Organization & Leadership Consulting

Performance Evaluations Best Practices

Effective performance evaluations create clear skies of expectations
Are your performance expectations clear?

Performance evaluations are designed to benefit both the employer and employee, but the process is often clouded with dread and fear. How can we facilitate productive discussion in order to benefit both parties? Consider performance evaluation best practices to make the most beneficial progress for your organization and its valued team members. 

Implement Regular Performance Evaluations

Best practices for employee performance reviews suggest implementing regularly scheduled performance evaluations. 

Consistency and regularity make performance reviews more effective in the long run. Knowing what to expect and when to expect it also eases the fear and anxiety that many employees have reported feeling in regards to their personal review process. 

The goal of employee performance feedback is not to demean or belittle employees; the goal is actually quite the opposite. As an executive, you’re in a position to advance both your employees and your business by building a healthy work environment where your team members can thrive. Implement a clear schedule for your performance evaluations, so there is clear order. Chaos feeds uncertainty, and uncertainty prohibits productivity. 

Communicate Clear Performance Expectations

Best practice says to communicate clear performance expectations. Eliminate the mystery surrounding performance reviews because it serves no purpose. With their input, create a rubric of sorts with clear, measurable goals for each employee. Define your expectations, and quantify exactly how you plan to evaluate those goals. It’s unreasonable to expect your employees to deliver when the expectation is imprecise. 

The clarity you implement will benefit your business overall. It’s much easier to identify areas of improvement or areas of excellence when the measuring stick is explicit. Eliminate the guesswork for both you and your team members, so you can be just that, a team.   

Encourage Employees Performance

Best practice indicates that employee performance reviews should encourage employees and motivate them to achieve their goals. While it is a performance evaluation, consider focusing on more positive goals and encouragements. Performance reviews are not the time to point out every shortcoming. Management should address negative issues as soon as possible in the workplace so that corrections can be made in a timely manner. 

It’s valuable to address short-term and long-term goals for your employees during their performance evaluations. Have they met their goals from their last evaluation? What goals can they meet looking forward to the next? Ask about and point out what your team member does well, and point them to how they can use that skill to advance. Feed into that healthy team environment so that everyone feels supported, valued, and led to their next point of success. 

Use Concrete Examples

Best practice requires the use of concrete evidence of performance or lack thereof. While this may take some time and planning on the part of leadership, having real and measurable examples of work is a worthy time investment. For each evaluation, look for product examples you can use to point to success or room for improvement. Data and statistics help everyone to visualize improvement or stagnation. And be sure to document each evaluation well both to see where you’ve come from and where you’re going. 

Suggested Reading: How can I grow employee engagement and workplace resilience? 

Performance evaluations have the potential to make or break your employee morale. We recommend following best practices for best results. TurningWest – Your guide to a healthy culture with meaningful results.


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