Performance evaluations are too often viewed as necessary evils as opposed to essential opportunities for growth. While many evaluations asses very little important information, and are rarely taken seriously, effective evaluations show weaknesses while creating the natural step toward improvement. So what is the key to evaluating employee performance in such a way that it successfully sparks advancement?
- Develop Specialized Evaluations – Evaluations will never get beyond generic and shallow information if they use shallow and general questions and criteria. Take some time to determine the most important components of each position, and even tailor the evaluations to individual employees.
- Evaluate Consistently – Whether these evaluations take place weekly or monthly, their effectiveness depends on consistency. Done sporadically, evaluations show unrealistic snapshots of what could be an unusually busy, stressful, or slow day. Consistent evaluation provides the necessary context to understand each individual evaluation.
- Emphasize the Comparison – This context is important for both the one evaluating and the employees being evaluated. Understanding the context and the comparison with previous evaluations takes little time, but allows everyone involved to clearly see improvements and regression.
- Provide Feedback – Simply handing the employee their evaluation and asking them to initial the indicated boxes does not constitute appropriate feedback. Feedback includes explaining exactly what they did right, exactly where they fell short, what is expected in the failed area, and practical steps to improve.
- Provide Accountability – Instead of waiting until the next performance evaluation to check up on the employee, make accountability one of the steps toward improvement. Often a coworker or manager can see both weaknesses and advances more clearly than those attempting to improve, consistent feedback and support therefore provide the natural stepping stone toward growth.
There is no quick and easy way to perform effective performance evaluations. Maximizing their potential requires time and dedication, but the investment pays off in constantly improving employees leading to consistent company advancement. Ready to maximize your company’s potential?
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