As a supervisor, conducting performance evaluations of your employees can be a huge hassle. Have you ever really thought about why your company is conducting annual or semi-annual performance evaluations? Employers traditionally conduct these performance evaluations to rate employees based on their performance. Why, though, are they are they so important?
In the early 20th century, American businesses noted that happy employees were more productive. Managers began to act like leaders, counselors, and coaches. In the 1950’s, the law required Federal government to conduct formal evaluations of Federal employees.
Businesses began to recognize the importance of the relationship between employers and their workers. By the 1970’s, the term “performance management” described the process of managing behavior and results. The current trend is to focus more on regular open feedback, recognition, managing work goals, and preparing the employee for growth opportunities.
No wonder employers often find themselves behind on their evaluation schedule.
Things You Can Do to Help You Stay on Schedule
Here are some steps to take to keep you on schedule:
Provide employees with consistent feedback and coaching all year long
Keep notes on the conversations you have with the employee about work progress throughout the year and file the notes for use at evaluation time. If you receive praise from a colleague about the employee’s performance, put it in the file. Give praise and constructive feedback as you go, and your work will be much easier at evaluation time.
One effective way to provide feedback throughout the year is to hold one-on-one meetings every other weeks with each of your direct reports. Regular meetings will help you cultivate the desired organizational culture, while engaging, nurturing, and retaining top performers. These regular meetings will help avoid surprises at the mid-year or annual review and keep the employees’ expectations realistic. For career-minded employees, use this time to plan each employee’s career development path.
Require the employee to conduct a self-evaluation as part of the process
Have the employee prepare a written evaluation of his or her own performance on the evaluation form itself. Have the employee submit it to you ahead of your meeting. In your meeting, focus on areas where you (and others who have provided feedback to you on the employee’s performance) and the employee disagree about the performance. Where you agree, you can rely heavily on what the employee has prepared.
Work with an HR expert
One way to keep on top of your evaluation system is to hire HR outsourcing services. Let an experienced HR firm manage the process from top to bottom if you are too busy to keep up with it. The HR firm can assist supervisors and employees in preparing for the annual performance review process and meeting deadlines.
Automate the process
If your company still relies on paper forms, it is time to eliminate them. Streamline the process and stay on schedule with updated performance management software.
Treat the evaluation meeting like any other important business meeting
Put the meetings on your calendar and stick to the dates. Do not postpone them. Heed the deadlines for your company’s process. Most people don’t like doing evaluations, but if you have been coaching your employees and giving feedback all year, completing them should not take long. If the process is automated, your computer system will likely record any late submissions. Chronic lateness on the evaluations could result in a negative remark on your own performance evaluation.
Show the employee your respect by being punctual and prepared. Keep in mind that the employee wants the feedback and may be nervous, so take it seriously.
Develop a list of questions ahead of time that will encourage the employee to self-evaluate and facilitate a successful meeting
Have a list of questions ready to ask each employee during the meeting. You can send them to the employee in advance of the meeting and ask them to come to the meeting with answers. Some typical questions include:
- What do you think went well during the last six months?
- What is one project/task you worked on that you’re most proud?
- What do you think you could have done better?
- What is one thing you’ll work on improving for the next time we meet?
- How do you think you are doing?
- What is most/least satisfying about your job?
These will help keep the discussion constructive and focused.
In the meeting, set performance goals and expectations for the next year
Establish expectations for the next year to give you and the employee a performance map for the next review period. You can identify goals and personal/professional development plans that will guide the employee’s performance and form the basis for the next year’s review process. Time spent identifying appropriate goals for the coming year with some specificity is important for maximizing productivity as you and the employee move forward to the next review.
Outsource Your Performance Evaluation Process
HR Outsourcing Services for maintaining and implementing performance reviews has a number of benefits:
- Professional HR services will help the supervisor define goals for a given position and identify what steps an employee will need to take to attain the targeted goal. Attaining the goal may include some training or shadowing another employee to improve, develop or enhance their skills and knowledge.
- HR consultants can help establish reasonable milestones and deadlines for completing the evaluation process.
- HR experts can help coach supervisors on how to discuss performance goals and sensitive performance issues with the employee.
- Professional HR services can include performance evaluation software and record keeping so that your company can stay on schedule and keep employees motivated.
Contact Smart HR for More Information
Don’t procrastinate any further on your performance evaluation process. Speak to the Northern Virginia HR Solutions Firm, Smart HR, for more information about their HR Outsourcing services.