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Avoiding a sterile employee evaluation!


Previously, I wrote about the self-introspection which should accompany any employee review.


This (not so hilarious clip) from the original version of “The Office” provides a good feeling of how to conduct a totally ineffective employee evaluation.


One of the issues which I think many companies do not address well is what are the specific goals of a review. Many companies jump right into the tactical “X’s and O’s”, without considering what exactly they are trying to achieve by conducting a performance review. I’d often get the impression that some managers were simply perusing through previous work materials looking for things that they could point out needed improvement.


This is problematic on a few fronts. First, if an employee makes a mistake or has an area of performance they can improve it’s usually best to point them out during the natural flow of work. There’s no need to wait three months to tell an employee how he or she could better handle an issue with their client. Waiting to provide important feedback to employees can be extremely demotivating. “Now you tell me?!” “I’ve been doing it wrong for 3 months, but you waited until my review to shed some light on the issue!”


Another aspect which is damaged in this process is the employee/manager relationship. If the point of a review is to point out a few errors and applaud some things will done, anybody can give the actual review. Managers have a tendency to get overly stiff or formal with this sort of format. The opportunity for relationship building is totally wasted in this forumula when it can turn into a more adversarial forum.


Part of this tactical approach stems from the tools provided by the company. I have seen many forms, multiple choice “tests” which are given to managers and sometimes employees to fill in as the evaluation date approaches. The issue with these forms is no matter how many times it’s mentioned that they are merely a guideline, both sides end up using them as their evaluation “Bible”.


So, what should be the goal of an employee evaluation? Stay tuned for next time..

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