Ensuring the right components are included in an employee’s performance appraisal (either yearly or mid-year) can help the employee succeed and move the company forward through completion of company goals.
Set Goals for Employees. When conducting performance evaluations it is helpful to have goals in place (I haven’t seen a performance evaluation that doesn’t have goals included). Setting goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-based, and Time-bound) help:
- Give both the manager and employee clear expectations of the employee’s role at a high-level.
- Allow the manager to effectively rate the employee’s performance.
Document Performance. Managers should document when an employee achieves goals, and when an employee falls short of specific goals. Quantifiable measurement of performance includes the SMART goals and how the employee did based on the goals set for him or her. These goals include personal goals and individual participation in departmental goals.
Document Conduct. Employees should be evaluated based on their specific conduct while completing tasks, such as their attitude, their behavior, and how well they delivered results. When conducting performance evaluations, the manager must have back-up of what the performance review states, good or bad. This back-up can come from personal observations, emails, and/or feedback from key co-workers or customers.
Feedback From The Employee. Always encourage feedback from the employee during performance evaluations. Make sure they understand the goals and evaluations, and the why behind it all. Encourage a conversation rather than dictating the performance evaluation. Include the employee in creating SMART and development goals (having an employee buy-in to the goals helps them achieve them easier). During the course of the conversation the manager may realize that the employee had achieved additional goal he or she was unaware of (or forgot about).
During a Performance Evaluation, a manager:
- Should setup a specific and uninterrupted time to conduct the performance evaluation with the employee
- Should ensure the employee goals are aligned with the department and company goals
- Should only conduct evaluations on the specific time-period of the evaluation
- Should include specific examples of work that was evaluated
- Should take into account the difficulty level of tasks assigned to the employee
- Should follow company processes and procedures
- Should Not judge based on progress
- Should Not judge based on potential
- Should Not include personal impressions or feelings
- Should Not make the performance review known to anyone else other than superiors and the employee
- Should Not include personal matters
Following a unified structure throughout a company for performance appraisals can eliminate confusion about the process and what should be included in the appraisals. While we are all busy professionals, taking the time to conduct evaluations can increase employee morale, reduce turnover, and increase employee performance.