How Employee Performance Evaluations Benefit Your Business
April 23, 2014 at 7:28 AM
If your small business has grown significantly in recent years, you may be wondering if it's time to implement performance evaluations for employees. This can provide you with an excellent way to maximize each employee's effectiveness by identifying strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and become aware of impediments to employee success. However, both management and employees often become nervous when evaluations are added to the mix. Let’s look at some ways to minimize the apprehension on both sides and to make a performance evaluation seem less intimidating for those on both sides.
Whether you hold evaluations annually according to employee hire dates or within the same block of time for everyone no matter when they were hired, keeping consistent will minimize confusion and circumvent possible resentment among employees. Many employers find that performing an employee evaluation on or near the date of original hire is a more effective way of providing authentic feedback than holding all evaluations during a certain time period.
On the other hand, many businesses prefer to conduct all evaluations at the end of the year. Year-end reviews often aren't the best choice for small businesses, however, because they can create an atmosphere of trepidation among employees. There are ways to minimize evaluation-related stress on both sides, though, such as keeping things organized by the use of staff management software.
Evaluations Should Be a Two-Way Street
Employee performance evaluations shouldn't be just a matter of employees sitting nervously in your office while his or her assets and shortcomings are listed and discussed. Interactive evaluations in which employees are actively engaged will be more productive and less stressful for everyone involved. Also, keep in mind that it's just as important to focus on strengths as it is on weaknesses. Evaluating the performance rather than the personality of the employee will limit defensiveness and help the employee feel a part of the process rather than its object.
An employee evaluation should also be a time for the employee to express concerns. However, many employees may feel uncomfortable offering this information, so draw them out by asking them questions about aspects of their jobs that they enjoy as well as what they would change about their jobs if they could.
Properly handled, evaluations reduce employee turnover, reward high performing employees, and identify problem areas. When seen as a tool to help facilitate their success rather than merely as impersonal critique sessions, employees are much more likely to become active and productive participants in the review process.
Staff Files helps managers keep electronic personnel records including employee performance evaluations. Download a free demo/trial edition of the software to try it out!
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