Employee performance evaluations are a critical part of running a business. A yearly review helps gage how effective the employee has been in their job, determine problems and resolve them, and provide new challenges for development. Performing a review can be very stressful for managers. Reviews are not intended to be personal but it is difficult for employees to understand that separation. Here are 10 tips to help make evaluations a little less stressful.
- Be Fair. All employees need to be reviewed along the same criteria. This minimizes the possibility for any one individual to feel like they are being singled out. Work with a consultant to determine just what factors need to be evaluated.
- Be Positive. Focus on the positive feedback and reinforcement and provide constructive criticism for anything that needs additional improvement.
- Provide a Self-Evaluation. Employees are generally honest when writing about own performance. This will also provide a stepping stone for the official conversation.
- Be Clear. Managers can stray down an evasive path while thinking they are being nice or sparing the employee’s feelings. Aggressive behavior is also not appropriate, but clear communication is necessary.
- Be Realistic. Suggesting goals that are out of reach can be very discouraging to the employee and will have precisely the opposite effect. The work the employee does and their overall abilities should be considered when determining what goals they should be working on.
- Rate performance only. A review needs to be based on the employee’s ability to do their job effectively and not their attitude. An employee with a fantastic attitude can perform poorly. The opposite is also true. The job needs to be assessed and determined if it is being performed well.
- Keep it simple. When ranking or rating the employees develop a system that is simple and consistent such as a number or letter grade system. If it is easy to understand it will be easy to follow.
- Be respectful. Allow each employee time to express ideas and opinions about their performance, their job, or the process. An employee who is unable to share their thoughts is likely to become frustrated by the experience.
- Create incentives. Rewarding good behavior encourages continued good behavior. Think through creative ways to offer bonuses throughout the year. Develop different aspects that can be rewarded beyond sales.
- Be encouraging. The review process benefits both the employees and the managers. Understanding how each employee works and responds to positive reinforcement is an important piece to good management.
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