If you are a manager, supervisor, or company owner, one of your duties is to routinely assess your employees’ job performance to see how they’re doing. Some companies take care of this task once a year while others perform an assessment every six months or so. However you choose to do it, employees under your supervision need and deserve to have their work evaluated along with the opportunity to improve weaknesses and have their strengths recognized.
Many companies already have performance appraisal forms available for supervisors’ use. But if your company is small and you haven’t found what you want on the Internet or at an office supply store, you may want to create your own evaluation form or at least look for one with specific criteria like these:
1. Desired employee traits. Some forms emphasize an employee’s character and may include sections for comments about loyalty, commitment, attitude, and honesty. Other characteristics might center on teamwork, diligence, punctuality, and goal-setting or successes. These are general enough to use for many types of job descriptions although they can be difficult to measure objectively except through the inclusion of particular incidents as evidence, such as working overtime without pay to catch up on the workload to illustrate diligence.
2. Job skills and knowledge. Depending on the type of job a person has, specific tasks may need to be assessed to see how well an employee has handled them over a given period of time. These can include technical skills like machine operation and attendance or they may have to do more with intangible qualities like communication and productivity. Customer interaction, training other staff members, or making presentations might also figure into the performance equation. Try to list the things that your employee is responsible for so that the form correlates to his or her job performance as closely as possible.
3. Use numerical values. It may be helpful to assign a range of values for measuring each skill or trait. For example, you may wish to provide a list of numbers between one (low) and five or ten (high). Then the evaluator can circle the number that most closely corresponds to the staff member’s ability. Of ten characteristics, each with ten possible numerical rankings, an employee could score as low as zero or as high as a hundred. The evaluator may wish to set a minimum standard of performance at 70. Anything below that would result in the employee being placed on probation until weak areas improve by a given date, say within three to six months. Conversely, scores over 90 might lead to a raise, a bonus, or another reward.
4. Provide sections for comments. Both evaluators and employees should have the opportunity to discuss the document’s scores and lay out a plan to maintain high numbers or to improve low ones. Either person might have suggestions for improving work performance or the evaluation process. If the two disagree on one or more points, this can be noted as well. Then both persons should sign and date the form, with one copy going into the company file and another given to the employee.
An evaluation process is dynamic, meaning that it will continue to evolve over time as better instruments become available.
Keeping good records is one way that companies can help to maintain high work standards and assist employees in building a strong work ethic.
Keeping good records