Workplace evaluations, also referred to as employee appraisals, can be unpleasant events for both the employees being evaluated and the managers conducting the evaluations (see reference 1). This is a result of numerous implementation factors, but largely due to the perception of both parties that appraisals are avenues for criticism. To break this perception, managers should focus on using workplace evaluations as a tool for employee development and performance boosting, rather than criticism. Below are a few key factors to focus on when conducting an employee appraisal.
Identify the key areas you would like to assess. These may include employee competence growth, individual employee motivation, or whether the workplace provides the best conditions for optimal performance and support for employee interaction (see reference 2). Ensure that the employee knows the areas under review; this enables them to prepare adequately, and makes them more responsive during the evaluation. Keep your communication clear and simple while engaging the employees.
Most scenarios in which employees have a negative outlook on workplace evaluations stem from a lack of understanding of the evaluation’s purpose (see reference 3). A basic educational session on the importance of evaluations and their intended functions will go a long way toward alleviating anxiety. You should ensure that your team is aware that the evaluation process is meant to benefit them as much as it benefits the business as a whole.
Involve the Employee
To conduct the evaluation, identify a quiet private site; this eases communication and enhances concentration. As you administer the evaluation, allow the employee adequate time to respond and give his views. Give your employee a chance to rate their performance as it lines up with the goals they were given or those they may have set for themselves. Remember that the purpose of the evaluation is to give you information about the employee so that you can identify how to improve their work experience and the subsequent results. Be careful not to dwell on one issue as it will inevitably take up valuable time that could be spent discussing other things (see reference 4).
Conduct follow-up sessions with the employees to highlight both areas of improvement and those that require more attention. This makes the employees more relaxed and accustomed to workplace evaluations, and will result in a more effective staff. You can reward the top performers as an incentive for the rest of the workforce to further improve their performance (see reference 5). The rewards will have an effect of influencing your entire workforce and give longer lasting results.