Employee performance evaluation has always been tricky and often does more harm than good. Most employees view the performance reviews as needlessly time-consuming, unfair, biased, and demotivating. That said, you can not-do the employee evaluations as you cannot promote, demote, or hand bonuses without them.
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Thus, learning how to evaluate an employee rightly is imperative. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to help you conduct effective employee evaluations in 2023 and ensure the reviews don’t become a bother for anyone involved.
Employee evaluations help the employee and manager come to terms with the individual and organizational goals and carve a clear path forward. They help the employees understand what they need to do and appreciate what they do right. In turn, effective evaluations help boost productivity and keep the team inspired.
Further, feedback delivery and guidance remain the most important reasons behind employee evaluations. These talks help the employee understand their strengths, identify their shortcomings, and become better at what they do for faster success and growth.
Besides, it helps recognize and applaud the top performers and ensure no hero remains in the shadow.
Knowing why employee evaluations are essential, let’s learn how to conduct them right. However, before we proceed, know there is no universal formula, and you need to factor in your organizational structure, style, and employee preferences to conduct effective evaluations.
Every appraisal, be it weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual, must be goal-focused. These sessions must review the employee’s performance on the goals hit and define the new ones for the next period. A goal-focused employee review clears the clutter and ensures the session proves effective.
However, focusing on goals doesn’t imply turning blind to other aspects. Milestones help see performance better, but they often don’t draw the complete picture. So, factor in the goals and milestones, but also review every session in a broader light to make them effective.
Too few sessions don’t help, but neither do too many. Finding the right balance is the key to making employee evaluations more effective. Now, you can choose from a range of frequencies, like weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually, but pick the combo that fits your organizational goals the best, not the universal one.
The weekly or biweekly reviews are often short and sweet. They assess employee performance over a week or two by evaluating key performance indicators or KPIs and provide feedback on the fly.
These evaluation sessions help new hires settle into the company better and learn the methods. However, keeping them short is vital, as hosting an hour-long weekly session does more harm than good.
Monthly reviews work best for freelancers, contractual employees, or new hires. As it goes, the kind is preferred over the annual ones, as it provides regular guidance, performance evaluation, and just depiction of their efforts.
Corporate goals and budgets run from quarter to quarter, so quarterly review sessions make sense. That’s the reason why many companies prefer them over the others. And though it fits for the majority, it is not recommended for employees who work on urgent projects, require constant evaluation and guidance, or follow weekly or biweekly goals.
The last, and undoubtedly the most famous kind, annual reviews, are conducted at year-end, and their purpose is to depict a clear, lucid picture. However, annual ones are frowned upon by the community as they offer a simplistic view of the performance over an extended period.
Further, these sessions often become too lengthy, overwhelming, and tedious and cause information overload. However, it is not like hosting annual reviews is a sin. The trick is to find the right combo and mix annual employee evaluations with more frequent ones like weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly.
The worst reviews are those conducted in a rush, haphazardly, and without proper planning. So, don’t turn complacent. Know the importance and treat every review like a high-priority task. The trick is to be methodical, follow a structure, and plan the session.
More importantly, ensure two-way information exchange, as reviews don’t have to sound like a lecture. Listen to the employees’ opinions, ask them to self-evaluate, and keep it natural.
Checklists help tick the milestones off the list, while 360-degree feedback shares the views from the employee’s direct reports, peers, managers, and even clients or customers. A good review session revolves around real-time feedback from those close to the professional, like peers, non-direct supervisors, or clients.
Employee evaluations are there to review, encourage, and motivate the employees by sharing with them how they did and what they must do. So, keep them person-focused. Don’t contrast or compare. However, that doesn’t imply rating everyone the same. True performance depiction is a must.
Further, don’t fall for recency traps. Managers who lack data-driven insights and feedback often make even annual reviews about a recent hit or miss. Don’t do that. Keep the review comprehensive.
And lastly, never resort to personal bias or favoritism in the reviews, as it pollutes the entire team and hurts the worst.
Learn more: How to Beat the Labor Shortage: Seven Best Practices for Hiring Success
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