Employee evaluations can be a daunting process for both the manager and the employee but when done correctly, they can help maximise an employee’s potential to grow in the company. For many businesses, employee evaluations have been an effective communication tool to assess how an employee is performing within their role.
Read this blog for tips on how to conduct an employee evaluation.
What is an employee evaluation?
An employee evaluation is a two-way conversation with the employee and line manager. The discussion is predominantly around the impact, development, growth and overall performance of the employee’s role within the company. If employee evaluations are done properly and correctly, it is a truly effective way to maximise an employee’s potential to delve into other opportunities at the company. It also acts as a filing record so that employees can review this for potential promotions.
Prepare an agenda
As with all meetings, setting out an organised agenda helps to keep the conversation structured.
Performance conversations should be prepared in advance with talking points from both the employee and line manager. For an employee, an agenda can guide the meeting and inform them of what to expect.
In preparing an agenda, the line manager may wish to think about:
- outlining what will be discussed
- requesting that the employee add topics they would like to discuss
- if the employee should bring anything to the meeting (eg any prior notes)
- highlighting the employees’ strengths and areas for improvement
- allowing the employee to discuss how they are getting on and what they enjoy about their role
- assessing the employee for a potential promotion
Set out your expectations
To begin with, the line manager should be factual with their expectations of the employee’s current roles and responsibilities and assess how they have been meeting these by reflecting on the employee’s performance so far. By running through the expectations, it sets out to the employee what they need to do and the line manager is able to support them where necessary.
It could be that the employee feels as though they require training in order to meet the expectations of the role and the line manager should factor that in. Remember, it is not a lecture on the line managers expectations but a way to align and set straight what is expected within the employees’ role, at the company. Line managers should also be aware not to compare employees with others within the team as this could make employees feel unmotivated and also can give rise to potential discrimination issues such as having different standards for different employees in the same roles.
During the review, the line manager should include examples of the relevant competencies, accomplishments and contributions to the employee’s role. Depending on the role, the line manager should gather examples reflecting how:
- adaptable the employee is to new challenges and tasks. Does the employee shift their schedule around to prioritise the needs of urgent tasks?
- communicative an employee is throughout their day to day tasks, team projects and clear in querying difficult issues
- the employee holds accountability to things at work? Do they own up to mistakes and reflect on how best to resolve issues?
- productive the employee is and the level of engagement in their work. Do they strive to exceed expectations and performance targets?
Examples are a great way for employees to recognise where they are excelling and where they need to improve performance and encourage discussions on feedback from the work the employee has taken on.
Focus on the future
As part of the employee evaluation process, it is important to address future goals and set out what the employee needs to achieve in order to get to that objective. By levelling up their objectives, an employee may have their expectations set on gaining promotion in the future and would like to know how to get there. When assessing whether an employee meets the criteria for a promotion in the future, the line manager should take into account whether the employee requires extra training such as taking on additional projects, any leadership roles and where they need to improve current performance.
Be an active listener
Ensure that you listen to an employees’ feedback to accurately focus on the employee’s points during the meeting. This soft skill is essential to build stronger working relationships and effectively address any uncertainties and avoid misunderstandings. Key factors that show you are an active listener can be:
- demonstrating patience and taking time to absorb what the employee is saying
- empathising in areas where the employee may be struggling to achieve a certain outcome and needs extra support
- paraphrasing information to fully understand what the employee requires so that both parties are on the same level
- Asking open-ended questions can help an employee try to articulate what they are trying to say and also helps the line manager to gauge what steps need to be taken