The Employee Evaluation Is a Continuous Process, Not a Snapshot

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Employee evaluation is an important component of the most successful companies, and even the smallest ones that want to be more successful. With the information revealed by those evaluations, you’ll know which employees to retain, which to utilize differently and which don’t seem to be able to perform according to your expectations. It’s also important to remember that those employee evaluations have an effect on your employees’ careers. Employees want to know how they’ve performed and what they must do to prepare for and take advantage of future opportunities.

The employee evaluation process is one of the systems of many small (and/or struggling) companies that those owners think are unique. They make the same mistake with human resources, sales, marketing and many other aspects of their businesses. There may very well be unique elements of any business, but what is usually not unique are the systems or processes to sell, market and promote and manage employees. This applies to the proven process of evaluating employee performance, and the most important principle of that process is that employee evaluation is a continuous process.

This best-practices method of employee evaluation has four steps, or stages, throughout the year.

Step 1: Manager/evaluator meets with each employee to create a plan that describes how the employee will do his or her job and what goals he or she will accomplish during the next year. Not only do employees understand what they must achieve, but also they realize their employer has an exact list of expectations to which employees have agreed to fulfill.

Step 2: Managers help employees execute the plan they created. Throughout the year, the manager and each employee work as a team to make sure he or she reaches the agreed-upon goals and takes responsibility for doing the job successfully. The manager provides coaching and feedback and employees take the initiative to ask questions and for additional training. They also meet occasional to review progress or challenges.

Step 3: The manager prepares for the annual evaluation by first analyzing the plan he or she created with each employee at the beginning of the year and his or her notes about how well each employee has satisfied the plan’s goals. The manager will also complete all forms prior to the evaluation meeting with each employee.

Step 4: During the annual evaluation, the manager and employee exam the plan created 12 months earlier, the employee’s self-appraisal form and any other materials that the manager may have accumulated during the last year. They discuss the goals reached and missed, and what the employee will do to improve. They also schedule a meeting to create next year’s performance plan.

With this process, employees are better able to understand how their individual jobs fit into the company’s structure and how each drives the company’s success as well as their careers.

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