Employee evaluations receive their share of flak for being time-wasters, for being unfair, or for not making any difference in individual or organizational performance.
But employee evaluations don’t have to be dreaded tasks that everyone simply wants to complete and move on from. They can be productive, useful, and beneficial to individual careers and organizational success as long as they’re done with forethought, fairness, and a consistent process. Here are five best practices for the employee evaluation process, and how online forms and automated workflows help.
1. Don’t Treat Employee Evaluations as a Rote Exercise
If your annual employee evaluation process is a rote, box-checking exercise that leaves no one any different after than before, then why bother? Think of it as an opportunity to talk one-on-one with each team member, learning their perspective better, and guiding them to overcome challenges and polish their strengths. When an employee leaves the conference room after their evaluation, they should have a clearer view of their role, where they need to improve, and what they already do that is most appreciated. It should inspire them to want to better themselves.
2. Provide Employees with a Copy of the Evaluation Form Beforehand
With online forms, giving each employee a copy of the evaluation form before the individual evaluation meeting is easy and secure. This is true whether you provide them with a blank form, so they will know the topics to be discussed, or whether you provide them with a filled-in form, so they will be ready for discussion as soon as their meeting with you begins. The employee evaluation meeting should never feel like a surprise or an ambush. Rather, employees should have the opportunity to prepare for them, just like the evaluators prepare for them.
3. Stick to Your Schedule
If you plan for each one-on-one evaluation to take 30 minutes or an hour, stick to that time frame. Reminding yourself that each employee is worth X minutes of your time regardless helps you remain fair and consistent with your evaluations. Additionally, sticking with a schedule doesn’t throw your own and everyone else’s schedules off-track. You have countless technological tools for monitoring time, including timers and alarms on your phone, so there really are no excuses for allotting one employee 10 minutes while rambling on with another for 45 minutes.
4. Mini-Evaluations Should Happen Frequently
In keeping with the overarching idea that annual employee evaluations shouldn’t be a surprise, you should ensure that smaller conversations about performance happen much more frequently – say on a weekly or monthly basis. These interim evaluations can also be managed with online forms and simple workflows, helping you remain in touch with each of your team members and addressing pain points and offering congratulations on a more immediate basis, to keep morale strong. No team member wants to feel as if they’re only remembered on annual evaluation day.
5. Make Documentation of Evaluations Automatic
Automated workflows made up of online forms can ensure that all evaluations, whether they’re shorter, interim evaluations or longer annual evaluations, are documented, time stamped, and archived every time. Doing this creates a virtual paper trail that can easily be referred to later on if necessary. With a clearly defined, automated workflow, evaluations are more easily understood, fairer, and more consistent, so you’re less likely to be accused of favoritism or laxity in communicating with your team.
Don’t listen to those who say that the annual employee evaluation is passé, or unnecessary. It is as important as ever, but it must not be an empty exercise that is forgotten as soon as it’s completed. Online forms and workflows make the evaluation process consistent, fair, and perfectly documented for easy referral later on.
PerfectApps is workflow software that empowers you to create employee evaluation forms and workflows that make sense for your business. Online forms eliminate worries about lost or damaged forms, and they can be automatically date- and time-stamped for easy reference. They don’t have to be stored in filing cabinets, and copies can be easily shared with all authorized personnel. PerfectApps invites you to watch our demo video. It only takes a minute, and lets you see how you can improve personal and organizational efficiency through fully customized online forms and workflows.