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Conduct Performance Evaluations
– What makes an effective employee evaluation form? Truth is you can download a template from the internet and call it a day, but that template won’t be the most effective form. Your form should help you manage performance using your own company goals and values. I’ve included a template evaluation form in the Exercise Files for this course, but my hope is that you’ll only use it as a guide while you watch this video and will make changes to it so that it suits your company specifically. There are a few things to keep in mind as you create your forms.
The first is that each job description should have it’s own matching evaluation form. In other words, job descriptions and performance evaluation forms go hand-in-hand like his and hers bathroom towels. Also remember that evaluation forms should be clear and easy to use. Don’t make them too complicated or lengthy. Finally, remember that while performance evaluations may be conducted annually, your managers and supervisors should be giving ongoing feedback all year. In fact, the annual performance evaluation should just be the formalized version of a conversation that’s already taken place many times over throughout the year, so the first step in creating a performance evaluation form is to understand the core competencies a person in each position should be measured against and describe those competencies on the evaluation form.
If you take a look at my example in the Exercise Files, you’ll find my Retail Clerk’s core compentencies are excellent customer service, upselling products, financial accuracy in transactions, and keeping the store clean. A different evaluation form will be created for the Stock person, whose core competencies might be organization, efficiency in moving inventory from point A to point B, and the ability to foresee inventory needs. The second part of your form measures employees on how well they live your company values.
For example, I once did some HR consulting for a retail store and some of the company’s values were a strong work ethic, teamwork, flexibility, and resourcefulness, so the evaluation forms I created included these skills and all employees were measured against them. Both your core competencies and your company values should include a short description of each item. The next step is to design the graphics scale to correspond with the core competencies and the company values.
The graphics scale is your rating system. You can see on the template I provided that my scale is excellent, average, below average, and unsatisfactory. The idea is that any competency or value graded as unsatisfactory would need to be accompanied by an action plan for improvement, while anything marked below average is something the employee should be mindful of improving. An employee who receives an average in all categories might be an okay performer, but an employee who receives excellent in most or all categories would deserve some type of acknowledgement or might stand out as up for a promotion when a spot opens up.
Also note that I purposely did not include a neutral or N/A category in my scale. If you evaluation forms are paired with your job descriptions, than you won’t need that item in your graphics scale. Next, you will create a place for managers to highlight the employee’s strengths. I like to require managers to come up with a minimum of three strengths and to provide examples of how those strengths show up in the employee contributions to the company. Then you’ll provide a section for the manager and employee to discuss opportunities for improvement.
Managers should always discuss goals, resources that will be provided to assist the employee, and the required timeline. Finally, you’ll provide a section for employees to write in their comments and a place for the manager and employee to sign. Once you’ve created your evaluation forms for all of your positions, you are ready to provide manager training. This training doesn’t need to be extensive or time-consuming, but understand that some managers are easy graders and will give everyone good or great scores, while others are hard graders and will give everyone good or poor scores.
The goal of your training is to eliminate that personal bias or inconsistency in judgement and get everyone on the same page. On a final note, once you’ve created the performance evaluation form and process and trained your managers on how to use it, your role becomes that of a coach. Your job is to make the evaluation conversations comfortable for everyone. Rather than a time to dread a difficult conversation about failures, make performance evaluations a time to celebrate successes.