to deliver what they've written in the performance evaluation. Don't read the evaluation word for word. Instead, highlight the key points and focus on what you want employees to continue and what you want them to change.
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