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20 December 2018

The ins and outs of employee performance evaluation

Have you ever thought about why organizations conduct employee performance evaluations? Perhaps you’ve wondered what the point is? Maybe you’ve even considered it to be a waste of time? But, the reality is quite the opposite. Employee performance evaluations are used as an evaluation process and a communication tool that is of utter importance to an organization's success.


At the core of an organization's success are its employees and their capability. Of course, you need to recruit adequate people and give them the training and tools that are necessary to do their job. To ensure that staff is performing and meeting expectations, managers and supervisors need to conduct regular performance evaluations; measuring efficiency, work production, and attitude of employees.


The general consensus on employee performance evaluation


Conventionally speaking, performance reviews are disliked by both managers and employees. Managers don’t like feeling as though they are judging their employees - especially if they have to address underperformance which they know could result in the risk of alienating the employee. On the other hand, employees don’t like the feeling of being judged. For the most part, they tend to take any kind of suggestion for improvement negatively and personally.


This is where employee performance evaluation of the 21st century comes in. If conducted with care and understanding, this process should help employees to see how their job and expected performance fit in with the bigger picture of the organization. Documenting performance evaluations ensures that both the manager and employee are clear about each employees job requirements; setting specific goals (we will discuss this a little later).


Training and developing needs


One of the key factors of an employee performance evaluation is to determine the training and development needs of staff. If an employee is struggling with a specific task or responsibility, they could benefit from a training programme. According to online employment resources, ignoring skill deficiencies can affect an organization's attainment of goals.


When an organization shows interest in helping employees to do their best and invests time and effort into their development, it doesn’t just contribute to the company morale; it also elevates the employee’s self-esteem. An employee that feels valued is more motivated and committed to an organization.


Career goals


Although the primary goal of an employee performance evaluation is to determine if an employee is a good fit for a company, it also serves the purpose of helping individuals to determine if they have chosen the right career path. Perhaps after the evaluation, you will realize that your employee will be better suited in a different role. You can then implement the necessary steps and processes to get them there. The feedback that an employee receives is invaluable in determining a future course in which the organization and employee can put their interests and talents to the best use.


Set SMART goals


Setting goals is an important part of any employee performance evaluation process. A general guideline used is the SMART goal concept. SMART goals stand for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely, and is a way for employees to effectively formulate and achieve set goals.


  • Specific: Goals must be clear and unambiguous.  Both the employee and supervisor must be clear on the goals, required outcomes and how success will be measured. Employees must know exactly what’s expected of them.
  • Measurable: The goals that are set need to be able to be measured. If the goals aren’t measurable, you won’t know if employees are making progress towards a successful end result. Measurable goals are also important to keep employees motivated - people want to know that they are on the right path to success.
  • Achievable: It’s important that goals are realistic and achievable by your average employee. After all, who is going to be motivated to work towards a goal that they know is impossible to achieve. The best goals require a little extra effort to achieve success, but they aren’t too extreme. In other words, they’re not out of reach, but also not below standard performance.
  • Relevant: For goals to be advantageous for both the employee and the business, they need to be relevant to the employee’s job responsibilities. Ultimately, the goals should lead to an employee's personal growth, and relevant to their overall goals at the organization.
  • Timely: The goals should have a starting point, ending point, and a fixed duration. Knowing when a goal needs to be achieved by helps employees to focus and stay motivated.


An example of a SMART goal


Learn five new social media strategies and implement them on Instagram and Pinterest (Specific) by the end of this quarter (Timely). Document the success of these strategies in terms of users reached, overall engagement, and new users obtained (measurable).


We can assume that the goal is achievable because the employee should have access to the resources required, such as relevant books and internet connection.

Posted by: Edit Ford

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