Employee Performance Assessment
After a long and thorough recruitment process you finally hired the most suitable candidate. Well done! But don't rest on your laurels. Even the most talented people need guidance from time to time and by keeping an eye on the employees, you can help them make the most of their skills and abilities and improve themselves when needed. How to do it? Make regular employee assessments.
Preparation is essential
Since managers tend to consider employee assessments as a boring and useless task, they start to fill in the year-end evaluation sheets a few days before the planned meeting. But you should take time during the whole year to recognise and make use of the strengths of your employee. Similarly, if there is any problem, you have to deal with it immediately. In other words, nothing you will discuss during the performance assessment should be a surprise to your employees. ‘Then why should I do it?’ you might ask. Because it is an excellent opportunity to emphasize what you expect of them and how much you appreciate their work.
Feedback is not only criticism
Giving feedback on your employees’ performance will help them to achieve the targets, complete projects and increase the income easier simply because they will know what are they expected to do and which are those skills they have to work on. But make sure your comments are constructive and not destructive. Positive criticism always focuses on solutions and how to achieve improvement. Yelling and trashing your employees will lead only to a stressful work environment and might result in losing your promising even if not perfect employees.
More importantly, don’t forget to give praise when it is due. To encourage excellent performance you need to motivate your employees and in our financially difficult times it is not always easy to give a raise or any other financial bonuses. But you can express your appreciation by simply letting them know how much you value their work and loyalty.
Encourage open discussion
Though employee assessment is mostly about giving feedback to the employees, you should also find out what they think. What are those achievements they are proud of? What would they do differently if they could? What are those areas where they should improve in? How would they achieve these improvements? Now, you may be wondering ‘Why on Earth should I want to know the answers to all these questions?’ First of all, because this is another way to see how do they think and whether they draw the necessary conclusions from their mistakes or not. But these answers can also cast some light on your performance. Perhaps, you could improve in certain areas as well. Your employees might need a training to perform better. So, try to have an open mind when discussing these issues. And to encourage open discussion put your employees at ease by choosing a smaller office with a small round table or if it is not possible, then sit close to them.
End with a positive note
Usually, these discussions about the performance of an employee have a structure:
- First, there should be a little small talk to relieve the tension. It also helps to strengthen your relationship with the staff.
- Then comes the feedback part of the meeting. You tell what you appreciate the most in their performance and which skills they should work on. You might want to compare their current performance to their past achievements to prove your point. Try to avoid one-way discussions and let them express their opinion as well.
- Finally, after reaching a mutual understanding of each other’s point of view, talk about the new goals and projects. It will send the message that now, after drawing the conclusions, you will focus on the future.