Employee Evaluation Disagreements Are Best Addressed by Listening

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Employee evaluations are important to the effective management of your employees, so their combined efforts result in greater efficiency and productivity. Part of that process is that you, as the employer, should know how to respond to employees that may disagree with your evaluations. They may disagree with a fact, or a numerical-based score, or your assessment of their performances described in a statement. It’s important to remember that your goal is not to convince employees to agree with your evaluation, but to make sure they understand your evaluation, even if they never agree.

Employee evaluations will be more positive for you and your employers when you are prepared for disagreements with these steps:

  • Listening is your most important tool. If an employee disagrees with a fact in your evaluation, such as how many sales calls he or she made per day, then recheck your source and ask the employee how he or she arrived at a different number. If the disagreement is about your analysis of his or her specific performance, then ask for an explanation of why, for example, he or she continues to answer the phone incorrectly or isn’t more friendly with customers.
  • Employee evaluation disagreements can be reduced or resolved quickly if you have in a place a continuous evaluation process throughout the year. Because you’ve developed a plan with each employee, coached and encouraged them regularly and prepared well for the annual evaluation, you are more likely to know in advance where disagreements may occur. With that knowledge, you can have responses ready.
  • When you do meet with each employee for the annual evaluation conference, review what he or she has done best first, and then discuss where he or she needs improvement. This same technique applies to your stack of evaluations: Meet first with the employees that have scored high; they’re not like to disagree. You’ll be better prepared to face the challenges of those employees with less favorable evaluations, which you should conduct last.
  • Employee evaluations will also be more positive experiences if you demonstrate a willingness to listen to the employees’ explanations and points-of-view about the issues in disagreement. Asking for more information or nodding your head can motivate employees to be even more open. Give any employee the opportunity to express himself or herself and you may be surprised to hear that he or she now understands your point and is at least in partial agreement.
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