Employee Evaluation

An employee evaluation, also known as a performance review, is a periodic appraisal of an employee’s performance by their manager. It’s an opportunity to assess the employee’s progress, praise their accomplishments, and collaborate on goals to improve performance and help achieve company objectives.

Top 6 Benefits of Employee Evaluations

When done right, employee evaluations can have important benefits for both employers and employees, including:

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Employee Evaluation Examples

Regular evaluation and appraisal of employees’ performance helps them know what they’re doing well and where they need to improve.

To make sure their feedback aligns with company standards, supervisors and managers should ask their HR department for a list of anonymized examples of phrases they can use during employee evaluations.

Here are a few examples of positive and constructive phrases and questions to use during an employee evaluation.

Positive Employee Evaluation Phrases

Constructive Feedback Phrases

Examples of Performance Goals

Performance goals (well-defined goals an employee wants to achieve) are commonly used during the employee evaluation process. The metrics relate to an individual’s productivity, job satisfaction, and accountability and help keep employees motivated and engaged.

Performance goals that are well-defined, realistic, and relevant may help employers determine where employees are best positioned and create personalized career paths.

Common performance goals include:

How to Prepare for an Employee Evaluation

Managers should take regular notes on each worker’s performance prior to an evaluation. This makes it easier for the manager to discuss specific examples of the employee’s strengths and accomplishments, as well as any concerns.

Managers should also regularly measure each employee’s performance using appropriate metrics and be prepared to discuss the findings during the employee evaluation. Managers should choose metrics tied to company objectives, and each employee should know in advance what they’ll be judged on. This will allow them to align their priorities and behaviors accordingly.

Expert Tip: Request an Employee Self-Evaluation

Employees should also complete a self-appraisal form before the meeting. This will enable the manager and employee to determine whether they see eye-to-eye.

During the evaluation, the manager and employee should collaborate on employee goals. Together, they should create a detailed plan and timetable for follow-up meetings, and the manager can then provide additional resources or training and determine milestones and metrics for measuring success. This will help to drive performance improvements and career development.

To complete the employee appraisal process, managers should fill out an employee evaluation form to document what was discussed and the agreed-upon goals. This form becomes part of the employee’s permanent company record and can help guide and support future decisions about compensation, promotion, or termination.

How Often Should You Conduct Employee Evaluations?

Most organizations conduct employee evaluations every three to six months. Frequently reviewing employee performance keeps employees motivated and engaged, boosting organizational performance. This also helps managers solve small problems before they grow and enables them to recognize and reward employees’ recent accomplishments immediately.

Previously, employee evaluations have been called annual reviews because most companies only conducted them once a year. But it’s hard for employees and managers to accurately remember everything that happened during an entire year—and studies show annual reviews do little to improve performance.

A growing number of employers are providing employees with more frequent feedback, and research confirms it produces better results such as accomplishing performance management goals more quickly.

Depending on needs and circumstances, employee evaluations may be conducted quarterly, monthly, or even weekly. Some organizations go further, replacing employee evaluations with frequent check-ins and one-on-one meetings.

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