Writing Employee Evaluations

Tips for Creating Employee ReviewsCreating an evaluative tool to measure an employee's performance can be a daunting task for even the most experienced managers.

Here are some survey design tips to help you create effective performance evaluation materials that will be meaningful for both supervisors and supervisees:

1) Use titles that are less challenging for employees (e.g. calling the instrument an "evaluation" as opposed to a "test")

2) Have a place at the beginning of the job performance evaluation form to clearly delineate the employee being evaluated, such as their name, title, department, and other pertinent job related individual information, like hiring date and date of last review. Other non-job related demographics (such as employee age or eye color) should be left out.

3) Make sure the content the employee is being evaluated on always refers directly back to their position. This can include technical job-related skills, and "softer" characteristics such as courtesy to both clients and co-workers, or punctuality.

4) Employee evaluations lend themselves nicely to the use of Likert scales, but a good evaluation uses verbal measurements as opposed to numeric. For example one end of the survey rating scale would be "Needs Improvement" and the opposite end of the scale "Excellent Performance."

5) Leave plenty of room for written employee performance evaluation comments after each content area. Both the manager AND the employee should write down their thoughts about the content area discussed. This makes both parties feel like they are contributing equally to a conversation, rather than one person telling the other how to act.

6) Include space for concrete development plans and steps to be accomplished, including dates and time lines for the progress to take place. It's also a good idea to include mid-term progress review dates so manager and employee can check in with each other. This ensures both parties are still on target for a successful future review.

7) Allow both the employee and manager to sign the list of employee evaluation questions and responses after reading all parts thoroughly and together. Leave time for discussion of the evaluation. 
8) If your company has an HR department, have an appropriate HR supervisor review your staff evaluation form to double-check that all the right notes are hit.
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