Making Performance Evaluations Drive Results


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Human Resource & Payroll Services And Solutions - Houston, Dallas, Austin - Texas Annual employee performance evaluations, like any other routine, can drift into an almost pointless ritual. But allowing that to happen would be a huge wasted opportunity. Read on to learn how to use performance evaluations to achieve your company's goals.

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Making Performance Evaluations Drive Results

  1. 1. Toll Free: 877.880.4477 Phone: 281.880.6525Making Performance Evaluations Drive Results Performance Evaluations Drive Results
  2. 2. » A reminder of the basic purposes of performance evaluations sets the stage. Employment law attorney David Gabor of The Wagner Law Group says the process can:  Push employees to improve performance  Clearly communicate your expectations  Hold employees and managers accountable  Create metrics that link performance to compensation» Its a good idea, he suggests, to take a fresh look at the basic structure of your evaluation system, to ensure that you are assessing the relevant performance metrics.» "Every component of a performance evaluation system should be there for a reason," and reflect the performance criteria that are most important to your organization today, he advised a recent webinar audience.
  3. 3. Setting Goals for the Review Session» In planning the review session itself, establish specific takeaways for yourself and the employee. That might be something as simple as making an associate feel more comfortable seeking guidance when he is uncertain about how to prioritize tasks. Or making sure that an employee who you suspect doesnt know how his job (and performance) contribute to the companys goals leaves the meeting with a clear understanding of that relationship. Or learning an employees career aspirations.» Setting such goals lets you direct the session instead of allowing it to be dictated, for example, merely by the format of the written performance review document or an issue of little consequence that randomly crops up mid-stream.
  4. 4. Legal Red FlagsGabor also warns that when evaluations of employees whose performancehasnt been satisfactory arent performed properly, you might providelethal ammunition to plaintiffs attorneys if a disgruntled employee isunhappy with his evaluation, particularly if it results in an adverse action.
  5. 5. Specific, red flags in employee evaluations that could get you in hot waterinclude:1 Evidence of disparate treatment of employees1 For example, if the review of a poorly performing employee lasted just five minutes and the written document contained harsh language, in contrast to longer reviews and more balanced tone to other reviews (including negative ones), that could spell trouble.2 Omission of performance related issues2 A negative review that strays into matters beyond the scope of the employees responsibilities can create legal problems.3 Lack of a paper trail3 If an evaluation criticizes an employee, for example, for chronic tardiness but the personnel records offer no evidence that this problem has been brought to the employees attention in the past, a judge considering a discrimination or wrongful termination claim might doubt the employers credibility.
  6. 6. » A lack of evidence that employee performance (bad or good) has been discussed with the employee since the last review may also reveal an important misconception about performance reviews.» Employee performance consultant Marnie Green of the Management Education Group advocates a "no surprises rule."
  7. 7. "No Surprises"» That means the performance review is not the time to raise new issues with employees. Rather, the review should focus on performance-related discussions that have occurred since the last review, and progress towards addressing those issues or the maintenance of positive performance that has been praised.» Performance issues should be discussed when they become apparent, Green says. In addition to exploiting a "teachable moment," doing so fosters employee trust, rather than anxiety about what they may hear from a supervisor several months down the road.
  8. 8. Make it a Dialog» Another basic principle of employee reviews recommended by Green: Reviews should be a dialog, not a supervisors monolog. But rather than just expect employees to spontaneously discuss their own perspectives on their performance, they should be equipped in advance with a set of questions to discuss.» Employees can be asked to describe, for example, their greatest achievements and challenges during the past year, their goals for the next year, and what the company can do to help them achieve those goals.» Also, sharing the written review with the employee prior to the meeting obeys Greens "no surprises rule," and opens the door to a more thoughtful discussion of the supervisors assessment. Ask the employee to discuss the assessment before you rehash it. That way Green says, the employee will feel an increased ownership of the performance issues -- a positive outcome.
  9. 9. 14550 Torrey Chase, Suite 100 Houston, TX 77014 USA Toll Free : 877.880.4477 Phone : 281.880.6525 Fax : 281.866.9426 E-mail :
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