The annual employee evaluations you do play a significant role in your investment in your biggest asset: your employees. Evaluations are incredibly important because they provide direction to employees. Are they doing a good job? What do they need to improve on? Where do you need them to be in three months, six months or a year? However, many managers and business owners dread the process. It is confrontational and, to make things worse, you have to sit down and do a lot of work to make it happen.

Tips to Make Annual Employee Evals Successful

If you are going to do annual evaluations, do them properly. Here are some tips to help.

  1. Be sure that the tone and underlying goal of the evaluation is to praise employees who are doing a good job to encourage them. While it is important to point out underlying problems, ensure the evaluation has more positives than negatives.
  2. Make performance reviews timely. Trying to correct behavior problems from months ago is not going to provide the employee with any benefit. Set up a time period that works for you and then follow it. You do not want your employees sitting and waiting for their review either.
  3. When there is a problem, use a performance review to improve performance. Invest in employees that need more encouragement and focus by providing a thorough performance review. Employees should never be surprised by a bad review. Be sure that if you do need to use these for improvement, that you do so in a timely fashion so you can measure improvement over three to six months.
  4. Self-evaluations can be a good thing. Here, you are given the ability to sit down with an employee and fill out the evaluation together. The employee is able to rate him or herself based on skill and performance.
  5. Be consistent across the board. When you are talking to more than one employee for a review, it is important to keep the standards the same. Favoritism here can cause problems long term.
  6. Do keep these private. One of the worst things you can do is to talk to an employee about the things he or she needs to work on in front of others. It is degrading and that person will never respect you from that point out. The place where you conduct these reviews needs to be private and avoid interruptions. This shows you care about your employee’s needs.
  7. Give yourself enough time to talk about performance and goals with each employee. Most employees will have comments to talk about, too. Give them time for this. You want your employees to be able to open up to supervisors during these sessions.
  8. Be sure that your employees fully understand that performance evaluations are going to happen, when they will happen and what they mean for the employee. More so, be sure the employees know what to expect during the process. This puts them at ease. Upon hiring them, be sure that the employee knows an evaluation will occur at the 30-day mark (or when you need them to happen.)

Annual evaluations for employees provide information and bring people back to the same page. Ensure that the employee’s annual evaluation is all about his or her performance, not personal concerns.

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