Performance Evaluations

November 12, 2014

In previous articles, we have mentioned the importance of having a performance review system for your employees. Such systems serve the function of allowing your employees to know what is expected of them, spur more consistent communication between supervisors and their staff, and allow you to identify and reward your very best employees. They also serve to document any employee issues, and can keep you out of legal trouble should you ever have to discipline and/or fire an employee.

To this end, it is very important to have an evaluation system that is transparent, fair, and consistent. Legal website nolo.com recommends the following when conducting an employee performance review.

  • Be very specific when setting goals for employees. Instead of subjective blanket statements such as, “Be more productive,” use measurable goals such as, “Employee is expected to make 20 sales calls per day.” If necessary, set a deadline as well. For example, “Employee is expected to increase total sales by 10% by June 30, 2015.” When setting these goals and deadlines, make sure you are being realistic in what you are asking, and also consistent in what you are asking of all of the employees who work for you. Don’t give one individual a goal higher than another individual’s goal, or set goals so high you aren’t even sure you could meet them yourself.
  • Be 100% honest with your employees, even if it is uncomfortable. Remember that they cannot improve their performance if they do not know what you would like them to work on. Also be honest with yourself, making sure that you are evaluating each employee based solely on their performance, and not on how you may feel about them as a person.
  • Be extremely thorough in your review. Remember circumstances may arise where an employee calls their evaluation into question, perhaps with a court of law. Therefore, every evaluation you complete should be so thorough that it can be read and understood clearly by someone outside of your company.