Employee Evaluations – Step by Step Success for Child Care Directors (Part 3 of 4)
Employee evaluation should be a valuable exercise for both employer and employee. Five key elements to successful employee evaluation include:
- Set the Expectation
- Evaluate Regularly
- Use Appropriate Communication
- Provide Training
- Exhibit a Positive Attitude
- This section (Part 3) will examine the third, and perhaps most important, element to a successful employee evaluation program.
Use Appropriate Communication:
The goal of “appropriate communication” is to clearly, candidly and thoroughly discuss the employee’s performance, including positive performance and performance to be improved. However, it must not be intimidating or threatening to the employee if this process is to be successful and on-going. This step will require you to be careful and deliberate in the discussion – and it will take practice to begin to use “appropriate communication” naturally.
A major goal of “appropriate communication” is for the employee to be, or become, aware of his strengths and weaknesses and verbalize these to you. It is extremely powerful when you can question the employee in a manner that will allow him to conclude on his own that improvement is required. Good questioning technique can bring about this result.
Start the employee evaluation process by telling the employee the day before the evaluation that you want him to be prepared to discuss what is going well in his job and what he would like to improve. This sets the stage for the employee to be prepared to discuss all aspects of his performance. The first evaluation will take an hour, so plan to schedule this much time and be sure to select a quiet, uninterrupted setting.
Overall, the discussion should be formatted on a positive-difficult-positive format. Begin with the good, move to the tuff stuff, and end with the good. This format allows you and the employee to have an overall positive experience with the evaluation process. So, let’s get started.
As you meet with your employee:
- Begin by asking her to discuss “What is going well in your work?”
- As the employee lists each good aspect, ask him “Why it is going well?” and encourage an analytical discussion.
- Then ask, “How could this good aspect be improved?
- Follow with “What else is going well?” and follow the same format.
Be certain to take notes on this discussion so that the information can become part of the evaluation record.
- Ask the employee to discuss “What would you like to change or improve in your work?”
- Listen carefully, and again ask “Why do you think there are problems?”
- Then “How would you suggest it can be improved?”