Give clear, concise feedback to help your team succeed!
Whether you manage a whole department or a small team, conducting employee evaluations is your bread and butter. To spur your staff onward and help them progress, you need to become a pro at delivering and writing helpful performance reviews.
Not sure where to start? In the following guide, we share a simple employee evaluation definition, the benefits of conducting one, and the process that you can use. As if that weren't enough, we also have a simple work evaluation example you can use for inspiration.
Employee evaluation definition
Before you conduct an employee evaluation, you need to make sure you know what it is. In the simplest of terms, these reviews are assessments of how a certain employee is performing. How often they take place will depend entirely on the company for which you work. It is common to have bi-annual or annual employee evaluations. However, some businesses also implement shorter monthly or quarterly employee evaluations for their staff members.
As part of a work evaluation, the employee will gain valuable feedback and constructive criticism. It provides managers and supervisors with an opportunity to fairly review the employee's work, while offering them advice on how they can improve in the coming period. When conducting an employee evaluation, you can also make recommendations and set goals for the team member, which can then be reviewed in the next evaluation.
Employee evaluations play a vital role in keeping staff on track. But it doesn't end there. A work evaluation is more than just a catch-up. The stakes can be high. If staff members have their sights set on promotions or raises, these reviews can be crucial. You'll have the chance to decide whether they've done enough to take the next step on the ladder.
Benefits of employment evaluations
Employee evaluations are not merely a formality. If you're in a managerial position, conducting these with your team offers a selection of benefits. While every business will have its own approach, the rewards you can expect to reap will be similar. Let's take a look at some of the core employee evaluation benefits now:
Facilitate open and honest communication
When was the last time you sat down with an employee and had an honest discussion? In busy workplaces, finding the time to scope out for catch-ups can be hard. There may be issues you want to raise with a team member, for example, but you don't have the time. An employee evaluation gives you both the opportunity to speak openly about things. Not only will you be able to provide the employee with feedback, but they can do the same in return.
Poor communication between managers and their workers is a recipe for disaster. Without these regular reviews, you might fall into bad habits. Perhaps you only speak to the team when giving them instructions. Maybe they don't feel that they can come to you with their challenges. Whatever the problem, work evaluations can be a part of the solution.
Offer clear, constructive criticism
The formal setting of an employee evaluation means that it's easy to offer clear, constructive criticism. If the staff member is continuously making the same mistakes or falling short of the mark, now is the time to bring it up. You don't have to have a dedicated meeting with them about this behaviour. Instead, you can bring it up in a review setting.
Set long-term goals for employees
As a manager, it's your job to make sure that your team members stay on track. Goal-setting is a vital piece of that puzzle. When you hold employee evaluations, you can set goals for the staff member. Focus on what the employee's strengths and weaknesses are right now and use that as a guide. The next time you have an evaluation, you can review the goals you previously set and see whether they've reached them.
Identify areas of growth and development
Career development is the aim of the game. As part of an employee evaluation, you can work with the staff member to identify any areas of potential growth. What skills does the employee already have? Are there any competencies that they lack currently? What courses or development opportunities are available to them? Answering these questions is a straightforward way to carve out a clear path that the staff member can follow.
Make decisions about the future
What does the future hold for this employee? As part of your recommendations, you can state whether you think they're in line for a promotion or pay increase. One of the biggest benefits of employee evaluations is the fact that they allow you to review a staff member's standing. Use the information you have to make important decisions about their future.
How to conduct an employee evaluation: simple steps
Now that you understand the benefits of conducting an employee evaluation, let's talk about how you can get started. It doesn't have to be overwhelming. Now, your company may have its own system. You should check with your manager to see what your best practices are. However, the main steps you take will likely include the following tasks:
Step 1: Refer back to the job specification
Before you do anything else, you need to take a look at the staff member's job specification. What duties should they be carrying out on a regular basis? Are they fulfilling them? Are there any tasks listed that have become superfluous? Now is an ideal time to review their job description and make sure that all of the information is accurate.
Next up, for each of the duties, make a quick note about how well the employee is performing. You can use this information when you're writing their work evaluation. After that, you'll split this feedback into different sections so that it's easy to digest.
