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Employee Evaluation: Top Tips

An employee evaluation is both a performance review process and a communication tool. While performance evaluation approaches and methods differ from one organisation to the other, there are universally accepted principles about how to conduct the review process. The main aim of an employee evaluation is to measure performance. Many performance evaluations provide metrics necessary for a production--oriented work environment. Others provide employers with quantitative measurements regarding the quality of employees' output. Essentially, employee evaluations are helpful in establishing whether an employee's qualifications are fitting to his/her job.


 Importance of Employee Evaluations

To Measure Strengths and Weaknesses

All organisations must continually evaluate their employees' strengths and weaknesses to be able to match employees' skill sets to job assignments. In addition to providing an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses, performance evaluations also allow employers to assess the collective talents of employees by team or department. For example, an evaluation can reveal whether employees are proficient in IT software applications, yet weak in software or applications used for displaying finance-related data in multimedia format.

Training and Development

Employee performance evaluations are important for assessing training and development needs. Employers who are familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of their employees can better determine the type of employee training needed. Training and development allow employees to acquire new skills and build upon their current performance and aptitude. Evaluations also shed light on development programs that can benefit both the employer and employee.

Performance Goals

Evaluations allow employers to communicate performance standards to their employees. For example, a performance standard might be providing company executives with quarterly financial reports. An employee who fails to do this falls below the company's expectations.

Recognition and Reward

Many organisations use performance evaluations as a component of the compensation structure. The findings of a performance evaluation can directly impact the amount of an employee's wage increase or salary. Performance evaluations give managers and supervisors an opportunity to recognise employees' dedication, hard work, and commitment.

Evaluation Tips

Employee performance evaluations can be difficult. Some employees do not understand what merits a positive evaluation, while others react defensively to criticism. In other situations, resentment is inevitable. To avoid these problems, employers should follow these rules:


When setting goals and standards for employees, employers must be specific and spell out what is expected of them.

  • Employers who want to see an improvement must give their employees a deadline to turn things around.
  • Employers must set realistic goals and standards. Impossible and unrealistic goals will dishearten employees; thus, they will have little incentive to give their best if they know they will eventually fall short.
  • During a performance evaluation, the employer must be honest about the employee's performance. Without honesty, the employee will not know what he/she need to improve.
  • An evaluation must be complete in such a way that an outsider would be able to understand everything that happened during the evaluation process.
  • Performance evaluations should focus on how well an employee does his/her job. It should not be an evaluation of the employee's personal traits or characteristics.
  • Employees will feel fairly treated if they are given an opportunity to speak about their concerns and express themselves. Therefore, employers should ask their workers what they enjoy about their jobs.


Although legal issues seldom arise, employee evaluations could cause problems is they are seen to be discriminatory. Any scoring system must, therefore, be objective and fair. After the evaluation process, employers should follow up and summarise the results, and begin observations for the next evaluation.

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