If you manage a business or work in a Human Resources department, you have likely grown tired of your typical employee performance evaluation process. Year in and year out, companies use the same methodology, forms and processes to perform employee evaluations. Unfortunately, the individuality of employees can get lost amidst this dreadful bureaucracy. While our systems and policies are static, the people who work with us are dynamic. They change each day. It is important that you develop an up to date employee performance evaluation process that accurately gauges performance.
Focus On The “Why” Of Employee Actions
The best way for Human Resources departments to improve their employee performance evaluations is to better their understanding of industrial and organizational psychology (also known as I-O psychology). This examines human behavior in the context of the workplace. It is an attempt to reach the root causes of actions and why employees attempt to present a certain image of themselves to peers and superiors. So give your employees a chance to perform a short self-review where they examine their own thoughts and feelings about their workplace performance and ability to overcome challenges. A dialogue allows the reviewer an opportunity to understand the employee’s engagement, standpoint and perspective. Don’t let your review slip into a monologue in which the employee merely listens. He should have the chance to defend his decisions and explain his actions and thoughts.
Evaluations Should Not Come As A Surprise
Employee evaluations should not come as a surprise. Nor should the information your employees are getting in these evaluation meetings. Regardless of whether you are giving positive employee feedback or negative feedback regarding performance in need of improvement, it should not be the first time your employee is hearing these critiques and comments. Otherwise, you are failing to do your job as a manager or supervisor. Provide regular employee feedback. That way, employee evaluation meetings will go much smoother, because employees know what to expect and will not be dealt any unwelcome surprises.
Review More Frequently Than You Used To
Your employee evaluation system will be completely different if you increase its frequency. Instead of trying to jam in each employee review in the final two months of the year like just about every other employer, space them out in the months without holidays. Choose two months like March and September and review employees for their performance over the course of the last six months. This will reinvigorate your employees and prevent employee evaluation scheduling nightmares around the holidays. If you decide to offer two or more employee evaluations per year, it does not mean that you are locked into providing two opportunities for pay increases. You can still keep an end of the year pay review policy in place if you would like. The key is to establish multiple reviews for consistent and clear feedback, just as you would for vendor management.
Review What Went Wrong But Don’t Forget What Went Right
Take care to focus on the positive. Review the employee’s strengths toward the beginning of the evaluation so that he knows that his contribution is valued by the organization. Always prepare ahead of time and contact the employee’s immediate supervisor if you need more information about an employee’s specific performance on a project or during a particular part of the year. Take note of all of his strengths before offering any constructive criticism. Move on to weaknesses, the identification of goals and recommendations for improvement.
It is imperative that you stay positive throughout the recommendations process, unless you want to be forced into employee augmentation. This is really the most important component of a review in terms of posterity. So to summarize the evaluation by providing cogent recommendations of specific areas that can be improved. Write down clear goals until the next review and take the time to explain how you think the employee can meet those goals. You should write down key points of emphasis in an organized review for documentation purposes. It also provides employees with complete clarity in regard to where they stand in terms of employment, past performance and expectations for the short term and long term.
An Efficient Review Process Unites And Inspires
The end goal of an employee performance evaluation should be an improvement in communication along with a series of expectations. The employee, or virtual employee, the manager performing the review and the employee’s immediate supervisor should all be on the same page. Consider bringing in the employee’s primary supervisor in on the review for a different perspective. He should be included in the goal setting phase, so it won’t hurt to involve him in the rest of the review unless he manages too many employees to sit in on each employee evaluation.
Get Employees Involved
In addition to allowing employees to set their own goals, it may be beneficial to ask them to perform a self-evaluation. Before your performance evaluation meeting, send your employee a performance evaluation form for them to fill out. Ask that they be thorough and fair in their judgements, and return it to you at least one day prior to your meeting. Then, you can review there self-assessment in advance and come up with questions pertaining to areas you may not see eye to eye on. Self performance evaluation is a very useful tool that allows managers the opportunity to adequately prepare for the employees’ expectations of the meeting. If you want to have the best performance evaluation meeting, make sure you require your employees to fill out a self performance evaluation before you meet.
Above all, an efficient employee evaluation should generate important feedback that can be incorporated into future performance. So implement constructive criticism instead of a grading system involving numbers or generic responses like “met expectations / did not meet expectations”. The more creative you are, the more you will be able to customize your organization’s unique employee performance evaluation program.
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