Tips on Writing an Annual Employee Evaluation

Writing performance reviews of an employee can be hard and time consuming, but there are ways to make this task much easier. Managers usually have to write job performance reviews annually for each member of their team. Therefore, when the review period is approaching, the manager should ask a few questions that will help in determining what he wants the end result to be of each of the job reviews:

  • What do you want to achieve with this review?
  • What are the most important aspects of this particular review?
  • Do you want your employees to give feedback on their individual reviews?

Knowing where to start is one of the most important tips on writing job performance reviews.

Tips for Completing Evaluations

If writing annual evaluations is not a project with which you feel comfort, there are ways to complete the reviews, while doing justice to both your underlings and yourself. Here are a few tips:

Recognize that you have to do it, so it’s best to treat it as part of your own job, rather than a horrible chore to complete.

  • Schedule a time to write the evaluation well in advance of when it’s due to be completed. Don’t rush through at the last minute. You do neither yourself nor your employees a favor by putting it off until the last minute.
  • Keep a file of notes on your employees, with the date an event happens. This doesn’t have to be when the employee makes a mistake, which is probably something you’ll know enough to keep track of anyway.

For example, suppose a worker comes up with a timesaving idea that makes a difference in your department’s productivity. Make sure you jot that down, along with the date of when it happened.

  • Use the employee’s objectives and goals as the starting point of the evaluation. This will make for a less subjective review and will be easier to communicate to the employee than just saying something like “I don’t think you are trying hard enough.”
  • Look at specific areas such as teaching, research and service in which each employee has been involved.
  • Discuss strengths that set the employee apart from other employees.
  • Discuss areas that need improvement.
  • Focus on future outcomes to better each employee’s work habits.
  • Look at certain behaviors the employee has or has not had.
  • Discuss things that could be changed to help with each employee’s job.
  • Be specific with your praise. Just as you would give details when an employee isn’t measuring up to the standards set, you should also give details when you praise an employee. Praise writing is more than just giving a complement. It is telling the person what they did well and why you think their action was important.

The idea of remembering the good things your workers do, as well as the areas for improvement, will put you in a better frame of mind to start writing that evaluation.

You Don’t Have to Wait To Start

If an employee comes up with a good idea, or if he shows that he’s working hard to correct an issue he’s been having problems with, use that uplifting behavior to start the evaluation. You can always rewrite it when it’s due (if you insist on waiting until the last moment), but it’ll put you in a generous mood.

Remember, the evaluation is supposed to be a fair assessment of your employee’s work through the year. Many companies base raises and bonuses on good evaluations, and a fair-minded evaluation, taken in the right spirit, can do much to help an employee work on correcting bad habits before they become major problems.

You do you both a favor by approaching the evaluation in the right frame of mind. These tips on writing an annual employee evaluation should do much to help alleviate that burden.

Presenting the Evaluation

Make sure you set aside enough time for the employee to read the evaluation, and for both of you to discuss it. Select a quiet office where you won’t be disturbed. This is particularly important if the evaluation isn’t completely positive.

Truth be told, there are few employees who get a bad evaluation who aren’t aware that their job performance is lacking. Assuming you want to keep the worker on staff, give him a chance to digest what you’ve written, and to compose himself before you both discuss the results.

Be Fair

Not everyone takes criticism well, but if you’ve been fair with your employee, that will do a lot to make an unpleasant evaluation easier for him to take. Your next task is to make him see that while it is serious, the issues that gave him a less than stellar rating are also behaviors that can be changed and  improved.

Your employee will take his lead from you. Make sure you give him time to reply, and make sure you listen to what he has to say.

Most problems, we think, have obvious causes. However, there is the rare case where something unforeseen can be keeping an employee from giving his job his all.

Give him a chance to “come clean” if there’s a problem. Him being open and forthright can make the situation easier for both of you to take. These tips on writing an annual employee evaluation will help.

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