Create helpful evaluations to share with your employees as part of your annual review process. Write the evaluation before you meet with the employee. Decide if you need to update it based on the review conversation. Once you have edited the evaluation provide a copy to the employee.
Make sure that the evaluation you give your employee reflects the goals that you agreed with them at the start of the year. Be clear about the strengths they have demonstrated. Equally, be clear about any specific areas where there is an opportunity for them to improve. Write it in a fair, balanced and constructive way. It should be helpful to the employee so they can see exactly what they have done well and what they need to work on.
Helpful Evaluations Are Accurate
Make sure that what you include in the evaluation is factually correct. Let’s assume your employee was asked to:
If your employee delivered the required number of classes but didn’t do the other three things you might be tempted to say they have not achieved their goals. But to state that in an evaluation is factually incorrect. You need to mention the parts they did achieve as well as what they did not. Having done that you could sum it up to say “Overall, I do not consider Jane has reached the required level of performance”.
Helpful Evaluations Are Specific
Make sure you include specific information in the evaluation. All comments should be specific to the goals. When you specify what was or was not done well, your employee can use that information to learn. Provide specific positive examples so they know what they should be doing more of. Provide specific negative examples, including what you were expecting, so the employee knows what they need to change.
Language To Use
Avoid excessive criticism or negative words. If your employee performed poorly, you can still minimize the number of negative words used and turn some of the ‘negatives’ into ‘training needs’ and ‘development opportunities’. Also avoid placing emphasis on personality traits rather than productivity and results. If your company uses a rating scheme (which I recommend), make sure the rating you give matches your scheme. Include it explicitly so it’s very clear to the employee what the overall result is.
The written evaluation is usually the only documented record of the review. You owe it to your employees to make sure that this record is accurate, fair and helpful to them
My Question To You
Do you give your employees a written evaluation? If you do, do you think your evaluations are helpful to them? If this is something you would like to discuss or would like some help with, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also buy my book Accelerate to Team Success which is available as a paperback or on Kindle.
About the Author:
Dr Nikki Faulkner founded Mulberry Bush Consulting to work with business leaders and their teams to make the 'People' side of their business as effective as possible. Mulberry Bush Consulting's specialty is helping small businesses who are new to having employees and helping businesses who are growing rapidly and increasing their employee-base at a rate that is creating a significant challenge.
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