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The evaluation of an employee’s performance, as well as a company’s performance, is an integral part of the management of every company. This allows the company as well as individuals to learn from their mistakes and to understand areas for improvement in order to grow as individuals and serve the company better. In addition, this is when the management can identify the direction of results and decisions that need to be made to improve company performance.
When conducting a performance evaluation, it is essential to understand their personalities and their patterns of thinking, as performance evaluations shouldn’t demotivate your employees in any way. This does not mean that you should avoid feedback that is not 100% positive. It means that the result of the evaluation should serve the best interests of the company and its employees. Follow these best practices to turn Performance Evaluations into something that your employees look forward to.
Record and follow a consistent procedure
It’s a good – rather, essential – practice to maintain written records of your policies and procedures, including the Performance Evaluation procedure. Provide clarity around each employee’s role and how the organization perceives their contributions. Keeping what employees should know about performance evaluations, and the schedule of performance evaluations, shared with them, allows them to know exactly how their performance is measured. Managers/ evaluators and employees should have a shared understanding of what good performance looks like. If you’re in a position to afford it and if you’re using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as part of your evaluation process, you may use a software tool to cover one or more stages of the performance evaluation. However, it is also perfectly adequate to use a spreadsheet-based scorecard for this.
Don’t be subjective; always be objective
Always try to gather 360-degree feedback, as managers or superiors aren’t the only ones with visibility into employees’ performance. In fact, a lot of employees’ everyday work might be more visible to their peers and subordinates than their managers. To get a more complete picture of an employee’s performance, seek these other data points for feedback as part of the performance review process. However, be careful not to ask too many technical or complicated questions. If the employee is falling behind in KPIs, look at the things that are impeding them. If one of those issues is a lack of understanding on the criticality of, or prioritisation between their KPIs – something that should be done at the point of assigning them – then gently but firmly (with carefully selected facts to back you up) explain why those KPIs matter.
You shouldn’t walk into an important meeting unprepared. It is important not only to be prepared but to seem prepared – your employees deserve to feel that you have thought seriously about their performance, and to receive thoughtful feedback for the future. Setting such a culture with your own reviews will make it quickly spread across your organization. Set everyone up for a more effective performance conversation by allowing time for preparation. Always know what you’re going to talk about, structure the evaluation meeting and prepare some key points for discussion. It is in the best interest of the employee and the organisation in general that you (or the one who conducts the performance evaluation) have an understanding of the particular employee’s work environment and the scope of work, as it could be unfair to judge a person purely based on the KPI achievement.
Be a listener and a motivator
Build trust! It is as simple as that. For them to be open with you and share important insights (thereby helping you achieve the real goal of performance evaluation), they should have confidence in you as someone who listens carefully and understands. This will help you find the driving factors of their performance and help them capitalise on those. You definitely need their positive energy.
To conclude, everyone in the Performance Evaluation should practice empathy and look from the other’s perspective. Try to see problems in the other’s perspective. An appraisal / performance evaluation is a great opportunity to have an insightful discussion with your employees to make them understand and see things from a manager’s point of view or the business’s point of view.
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