Reimagine your performance evaluation process with these tips.

Why are Performance Evaluations so Important?

Performance management is crucial – not only for business success – but for employee engagement and satisfaction. A Gallup study found that companies with the highest levels of engagement were 22 percent more profitable than those with low engagement. Learn how to maximize employee performance and organizational success with these six tips.

1. Do set goals during onboarding

Day one sets the tone for a new hire’s career at your company. Outline performance expectations and the frequency at which their performance will be evaluated. Set a goal for the management team to evaluate new hires when they hit 30, 60 and 90 days on the job, in addition to weekly or monthly one-on-ones.

2. Don’t set unrealistic goals

SMART goals have gained popularity amongst organizations for good reason. SMART goals follow these guidelines:

Specific – Encourage employees to provide as much detail as possible about their goals by defining the “Who, what, when, where, why and how” of the goal.

Measurable – What metrics will be used to determine whether the goal is being met? Outline the main benchmarks so they know how to prioritize their work each day.

Achievable – Is the timeframe too short? Will reaching the goal require funding that isn’t in the budget? Make sure the goals employees set are realistic for your business and their workload.

Results-based – The results the SMART goal will achieve should align with overall company goals.

Timeframe – Determine a date or time frame in which the goal should be completed. You can also set checkpoints along the way at certain time intervals.

3. Do involve employees in the evaluation process

Give employees an opportunity to reflect on their own performance. When employees play an active role in determining where they did well and areas they can grow in, they’re more likely to take ownership of achieving their next goal.

Likewise, give them opportunities to evaluate their co-workers and management teams using a 360-degree evaluation. That way, companies can assess overarching themes and create proactive strategies to improve performance company-wide.

4. Don’t rely on paper-based performance evaluations

Goal-setting should be a continual process, not a paper form employees stash in a drawer and forget about. Make the switch to a cloud-based, automated system where performance records can be stored in central location. That way employees never need to worry about finding information later on, and can complete evaluations from their computer or mobile device on their own time.

Brainstorming at a Table

5. Do create career maps

The performance evaluation period is a great time to work with employees on their career map. Career maps show incremental changes and additional responsibilities the employee can take on to achieve a promotion. A Millennial hiring trends survey shows 53 percent of Millennials would choose to stay at a company that offered an outlined career map. With the current low unemployment rate, giving employees a glimpse into their future at your company can boost retention.

6. Don’t view performance management as a standalone activity

Performance management impacts every area of your business. It can be used to guide succession planning for attrition or unexpected vacancies, and drive employee satisfaction for better retention. When identifying areas to improve upon with employees, a learning management system can be a useful tool in helping employees develop their skills.

Bonus Tip: Do review objectively

As a manager, it’s important to base reviews on fairness and objectivity. Ask the same questions during each review and evaluate on the same criteria for similar roles. Using pre-determined performance evaluation questions and allotting ample time to prepare for each employee review can help.