Abram Lincoln's approach to employee evaluations! (and life)
We’ve covered some of the important components leading up to the evaluation regarding the content, so let's delve a bit more into the procedural aspect of the actual meeting itself. As with most things in life, the most effort you put into beforehand to getting ready the better the result will be.
Tips to ensure a smooth evaluation process.
1. Give your employees enough of a warning that they will be having an evaluation as to enable them to gather their thoughts as well but not too much warning, so they must anxiously await the day.
2. If possible, do NOT move the meeting with the employee once it’s set. Although most employees play it cool a lot of them are curious or even apprehensive and about what will transpire and want to get on with it.
3. Location: Try a neutral setting, as opposed to your office, especially if your office has a desk planted right in between you and the employee. You don’t want physical barriers interfering with the messaging.
4. "Review in process, please do not disturb!" Depending on your office culture, you might not need this. But if you are likely to get interrupted with people coming in periodically, hang up a sign which lets them know this isn’t a time to bother you. It helps keep the flow of the conversation and ensures the utmost privacy.
5. Set expectations beforehand. What is the format of the meeting? Are there any topics, such as salary, or benefits which are “off-limits” during the meeting. It doesn’t mean ignoring issues an employee has, it means this meeting has a specific purpose and they are welcome to hold another one for other purposes.
6. Timeliness: Assuming your company has some review policy or even if it doesn’t the timing of the process is important. Leave too much time between discussions and some of the input might no longer be relevant. Not leaving enough time doesn’t leave the employee room to develop before the next touchpoint. I suggest at least 2 formal discussions a year with employees which gives enough time on both sides to address the issues.
7. Be ready to provide them with a written copy or summary after the evaluation. Sometimes people like to see things in writing in addition to having a conversation.
Have any other suggestions for how to set up a successful evaluation? Let me know!