How to Write Employee Evaluations

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If every employee did a better than expected job all the time, writing employee evaluations would be easy. Since that is not reality, evaluation time can be just as stressful for a manager writing it as the employee. Start prepping an evaluation early by keeping notes about what the employee does well or poorly. Mark the date of any major events, good or bad. When evaluation time does come around, you will have these notes to use as a starting point. Evaluations must be based on how well the worker fulfills a job description, and should be done on a quarterly or yearly basis.

Open with a paragraph or two that outlines the overall performance of the employee. If the company has a standard summary statement (such as "Meets Expectations," "Sometimes Meets Expectations," "Exceeds Expectations"), the first graph should explain why the employee fell under the category you circled or outlined.

Follow the first paragraph with specific examples of good, average or poor work examples the employee exhibited in the evaluation period. This is where your notes should come in handy.

Compare the work examples to the previous evaluation. Check the evaluation as well for any goals the employee was to have been working toward. A fair evaluation must take into account how much the employee improved over the past evaluation period.

Check the employee's records regarding attendance, punctuality and customer service. If there is a problem that has affected the employee's performance in any way, it must be included in the evaluation.

Do a paragraph about the employee's overall strengths and weaknesses. Make note of areas that could use improvement, and suggest ways to strengthen those areas (more training, mentoring, proofreading work, etc.). Accentuate positives, but do not ignore problem areas.

Close the evaluation with a brief paragraph about the employee's goals for the next period.


Plan on writing evaluations before or after business hours.

If an employee has a major work performance issue, address it before evaluation time. It's not good from a communications standpoint to "blindside" an employee with a poor evaluation.

It's rare that a written evaluation is not accompanied or followed by a face-to-face meeting with the employee. If you can't discuss the evaluation immediately with the employee, arrange a meeting time with that employee when you give him the written evaluation.


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