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Starting Right: Employee Evaluations

Starting Right: Employee Evaluations

I know. You JUST FINISHED doing year-end evaluations. But if you start now, next December won't be as stressful, I promise. 

For so many of our clients at Abbey Research and others we speak to, evaluating employees is a great point of dread and I get it. For the employees who are fantastic, you want to make sure you communicate that, as well as offering them constructive feedback to grow with. For the ones who are terrible, that's a whole other nightmare, but for the ones who are simply fine? That process is the worst. What do you say?

Three quick thoughts:

1. Annual Summary of Growth

January is honestly the best time to start thinking about this. If evaluations run on metrics (which they must) and clear communication (which, again, they must), then they also should be a running conversation throughout the year. Monthly, quarterly, whichever is better for your culture is fine, but the annual review should be a summary and culmination of a conversation that's been in progress for months.  

2. Metrics are Your Friends, I Promise

Without CLEARLY communicating what you expect from your employees and allowing them to react to it and communicate what they expect from you, everything is fuzzy. Fuzzy kills productivity. Fuzzy is good for slippers, blankets, and kittens, not for job expectations.

3. Customize for Culture

I understand the impulse to download a form off of the internet and use it carte blanche. I don't recommend it, but I understand it.

Your culture is integral to the success of your company, and so to not include your culture as part of the evaluation is missing a trick. Don't grade people on how jovial they are at parties, but certainly make sure to include leadership, attention to detail, customer service, or whatever other culture elements you can turn in KPIs. If you start with an internet form, then make sure to adapt it for your cultural expectations. 

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.


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