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While many managers dread doing them, a well planned and executed employee performance appraisal can be a good thing for your company, and your employees.
So how do you design and carry out a hassle-free performance review? Here are some simple steps to get you started.
Start with clear performance objectivesMonitor employee performance all year longDocument the wins and the losses in writingMake sure you have the right employee appraisal forms
Good employee annual reviews begin long before you start to write employee evaluations
In fact, they start with good job descriptions. That’s because the job description lists, or should list, the basic performance standards of the job. Start with job description, and create one or two concrete objectives or goals upon which the employee will be rated come appraisal time.
Then move on to current projects and initiatives for that employee’s position. Again, select one or two specific objectives or goals.
In both cases:
For an information-based employee, a goal such as “Design a new sales campaign for the new widgets for a January 23rd launch date” might be a good, measurable objective.
Most managers do a pretty good job in setting employee goals and objectives. Unfortunately, many stop there.
Without monitoring and documenting employee progress throughout the year, the process becomes meaningless, as managers struggle to remember events at annual review time, and employees dread that feeling of being blindsided during their performance review.
A word of caution. “Monitoring” employee progress and performance does not mean micro-managing. It doesn’t mean hovering near employees all the time, or requiring endless reporting on every detail. It does mean:
Waiting until the next scheduled employee appraisal to reward, coach or discipline will ensure lower employee productivity, and reduced company effectiveness.
Many employment laws and company policies require that managers be able to justify "employment decisions." This typically includes decisions having to do with promoting, demoting, rewarding, firing, disciplining, and so forth.
But if your company has only an employee annual review, it’s almost impossible to provide useful and accurate feedback unless managers and supervisors write down their observations weekly, if not daily. Not only will this make completing the dreaded evaluation forms easier, it will allow managers to spot trends, note patterns and address issues (both good and bad) before they’re forgotten.
Make sure you are documenting employee successes. In our rapidly-changing world, employees may be called upon to learn new tools, jump in on an unplanned project, or master a new skill, even when these things were not in their performance goals. If managers take note of these shifts in responsibility, and write notes in a journal or running employee file that outline the details of an employee’s outside-of-the-box performance, they’ll have these “wins” handy when it’s time for the employee annual review forms to be completed.
Good employee performance recordkeeping includes:
All the good intentions and plans in the world won’t help if you’re not using the right kinds of human resource forms to document performance goals, achievements, training, warnings, and the annual review.
Make sure the HR forms you select for the appraisal and documentation process meet these standards:
Legally compliant. Some states and local governments, as well as federal labor laws limit the types of information you can gather and record on any employee record, including annual review forms. Make sure the forms you select to set goals, document on-going events, and summarize performance don’t violate laws protecting medical data or include information based on protected categories like religion, race, or disability.
Designed to allow comments and explanations. A form which just provides space for ratings won’t allow you to document specifics. That could not only make it harder to encourage positive change, it could land your company in trouble if an employee sues and you have no documentation to back up decisions.
Encourages employee participation. Whether you provide a separate employee self-evaluation form, or allow employees to comment on the regular annual review form, make sure the tools you use have an option for employee feedback. This simple step of giving employees a chance to present their side improves employee morale and boosts loyalty.
Only TrackSmart.com gives you a simple, yet comprehensive solution that takes just minutes a day and gives you back an unprecedented level of confidence.