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Staff Evaluation: Regularity is Key

August 26, 2013 at 12:54 PM

The business world today demands more from employees and managers than ever before - more work, more time, and more commitment. In such a taxing environment, seemingly periphery tasks, like a staff performance review, often get moved to the bottom of management's to-do list. Providing a safe, open environment for communication between employees and management, the staff evaluation, however, needs to hold a regularly scheduled place at the top of the list. The exact frequency of staff performance reviews is not an exact science, but can be adjusted to fit the atmosphere of any company and will depend on management resources and the number of employees. Some companies hold a staff evaluation annually or semi-annually. Others hold them quarterly or have micro evaluations on an even more regular basis.

Many companies hold annual end of year or semi-annual staff evaluations. These evaluations can be useful to document long-term employee performance. For companies with fewer resources, an annual review on the employee's date of hire will mitigate the workload, allowing management to handle reviews one at a time rather than all at once. Annual end of year evaluations, however, occur at the perfect time to discuss salary and benefit changes. Held so seldom, these reviews have the potential to let employee issues or deserved praise be forgotten, unmentioned, and undocumented. An annual or semi-annual evaluation provides a meeting for management and staff to discuss the overall opinion of performance, but usually does not include many specifics and does not provide much opportunity to track employee improvement. These reviews document progress on long-term employment goals and achievements. While the annual review does serve a purpose, it should not be treated as an effective tool for regularly assessing and improving employee performance.

Micro reviews held quarterly, monthly, or bi-weekly present the opportunity to create more detailed personnel files, documenting specific employee behavior, achievements, and challenges. Though the frequency of these evaluations can become cumbersome, today's technology and available staff management software has made organizing and documenting regular employee performance evaluations simpler than ever. The ability to store all information in private electronic files cuts down on filing cabinet space and time spent on paperwork, freeing management up to do what they do best - run a business.

Evaluation of newly hired employees also should not be overlooked. During the first few months of employment, communication between employees and management is paramount and should be encouraged. Meeting regularly with new employees during a probationary period will not only make them feel welcome, but will also help management to spot and correct any potential problems before they develop into major issues. Weekly reviews or miniature meetings with a new staff member will help prevent employment problems due to a lack of communication or miscommunication, resulting in successful new hires.

Do not let the lines of communication break in your company. Scheduling staff performance reviews at the top of your to-do list will move your business in the direction of success.



Tags: staff evaluation performance reviews
Category: Employee Evaluations

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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Have questions about Staff Files? Call us at 1-800-874-8801 or email us at sales@abs-usa.com.

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