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  • Karen Gregory


Performance evaluations sometimes become a mundane part of your job. It’s “that time of year again”. We carve out time to write the evaluation, schedule a time to deliver it, and when it’s over the employee is no further ahead than before they walked into your office, but you have both jumped through the hoops, the performance evaluation is signed and filed, and more often than not both parties have lost a valuable opportunity.

With schedules busier than ever, performance evaluations give you a rare one on one, much needed opportunity to learn more about your employee, to strategize ways to help them grow or enhance their positions, and ultimately motivate them to work harder. Don’t waste this opportunity!

In your position you should be watching your employees all the time, making notes of progress you have noticed or of accomplishments your employees are making. Maybe they volunteered to head up a big project, maybe they work overtime when necessary, or maybe they are great at training new employees. Whatever is happening throughout the year needs to be remembered and recognized.

In your position you also should be coaching and developing your employees throughout the year when the need arises. Don’t put something negative on an employee’s performance evaluation that you have not previously discussed with them and set goals for improvement on. General rule of thumb: If it’s going to come as a shock to them during the delivery, then it shouldn’t be part of the evaluation.

If you have done your homework throughout the year, writing the evaluation is easier and the result of the delivery is much better. You should be looking forward to the opportunity to sit one on one with your employee to find out what they really enjoy about their job, where they see themselves in the next year or two (and longer term), and how you can play a part in enhancing their current role to include experiences that will help them meet those goals. If there are issues that have been previously discussed that are on the performance evaluation now is the time to follow up, once again, on what part of the performance improvement plan they are struggling with and what they can do to be successful, and consequences of what happens if they are not successful.

Always look for ways to build your employee up, recognize the contributions they make to the organization, to the team, and how they make a difference to you. I can’t think of a better way to motivate your employees than that!

I hope you look forward to performance evaluations with your employees this year and use them as a tool to not only help them grow, but that you grow as well through the process.


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