Step 2: Look for areas of weakness
Nobody is perfect - not even your team members. When you're working on a work evaluation, you need to highlight areas of weakness. Where can the staff member improve? Have you noticed that they're lacking in a certain skill? You may have noticed a problem in the recent months that you want to bring to the table in this review.
Step 3: Highlight improvements and progress
Of course, it's not all about focusing on the negative aspects of a person's work. Employee evaluations give you the time to commend workers on what they've done well. Consider how far the team member has come since their last work evaluation. You can take a look at their previous reviews for details of this. Have they met the goals you set for them? How much progress have they made? You'll note these improvements as part of the review.
Step 4: Set appropriate goals for the future
While we're on the subject of goals, it's time to set some new ones. When you're writing an employee evaluation, you need to give the staff member something to work towards. If they've already met your previous goals, think about how they can expand on their progress. What would you like to see from them in the period to come? Can you put a timeline on each of the goals that you've set for them? What is an indicator of success?
Step 5: Write up your recommendation
The recommendation sees all of the above come together. Now that you're evaluated the employee, you need to decide what the future holds for them. Do they need a pay rise? Should they take on more duties? Can you offer up a learning opportunity for them? Think about how this team member can move forward and what rewards they deserve.
Step 6: Give the team member the floor
Now that you've had your say, you should encourage the employee to offer up some feedback. If you're having a conversation as part of the evaluation, ask them whether they have any questions or any issues they want to raise. Offering the staff member the chance to speak up about any difficulties they may be facing is an invaluable move.
Work evaluation example for inspiration
Whether you're conducting a face-to-face interview or delivering the work evaluation digitally, you'll need to write a brief report for the worker. There are plenty of ways that you can lay out employment evaluations. Your company may have a specific structure or style that they use. If that's the case, you should use the template you've been given.
On the off-chance that you need to freestyle it, don't fall into the overthinking trap. You don't need to create a complicated report here.
Work evaluations have one goal: to give clear, concise feedback to an employee. That means splitting the feedback into sections and using a bullet-pointed format. At the end, add your professional recommendations. Here's a work evaluation example if you need some formatting inspiration:
Work Evaluation for Samuel Johnson
Date: 4th September 2023
Company: Smithsons Solutions
Dept: Information Technology (IT)
Manager: S. Kitson
- You consistently contribute to the overall team's productivity
- You have met your previously-outlined productivity goals
- This has shown a clear improvement since your last work evaluation
- You are forthcoming with new ideas during team meetings and catch-ups
- Your written communication is easy to understand and direct
- You rarely offer feedback to other members of the team
Learning and development:
- You have turned mistakes into clear learning opportunities
- You show a keen interest in acquiring new skills
- You have yet to enrol on one of our internal L&D courses
- You show a strong commitment to your role and career progression
- Your productivity levels are consistently high
- You are quick to take on and implement constructive criticism
- You have recently taken on additional supervisory tasks
- You have shown promising improvement when demonstrating your skills to others
- You are a motivational role model to those in your team
- You could engage more regularly with your team members
- We are pleased to see that you are on track and meeting outlined goals
- Your rating is “very satisfactory - 5” which means that you have exceeded our expectations in this last period
- While there are some areas that can be improved, we are impressed with your current output and would like to see you progress within the business
Samuel Johnson is an invaluable member of the IT department. He is quickly adapting to his recent promotion to supervisory level and has shown promising progression in this area. We would like to see him give more verbal feedback to his team members to encourage the ongoing learning and mentorship process.
Based on Samuel's recent output, we recommend a 4% pay increase to reflect his newfound supervisory duties. He could also benefit from enrolling in one of our provided L&D courses, such as a management or leadership qualification.
- Work on greater engagement with team members
- Set up regular meetings with each team member
- Offer constructive criticism to the department
- Consider taking an L&D course in leadership
Employment evaluations don't have to be convoluted. As a manager, these reviews are a simple tool that you can use to keep things moving forward. Try to give plain advice to your team that they can use to develop and progress. Whatever approach you choose to take when delivering these evaluations, ensure that the feedback is direct and actionable. Your team members will greatly benefit from your guidance, advice, and ongoing support.
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