Job Performance Evaluation Advice

May 29, 2010 by  Filed under: Management 

You may wonder why you have to give evaluations to your team. Well, if done correctly, evaluations help the employee, yourself, and the entire organization. Your success may just hinge on giving fair and impartial evaluations. Rookie managers make a ton of mistakes in this arena, but if you follow my advice, you’ll avoid those pitfalls and increase your standing within the company.

The Recency Effect

Performance evaluations based on your subordinate’s most recent behavior / performance is known as the Recency Effect and is a common trap for manager’s of all experience levels. Many people tend to go perform heroically as review time approaches. You’ll find them suddenly working late, or at their workstation when you arrive to work. The really smart ones will casually bring in a doughnut or other treat for you.

If you’re keeping notes throughout the year, you can help to thwart this common managerial tendency. Whether you make notes in a notebook, or maintain a spreadsheet – just keep it up! This will help your defense if things get ugly, too.

These notes give you something to review prior to filling out your evaluation paperwork, and give a more honest assessment than just the last month’s work. These notes should be kept absolutely confidential. Imagine the turmoil it would cause for someone’s review to be found out by other employees. There can also be legal consequences for not securing this information.

Evaluating Favorites

Giving overly generous evaluations to your favorites is another trap for the unwary manager. Don’t do it! It is quite natural for you to get along better with certain people and not quite as well with others. But emotions cannot play a role in this process. You must judge everyone fairly and accurately.

Just as with any employee, think analytically about their roll in the company, what functions they perform satisfactorily, and in which areas they need to improve. Give them real feedback.

Don’t Go Easy On Them

Rare is the manager that enjoys difficult confrontations in these performance evaluations. Lots of managers find it easier just to give everyone high scores to avoid the tough conversation. This will come back to haunt you if this is your strategy.

Someday, one of the under-performing folks you’ve been giving a pass to will screw up so badly that you’ll want to get rid of them…Ah, but their past evaluations indicate they’re a star! So they’ll have a pretty legitimate case if they’re fired, but their history shows how wonderful they were. Hello lawsuit!

Poor performers need to be weeded out as quickly as possible. It will help the organization to run more efficiently, and you will look better for having built a stronger team. And a strong team is the best reason of all for giving good performance evaluations.

MJ Blake has been teaching managers to improve their technique for years and has recently decided to share that knowledge with the world. For tons more advice about job performance evaluations, please visit today.

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