Getting Staff Going: The Case for Performance Evaluations

November 19th, 2008

Have you ever wondered why some staff just come in and get the day started while other people wait on instructions? Have you ever wished that your employees could be more proactive or show more initiative when they are dealing with daily concerns on their job?

Well there’s a way that you could have these things happen in your organization without having to loose any employees. Reports have shown that one of the largest financial drains to a company and biggest threat to internal productivity is employee turnover. Successful companies have found a way to keep their best employees while re-educating the staff who need a boost. A simple process can make all the difference to your staff relationships and productivity and that process is called: Performance Evaluations.

Performance evaluations provides a way for you to express the distinct terms that are needed to get a job done well. It can clarify expectations for low performance and set a new standard for high achievers who value improvement in their jobs. Your first step is to be clear about what each person’s job description is. If you don’t have a job description on all of your employees you can create one using easy to find templates or hire a consultant that can help you write one that is tailored to your business needs. Once you have a job description in hand, break down the parts of their job that they are supposed to be doing and have a conversation with your employees about what is expected of them. Set timelines for reviewing their performance that you both can look forward to as a checkpoint to discuss their success or areas of improvement.

Many employers and employees scoff at getting or giving feedback but if you approach performance evaluations as giving the employee the ‘gift’ of feedback about their performance then it can and will be a more pleasant experience for you both. Some tips on giving feedback is to make the feedback timely, relevant and objective and tied to measurable results. Instead of “You are always late and the whole staff knows you don’t care about this job.” Opt for the alternative statement that says “For the past week you have come in more than thirty minutes late, the impact this has on the staff is that they had to work through their lunch hour to do the accounting we normally do in the morning.” Then talk to your employee about what you can do to help them to achieve their goals in alignment with the work that they are paid to do. For the high achieving employee make sure you give the same kind of specific feedback so that they will continue to perform.

Performance evaluations help you set up an administrative process for determining and justifying raises and bonuses and it can help create a system for determining who would work best in what role. From a legal standpoint, it creates a paper trail of a worker’s performance and your interventions in the event that you may ever have to release an employee. Performance evaluations should be routine and not set up as something to be dreaded. Successful managers choose to look at performance evaluations as a dedicated opportunity to connect with their most important resource in their office, the human resource.

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