Performance Evaluations: Getting The Most From The Process

Posted by April Parks, M.S. Conflict Management

Jul 28, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Performance EvaluationsPerformance evaluations, although sometimes a hassle, are beneficial to employers and employees alike. They give guidance on effectively completing a job, while praising contributions; they provide feedback so that workers know where their performance is excelling and where their skills might need sharpening. This is helpful to the receiver of feedback, which is why it’s important that the givers understand how to provide productive feedback. Leaders should provide tips on giving feedback as soon as an employee becomes a manager and reviewed when performance reviews begin. Employees can utilize the information to increase productivity and continue to provide meaningful results to the company. 

In order to get the best, most effective reviews from all levels, here are a few tips to keep in mind when it’s time for evaluations:

  • Identify the person’s strengths and weaknesses. In order for employees to improve upon their skills they must have specifics of what areas they do well in and what areas need improvement.
  • When doing evaluations, remember that reviews are strictly professional, not personal. Give suggestions of what changes each person could make as they move towards their goals. And remember goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely).
  • Be very specific and clear. Use examples to describe a situation, what actions were taken and the effect it had on the project and others. Managers need to give detailed examples of what, when, where, and how an employee has demonstrated strengths as well as weaknesses. It’s best to avoid being general at all costs on performance reviews.
  • Provide suggestions and alternatives if necessary. Don’t leave colleagues or employees left scratching their heads as they try to figure out a solution. It’s a team effort; work together to come up with efficient solutions.

Once these tips are discussed with managers, here are ways to ensure employees continue to get the best out of their performance evaluations as time moves forward:

  • Encourage employees to ask questions during and after the review process.  Keeping a clear line of communication open between the manager and employees will help to produce the best results and ensure there is a clear understanding of their role. 
  • Maximize an employee’s potential by allowing him or her to participate in the goal setting process. Once feedback is received and the team is working together to make solutions, share thoughts and ideas to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. When you have a say in the order of operations, you are more likely to stick to goals and meet requirements.
  • Set realistic goals too. Unrealistic goals will reduce morale as they might seem impossible to achieve.
  • Keep track of accomplishments to keep driving motivation to achieve the next step towards the overall goal. This is also useful when it’s review time again.
  • Check in with employees periodically to discuss any difficulties they may be experiencing as well as accomplishments. Keep communication open at all times and celebrate the good things!

When employees utilize the information given to them and show an active interest in reaching goals, they are also showing dedication to the job, which should be rewarded with a salary increase or other rewards. By simply following through or following up with feedback employees have a higher chance increasing their knowledge and professional skills as well.

Next time performance evaluations are due, keep these things in mind. It will not only help the giver to give their best feedback, but it will also assist receivers in ensuring that they are getting the most from evaluations.

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Topics: Performance Management