In many organizations, the employee evaluation process is a reflection tool rather than a vehicle for determining pay raises, yet it still can be a valuable tool in the supervisor's arsenal. If conducted in a developmental and intentional manner, the evaluation can inspire and guide employees to do their best work in the coming year.
I have developed a handout of a seven-step outline for a process that will allow you to conduct effective employee evaluations:
- Determine the purpose of the evaluation -- developmental or tied to merit pay
- Develop a system to allow you to account for the entire period. (My notebook method works well for this.)
- Develop a set of questions to foster conversation and reflection, and share them in advance.
- The conversation should both look back and look forward.
- The evaluation should not contain surprises.
- End with a focus on a short number of goals.
- Be intentional about process protocol -- I always had the employee begin
If you have created a culture where everything is assessed regularly, it should make the conversation about the employee's performance a natural part of your cycle. Don't minimize the importance of learning from the past and planning for the future -- together.