How to Effectively Use Employee Evaluations

Why are employee surveys so time consuming and dull? Why do employee evaluations tend to feel more laborious than ...


Why are employee surveys so time consuming and dull? Why do employee evaluations tend to feel more laborious than productive? We often don't realize that employee evaluations help us do a few things. They help us understand the relationship between the employee and the company or the employee and the manager to ensure that every employee performs optimally. And that the employee enjoys what they are doing at the company. Evaluations make it simpler to have these conversations.

Employee surveys help us ask three questions.

The first question is, how is your employee's mindset? Employee mindset is critical. When you come to work, where's your head? Is anything impacting you personally that could potentially derail you from performing at a peak level? Is there something that triggers you to feel bad or triggers you to feel amazing while you're at work? Is there something we can do to make your work environment better? 

The second question is, how's your employee's ability? When you look at your employee's ability to do their job, please think of the three T’s. These open up the conversation about an employee's ability to get the job done. 

The T's are:

  • Team - Do they have the right team that includes a manager to do the job? 
  • Tools - Do they have the tools to get the job done?
  • Training - Do they have the proper training? Can anything be done to help them be even better? 

The third question is how do you rank your employee's performance? Another way to think about it is, do you understand excellent performance? Do you know how to identify poor performance? 

At times you can ask a manager or a company, "How do you think so-and-so is doing at her job?" If they're doing terrible, they'll say terrible, and if they say great, that's a different story. Some companies have KPI’s or OKR’s defined to determine performance. However, more often than not, performance seems to be based more on a gut feeling of either the manager or the employee themselves, and not based on metrics that are as insightful as they should be.

We need to make sure that the manager, the company, and the employee measure performance the same way to understand what defines excellent or good performance. We also need to know what defines terrible performance.

We've all been in those evaluations where performance is a murky subject, and it's a subject that's left open to interpretation, and that's not the right way to go. It's unfair to the employee and a disservice to the company.

In another blog post, I'll unpack setting an individual impact plan for the next 30 days. The individual impact plan will help the employee excel by leveraging those three survey questions above and putting processes, steps, and resources in place.

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