Completing performance evaluations on employees is an important part of employee retention. If a person comes into a performance evaluation apprehensive, then most likely they have not been getting regular feedback on their performance. Performance evaluations should be an ongoing daily activity. Some employers choose to give employees self-evaluations to complete. This can help the evaluator get the employees perspective about their performance.
Performance evaluations should include the behavior of the entire performance period, not just the two weeks leading up to the evaluation.
When filling in the evaluation, it is imperative that you are evaluating behaviors - not character or personality traits. This is important for two reasons. The first is that if you are saying negative things about a person's character you are treading on very unstable ground, and could inadvertently say something that goes against worker's rights. The second reason is that you will automatically put the employee on the defensive, and will have an unproductive evaluation. Behaviors are deliberate actions. Being five minutes late everyday is a bad behavior. Smiling too much is a character trait.
Evaluations should contain specific examples of good and bad behavior problems. Use specific dates, times and if possible other written documentation that was completed at the time of the incident, good or bad.
People will also be more receptive to hearing a negative or a needs improvement portion if you use the sandwich method. Start with a positive statement, describe the area that needs improvement, and then follow up with another positive. People are much more receptive to corrective feedback if they realize that it is just one or two things they are not doing as well as they are doing everything else.
At the end of the performance evaluation give a short recap and ensure you highlight the items that need improvement. Set goals for the employee to achieve in regard to training or performance before the next evaluation. Ask the employee if they have any comments about their evaluation. Keep an open mind when employees are asking questions, keep the conversation in the direction it is intended. When everything has been said, ask the employee to sign the evaluation. The employee should always receive a copy, and a copy should be put in their permanent file.
Performance evaluations can have a positive effect on the workplace if given correctly. If an employee feels they are appreciated, they will try harder to improve the things that are not meeting your approval.