Why Bother With Employee Evaluations, Anyway?
January 15, 2014 at 12:52 PM
Across all businesses, both employees and managers dread performance evaluations. A tempting option may be to do away with them entirely. However, when employee evaluations are done effectively, they provide several advantages for a business that shouldn't be overlooked.
How does a business handle promotions without reviewing employee performance evaluations? Too often, senior management may make a promotion based on a single strong performance or just based on a gut feel. This may get the position filled with someone who is competent, but it doesn't necessarily select the person that is best for the job.
By keeping records of employee evaluations, senior managers can take a detailed look at employee performance over a long period of time before making any decisions. In addition, decision makers can look for specific competencies needed in a manager — remember, the best employees don't always make the best managers.
Effective employee evaluations can have two big motivational effects. The first is the obvious, direct effect. When a manager sits down with an employee who needs improvement, they can give them a well thought out pep talk instead of just snapping one day when something goes wrong. A "job well done" when everything is going right can also be a big morale booster.
The second effect is less obvious, but may be even more important. Employees need to know that there is a system in place for earning a promotion or a bonus. If they feel that they are given randomly, they may feel that it's not worth trying to get one. If, however, they feel that their solid work is being tracked and recognized, they will be motivated to keep that work up.
Keeping a Record
Today, letting an employee go creates a high risk of being sued for wrongful termination or employment discrimination. Thankfully, employees are rarely terminated for egregious behavior such as a criminal act against the company that makes the reason for the decision obvious to an outside person reviewing it. More often, employees are let go simply because their performance was behind that of their peers or because they failed to grow.
Regular employee evaluations help you identify potential problems with an employee and bring them to their attention as soon as possible. If they fail to improve, you can then easily show that you made them aware of the problem and they failed to take the opportunity to improve. Of course, this assumes that you keep detailed records of your evaluations in your personnel files.
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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