Annual Performance Reviews: Just Say NO

The end of the year, for many employers, signals employee review time. Rushing to do the “obligatory” duty of an employer by completing an employee evaluation. Meanwhile during the course of the year, employees are left wondering where they stand, asking questions like: How am I doing? Am I doing the job correctly? Where do I go from here?

Employee performance evaluations are an ongoing process and not a once a year event. When an employee receives their evaluation, there should not be any surprises. Employers should hold performance reviews throughout the year.

When evaluating employee job performance, managers must have knowledge and understanding of the duties and skills required for the job. It is the responsibility of the employer that the employee is clear on the expectations and requirements of the job. All goals must be measurable and realistic for each job and employee specifically.

Establishing Goals

Goals must be discussed with the employee. List and write out goals so everyone sees them listed. Goals are an agreement with employer and employee. During evaluation, obtain the signature of both the employee and manager.

Consistent Reviews and Feedback

As stated earlier, performance reviews must be discussed on a consistent and timely schedule throughout the year. Create a realistic schedule whether it’s monthly or every six months, the employee and the employer need to have defined objective meetings to review performance track. During each performance review, make notes to reflect the progress between reviews.

Employers need to provide real-time feedback as well. Praising and correcting throughout the year needs to continually occur. When a manager recognizes progress, it needs to be rewarded and praised. But the same needs to happen when the performance begins to slide.

Employers need to make notes on it all. Notes on the good and the bad, and the reviews need to be factual, detailed, and constructive. Opinions do not belong in the notes.

Formal Evaluations

When it comes time for the formal evaluation, give the employee ample enough time to prepare for discussion. Review job description, goals, and performance metrics. Evaluations are meant to be constructive, but factual. Employers must be respectful. Allow time for the employee to give feedback and ask clarification. Employees should come away with clear, defined goals and expectations for growth and performance.

When Goals Aren’t Met

When an employee fails to meet expectations after coaching and guidance, there will need to be consequences such as suspension, probation, demotion, or possibly termination. Timelines must be given and set for improvements. Employers must play an active role in job improvement.

Employee performance evaluations are a commitment and vital to the success of a company. Not only does it allow an employer to keep a pulse on the employees, but evaluations are great for morale.

Employees need to be valued and appreciated. Performance evaluations do just that. It allows the time for an employee to be an individual.

Marcie Richardson

With over 20 years of HR experience, Marcie understands the struggles companies face in compliance regulation and policy structure. She recognizes that effective company culture and policies start with how we treat employees. As the Director of Human Resources for Guarantee Restoration Services in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she values the need for a strong company culture to ensure operational continuity. Marcie obtained her IICRC in WRT and ASD because she believes to truly understand the needs of each employee, you need to understand their job. Marcie also holds a Louisiana Department of Insurance License in Health, Life & Accident.

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