Employee Appraisal Evaluation

Last Updated
August 22, 2009

Before the Employee Appraisal Evaluation

When you have decided the reasons for introducing an employee evaluation, there are a few things that you have to consider before you start. Firstly, you should create a list of questions and issues that will be discussed and recorded relevant to determining a successful evaluation.

Your next task is to make an evaluation sheet so that results can be recorded. Some businesses use grading forms that are basically just tick boxes to indicate their level of ability. Although this method is acceptable, it gives little room for comments and feed-back and some employees may be ranked higher or lower than they deserve.

For a system that you and the employee will benefit more from, you should create a form where comments can be recorded and analyzed to give a more in-depth evaluation.

This should include the following and is just a basic structure that you may add to if you feel appropriate:

  1. A section for ‘personal details’ to be stated including the date and the time period that the evaluation is based on (i.e. the last 6 months, but state the dates)
  2. A number of sections, that will be determined by your reasons for appraisal, so that information can be recorded (e.g. ‘job description’, ‘strengths’, ‘areas that may need training’, etc)
  3. If you are rating the performance of employees, you should create a rating system (1-10 or poor to excellent, etc) but include supportive comments
  4. A section for ‘future plans of action’ which will record suggested areas for improvement or tasks to be completed in order to achieve their set goals
  5. Although employees will have had some input on the evaluation, you may decide to include a section for ‘Employees comments’
  6. Finally, a space for signatures so that the employee can acknowledge that they have seen or received a copy of the appraisal evaluation form

The next thing is that you must give all employees involved prior notice (say, at least two weeks) that they are to be appraised and what it will consist of. When you do so, it is a good idea to inform them in writing as well as telling them yourself. This will give them a chance to prepare and also compile a list of questions that they may have. It will also allow any employees to get back to you if the time slot you have allocated to them isn’t suitable and so it can be re-arranged or ex-changed in good time.

Determine also where you will do the evaluation as employees will feel more confident speaking about their performance in a private place such as an unused office. Make it clear who will do the evaluation, if not yourself, and be sure that they are available for the specified period and that they have time to prepare themselves.

Finally, collect all the information that you have on the employees that you will be evaluating. This will include not only records that you may have on file, but also information you will gain from speaking to those people that the employee works with.

Giving the Appraisal Evaluation

It may be that your employees have been through an evaluation before and therefore are clear of what is required from them. Even so, it is important to tell them what it is all about and what you expect to achieve from the evaluation. Let them see the appraisal evaluation form and how things will be recorded and rated and take them through the procedures of all the stages involved.

Go through your list of questions and issues as they appear on your record sheet and write down any comments made or concerns as you go along. Let the employee give their comments and opinions first before you add your own so you can see things from their point of view.

If you disagree to anything they say, you can start a discussion about why you do so. Try to give examples of situations that you saw yourself to back up any comments you make about the performance of the employee. For example, “I can refer back to when you…” instead of “I heard about the time when you…”

You should emphasize on the good aspects as well as bringing to attention those areas that need improvement: it is important that you combine both praise with constructive criticism. If an employee is consistently told about their failures or poor ability, they will develop a sense that they can’t succeed and therefore have reduced motivation in wanting to improve. By giving them encouragement and incentive, they will gain a will to succeed and push themselves to make improvement.

You further should consider that because the employee may not rate highly in some areas, doesn’t mean that they will perform to the same level in others. The point is that you should regard each issue independently. Don’t be biased to the employee just because they may have been employed for a long time or because you know them better than other people in the business.

Be sure that your evaluation doesn’t follow the previous record (if any) and therefore is rated highly just because the last one was: again, regard them independently. The employees will respect your honesty as it will provide accurate feed-back about their performance and determine future objectives and goals for personal development.

When evaluating the employee, make sure that you refer to them as an individual and don’t compare their efforts to other staff. It is also important that you don’t use race, sex, nationality or handicap against them. You should also stick to commenting on the behaviour of the employee: don’t victimize personality.

End the evaluation on a good note so that they leave with a positive attitude.

Using Feed-back

Feed-back is the main goal of an appraisal and therefore should be constructive so that the employee will benefit from what you have commented on. Once you have covered all the ma in issues in your evaluation, you should determine an action plan for the employee in order to improve their performance and exploit their strengths. It may even be a case that you have identified them for a pay rise or a promotion.

For employees to benefit most effectively, the action plan should be realistic and accurate and should be agreed by the employee. If they do not show any enthusiasm towards what they have to do, it is likely that the feed-back won’t be effective. Don’t forget that the performance of the employees is linked to the performance of your business, so you too will be effected by the quality of your feed-back.

You may decide to have a follow up meeting, say a month later, to see what kind of response the employee has made to use the feed-back. This may be brief but you should try and find the time to make sure that the employee is making progress.

Summary

Appraisal systems are used for many different reasons but usually will benefit your business through the employee’s clearer view of your company’s direction and the part they have to play in that. Appraisal is something that should be implemented all year round but it is important that you formally evaluate your employees at least twice a year.

Evaluation should be conducted by the employees’ immediate supervisor so that information can be discussed with accuracy and supportive comments. Preparing you well in advance and giving the employee sufficient notice will make the evaluation more effective. You should also make the evaluation as fair as possible by identifying the employee as an individual and also not comparing them to past performance that may be irrelevant.

The feed-back that you give to your employees should be constructive so that it can be used to help them progress as an individual by rectifying their weaknesses. It is important that you comment on their better aspects instead of just identifying their areas of concern. By doing so, it will give them the sense that they can perform and therefore will have the motivation to act upon any actions suggested. Once the feed-back has been acknowledged and an action plan has been created, you should have a follow up assessment to check up on the progress of the employee.

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