On Performance Management And Employee Evaluation

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A female manager doing a performance management evaluation.

On Performance Management And Employee Evaluation

Maintaining maximum workplace efficiency can be a very difficult venture, especially when taking into consideration the many whims and vagaries of your employees. With the average workplace requiring the completion of dozen of tasks each day, it can be easy to forget the importance of occasionally evaluating the performance of your workers. This is why performance management is important.

The process of verifying the level of performance that your employees exhibit is called performance management and is crucial to helping your business grow and develop. In fact, a well-oiled performance management system is absolutely essential to keeping your organization working in perfect harmony, since every cog that is part of the mechanism needs to function properly if results are to be expected.

In this article, we’ll be detailing what performance management means and how important frequent employee performance evaluations are when taking into consideration the status of your company.

What is Performance Management?

Put simply, performance management is an ongoing process of partnership between an employee and their supervisor in order to properly optimize performance, encourage professional development and the growth of their applicable skills, create a feedback loop and establish a comfortable avenue of straightforward communication, and set clear-cut goals that need to be satisfied.

Most people are acquainted or familiar with performance management through monthly meetings with their supervisors in order to talk about their performance. Every company has devoted precious time to this important process, as it is the building block to a cohesive workplace where dedication and transparency count as the norms.

Performance management does not have to be particularly organized in terms of its initiation, as every company likes to do their meetings differently. While some might choose to run a monthly employee meeting inside their conference room, others would think it is far more beneficial to hold a performance evaluation encounter while in the company garden and accompanied by the singing of birds.

Traditionally, performance management meetings used to be an annual event, though our modern day and age have greatly increased its frequency, with some workplaces choosing to evaluate employee performance on a weekly basis. The end goal, regardless of how it is achieved, is to ensure that employees perform well throughout the year.

Why Is Performance Management Important?

It is essential for a workplace to be up-to-date on everything regarding its operation, which is why it is not surprising that performance management has become a very popular process. The employee is the lifeblood of the company, which is why time must be invested in them as well, whether to help them improve their performance or to better integrate within the workplace.

We’ve outlined three reasons why performance management is integral:

  • Building Rapport – Employees don’t get called to meetings for nothing. While employee performance evaluations might lead some to be anxious, others are outright ecstatic about receiving the opportunity to fully express their thoughts and, especially if the supervisor in question has the right sort of personality to form a bond with rank-and-file workers.
  • Maintaining Efficiency – Any worker can occasionally lapse out of efficiency, whether intentional or not. However, the main goal of a company is to make money, which is why there are expectations from every employee to perform above a certain threshold. Lagging behind this expected performance must naturally be addressed.
  • Ensuring Smooth Sailing – The most important review of any employee is that of their annual performance, where they are called into a meeting to go over the efficiency of their work year. An out-of-nowhere annual performance meeting can leave some employees nerve-racked, which is why having several little meetings in the form of performance evaluations scattered throughout the year can smoothen the arrival of the big one.

What Is an Employee Performance Evaluation?

An employee performance evaluation is a simple review of an employee’s efficiency during a particular period. The goal of the evaluation is to review their overall performance, determine their strengths and weaknesses, offer and receive valuable feedback, and establish a plan to achieve even higher levels of performance.

The evaluation process is a part of performance management as a whole. There is no set way of going about it, as it can either be highly formal in nature, as it is intended, or far more casual, taking the form of a pleasant conversation with the supervisor in an attempt to put the employee at ease.

In general, the areas that performance evaluation covers are the following:

  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Teamwork and communication
  • Speed of accomplishing goals
  • Problem-solving and avoidance
  • Quality of work

How Do I Properly Conduct a Performance Evaluation?

Correctly assessing the performance of your team members can be just as stressful and confusing for the manager as it might be for the employees. If you have the responsibility of checking in with your coworkers through a performance evaluation, then it is important to do it well in order to set yourself up for success.

Do It In Person

There’s nothing worse than an impersonal, cold, and distant performance evaluation. These reviews can be intimidating to employees, which is why you should give them the respect they deserve by ideally conducting it in person. It will be much easier for an employee to be comfortable with the review if you are right there with them, and with a smile to boot.

Our suggestion would be to even try and take the review environment from the workplace to somewhere more casual, such as a cafe, as it is sure to greatly relax the employee in question, offering you a far more productive meeting than if done in an office setting.

Provide Constant Feedback

Just because a performance evaluation review happens every once in a while does not mean that is a reason not to provide constant feedback to the employees under your supervision. 

Surprising them with information they were not aware of during the evaluation is bound to make them uncomfortable and surprised, with several employees possibly even becoming defensive about the matter.

We would suggest that you are constantly in touch with your employees in order to keep them perpetually updated on the situation at hand. Another important thing worth mentioning is how beneficial it is to recognize an employee’s positive performance so that they never feel underappreciated, which can fire back during an evaluation.

Always use relevant examples when pointing out lapses in their performance and make sure not to attract too much attention on non-issues or minute mistakes, as you do not want to give the impression they are overshadowing the overall efficiency of the employee.

Keep It Happy

This doesn’t mean that you should sport a grin on your face throughout the interview, but that your goal is not to chide the employee as a teacher would a student. An employee is a human being who deserves respect and support, and even the best employees are likely to quit out of nowhere if they believe that the only things that get noticed are mistakes.

End the review on a positive note by congratulating them on their efforts and drawing attention to several good aspects of their work. This will make them feel valued and end the evaluation with a smile, not with stress.

Test Yourself and Your Team

Frequently checking on the performance of your employees is extremely important when trying to run a profitable and successful business. You won’t get ahead without a defined plan and a list of goals, which is where performance management comes into play, offering you a system to manage the many difficulties of the workplace while ensuring everyone does their job properly.

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