Workplace Performance Reviews or Performance Evaluations
Performance evaluations are intended for employers to use by way of providing feedback to employees and setting goals for improved workplace performance and productivity in the upcoming year. They are to be holistic and comprehensive, so each employee should receive one as part of a company-wide practice.
Why are Performance Reviews Important?
Benefit-wise, there are typically four (4) ways performance reviews can improve a workplace: by (1) increasing productivity, (2) increasing efficiency, (3) improving work-life balance, and (4) creating a positive work environment. With performance evaluations, employers will notice an increase in productivity, and an overall interest and drive from employees in their work, while employees have the opportunity to receive feedback and support that will make them feel appreciated by their employer. As a result, employees are more likely to want to strive for more and better at their job.
When Should Performance Reviews Occur?
Although a process, performance evaluations may make all the difference in an office’s environment. They should be handled properly and professionally. So, how do you go about rolling out performance evaluations? They should occur at two (2) junctures in an employee’s job cycle: first following an employee’s introductory or probationary period (i.e. after their first ninety (90) days) and again annually thereafter, usually around the time of year in which bonuses are given. Performance evaluations should be completed on an annual basis for every employee. It’s at this point there’s three steps to follow.
The Performance Review Process
Step 1: Self-evaluations
The self-evaluation step is entirely optional, but also incredibly beneficial as it is intended to provide employees with the opportunity to let their employer know how they feel they have been performing on the job in the past year. It also allows them to be straightforward and honest about their personal goals they would like to work toward achieving in the upcoming calendar year. However, it should be noted that self-evaluations are not intended for employers to rely on solely when it’s time for the performance evaluations. It is merely a helping hand for employers to understand the employee’s perspective so they may see the goals they desire to set in place for themselves. Indeed, they should be worked into the employer’s goals for that employee so there is a “buy-in” from the employee to want to achieve the goals.
Step 2: Performance Reviews
Performance reviews are typically conducted by the supervisor or employer. It’s at this point the employee has already handed in their self-evaluations, the employer has reviewed them, and is now conducting their own performance evaluation. Here, the goal is to provide the employee with feedback they can use to grow as an employee and make sure the employee is invested in their growth with the company.
Step 3: Employee Review Meeting
Once the written performance reviews have been completed by the employer, it’s time to schedule a meeting with the employee whereby you can review the form with them in a personal and verbal meting. It’s also in this meeting where you may set those goal deadlines or timelines so throughout the year you can observe and make sure the employee is on the right track. At the end of the meeting, make sure to leave time for a question and comment portion, so employees can ask any questions they may have and make comments. You want to make sure they know they’re being heard (and, remember, it’s important to practice active listening here). Any comments or questions should be properly documented in the appropriate section of the form, and the employee should have the opportunity to review and sign the document, returning a copy to be placed alongside their self-evaluation in their personnel file.
Remember, while these principles may be applied nationwide, if you need further assistance, a licensed lawyer in your state and jurisdiction can provide more insight and consult.
How We Help
As a Florida employment law firm, we can draft company-specific Self-Evaluation and Performance Review forms and provide your company with a self-training course. We also offer strategy sessions to ensure you’re rolling them out at the proper times and in the proper manner. Schedule your consultation or strategy session today.
Toolkit to Go It Alone
For those employers who want to go it alone, but need the proper documentation, you may be interested in purchasing and downloading our lawyer drafted Performance Review Know-How Toolkit that contains information on setting SMART goals for employees, our comprehensive Self-Evaluation & Performance Review forms (with questions applicable to managers and supervisors).