Employee assessments can be a necessary evil of working in a management position. No one enjoys having to analyze and criticize another individual’s performance or decisions, especially when the results may be unfavorable. The key to making assessments a positive experience for everyone involved is to keep them fair and balanced. By opening up the floor to your employee to provide their feedback, both your employee and your company stand to benefit from assessments.
A balanced assessment needs to contain two major elements — input from both employee and supervisor, and a review of both positive and negative aspects of their performance. One-sided assessments that include only the opinions of the assessor and their negative views of the employee are deemed as attacks and cause little more than defensiveness and dissent.
Many management trainers teach the idea of using a “sandwich” approach to evaluations that must include negativity. When you begin the assessment, start with something positive about their performance to help open the employee up and put them more at ease. Place all negative problems that must be addressed in the middle, as the “meat” of the evaluation. Finish up with more praise and positivity to have the employee leaving the assessment on a positive note.
Always encourage feedback throughout assessments, particularly when discussing problems that must be addressed. There could be reasons for these issues that you are unaware of, that may require action on your part. If the problem lies within working conditions or lack of training, you need to know, rather than leaving the employee to correct the problems on their own.
By using these tips, you can make your employee assessments turn into a learning experience for both you and your employees. As the open dialogue provided by a truly balanced assessment will get both you and your employees working together to improve their performance, as well as that of the company. Additionally, a team approach is developed that will create a better relationship between management and employees, growing morale. Companies that have a high level of morale and employees who have a voice in their evaluations have a much higher retention rate and level of productivity.
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