When you are operating a business, a regular evaluation schedule is important to ensure the efficient and effective achievement of growth and development goals. With set evaluation periods and defined objectives, you can establish a clear set of expectations for employees, and you will be better able to keep tabs on your business projects and staff progress.
The key to a successful performance evaluation is a balance between constructive criticism and praise. As you write or conduct a goal evaluation, strive to address both negative and positive aspects of an employee's performance, using examples when possible. Do not make the performance review a surprise attack; any important negative issues should have been addressed with a warning or discussion prior to the review. To be sure that you are giving a fair review, send the evaluation to another manager for a read-through before the meeting.
In a performance evaluation, it is always better to be specific and direct about criticism; this allows the employee to understand exactly what he needs to improve and lets him process the information without wading through confusing or vague language. You can also provide employees with possible steps that they can take to rectify a problem or improve a weak area to let them know that you are willing to give them space to work on their trouble spots.
Encourage a Response
During a goal performance review, make your employees feel like they are an active part of the evaluation by allowing them time to respond. You might provide them with a written report in advance, or plan time at the end of an in-person evaluation to ask questions, refute criticisms or let them process the information. By listening to their responses, you can encourage dialogue and ensure employees that their opinions are being heard.
Set Future Goals
At the end of the performance evaluation, work with the employee to set goals for the next evaluation period. You might choose goals that aim to improve weak areas, for example, or simply focus on upcoming projects. Take into account the employee's ideas; she may be interested in developing a particular skill or pursuing a new section of the business. When expectations are clear, your employees will know exactly where they stand throughout the year and will have an understanding about the parameters by which they will be evaluated during the next performance review.
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