Employee Evaluations, Part 2

July 17th, 2012  Posted at   Wellness
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Employees must know that they are responsible for their actions and will be held accountable for them. Employee evaluations are an excellent tool to assist management in developing accountability. By grading performance and rewarding positive improvements, employees will be shown that they have an opportunity to improve their own professional and financial status within the organization. Likewise, problem employees will see that performing at a sub-standard level will result in decreased professional growth, and may lead to termination.

Once you have instilled a sense of ownership among your employees, the potential for success and levels of excellence your organization can achieve are almost limitless. Employees that truly care about the organization demonstrate superior attitude, enthusiasm and customer service. In addition, research has shown a direct correlation between employee happiness, customer service and member satisfaction and retention.

To measure job performance for salary action. Superior performance and job improvement deserve to be rewarded. Likewise, discipline problems and/or poor work performance need to be documented. Having a formal, written and organized process by which management can grade employee performance gives managers a yardstick by which to measure salary adjustments.

Keep employee evaluations on file to develop an accurate record of not only job performance, but employees suggestions, attitudes and ideas, as well.

Problems and drawbacks

It is important to remember that employee evaluations are as productive as the efforts of the manager conducting them. As with any judgment-
oriented system, employee evaluations can possess some inherent problems. Those managers and supervisors charged with conducting employee evaluations must set aside not only the appropriate time and energy for the process, but must also ignore personal likes, dislikes and stereotypes that may influence the review process.

Potential problems that could interfere with the review process include:

* If standards are not uniform and specific, they may vary greatly, depending on the personality and mood of the person conducting the evaluation.

* Managers tend to give a more favorable rating to those employees they like and are friends with.

* Employees are often confused and cannot explain the reasons behind the ratings they received.

* Managers tend to give average ratings to poor performers.

* Evaluations may rate overall or general impressions, rather than specific results.

* Managers may inflate ratings to support their employment decisions.

Along with these problems, there are a few additional concerns management should keep in mind:

* Employee evaluations can be time-consuming.

* Some managers may feel uncomfortable evaluating others.

* Additional training may be needed by those who will be conducting the evaluations.

While employee evaluations can be a demanding process for any organization, the dividends in improved employee morale, performance, attitude and customer service can greatly offset the investment made by management in time, training and effort.

Components of an effective evaluation

To minimize the effect of the problems discussed above, there are a number of professional evaluation procedures that organizations can apply:

Set a time. Never surprise or “spring” an impromptu evaluation on an employee. Like you, employees need time to collect and prepare their comments, concerns, suggestions and ideas.

Be prepared. Never “wing it.” Go into an evaluation knowing exactly what you need to communicate to the employee.

Be focused. Never take phone calls or let yourself be interrupted during an evaluation. Your employee should have your complete attention.

Be thorough. Make sure you read through the entire evaluation. Cover every component and issue on the evaluation and be sure your employee understands each point and suggestion you make. Provide specific examples of each area of improvement that you address.

Listen. Don’t dominate the entire conversation. Provide employees with adequate time to express their opinions, ideas and thoughts.

Summarize and follow up. At the end of each evaluation, summarize your main points and any agreed-upon changes. Set new goals and objectives, and set up a follow-up evaluation for the near future.

Keep it private. Create a confidential, one-on-one atmosphere. If you have a reasonable number of evaluations to conduct, you may want to conduct them outside your facility, possibly over lunch.

Maintain confidentiality. To encourage an active and open exchange of ideas and opinions between you and your employee, they must know that all aspects of your conversation will be kept strictly between the two of you. This is of extreme importance.

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