An employee evaluation is not just a set point in time for you to go through the motions of offering feedback just to grant a raise. It is also not a dedicated opportunity to serve up a platter of offenses committed by the employee in the last few months. Instead, it is a chance for you to motivate a worker and help him develop. Find out how motivating employees with feedback can benefit you.
Assess Strengths and Weaknesses
A common element of an evaluation is a review of a worker’s strengths and weaknesses. Often, these are presented in the form of scores on criteria important to the job. When you affirm an employee’s strong performance in a particular area, such as customer service, you let the employee know that his efforts have been recognized. Reinforcing desirable behaviors likely drives the employee to repeat them.
Correction of negative actions or areas of under-performance is important as well. Your approach to this evaluation component is critical. You should have no surprises if you communicate with employees informally and in an ongoing manner. Instead, the evaluation is a chance to sit together and assess the gap between current performance and what is expected. When delivered with a positive tone, communication about areas for improvement motivates a driven employee.
Review Progress Toward Goals
Another major purpose of an employee evaluation is a review of his progress toward job goals, and formulation of new goals when applicable. When an employee has made good progress, encourage him to seek to improve. When significant deficiencies exist, new training and development programs are often the answer. Communicate what skills the employee needs to develop to perform up to par in his existing role, or to develop into someone you can promote to a higher-level position.
When an employee reaches a goal, raise the bar. Collaborate on setting new goals for the employee to work on prior to the next evaluation. Set out any training and development strategies necessary to assist a worker in reaching the heightened goals.
Employee evaluations are one of your most useful motivational tools. Unfortunately, many companies and managers view them as a mere formality in the organizational system. Some even use them as an excuse to avoid proactive, regular communication with employees. If you don’t take performance appraisals seriously, employees won’t either. Establish clear expectations, offer precise feedback on multiple criteria and work with employees to develop them into roles with greater responsibilities.