The Fabulous Functions of Staff Evaluations: Who Knew?

staff evaluations

Do the words Staff Evaluations make your skin crawl?  Is it because you are having it done on you?  Or you are doing an evaluation of your staff member?  Or you have to defend the evaluation done on you? Or you have to deliver the evaluation you did on your staff member?

Pick any one.  They are all icky!

Let’s examine the typical staff evaluation.  The components of a staff evaluation involve:

  • A formal process
  • A way to measure the productivity or effectiveness of an employee’s work
  • A forum for the supervisor and employee to discuss the employees performance over a period of time
  • A rating system to determine success or not (1-5; excellent to poor)
  • A recommendation from the supervisor on what to improve
  • An expectation that the employee will know what to do to improve

As the process goes, unless the employee gets a rating of “excellent” in every category, she thinks she was cheated, criticized unfairly, robbed of her dignity and professional expertise.  (WOW!)

So, when the supervisor delivers an evaluation, she is waiting for anger, tears, indignation, and being talked about when the employee leaves the room.

Why do people hate staff evaluations?

I have to admit that I every time I hear of a supervisor talking about evaluations it begins with “I can’t believe I still have to do the evaluations.”

Universally (just about), neither side likes staff evaluations!  So why do we do them???  Just to anger everyone?  I don’t think so.

That’s why I want to help you to see that there really are UP sides to Staff Evaluations.

  • There are probably many things in the evaluation that are good – even great. The employee feels wonderful hearing this, and the supervisor is happy to share comments about this positive performance.
  • It’s good to have a goal in front of you (a carrot) so that you have something to strive for and a direction to head toward. Otherwise, you’ve reached the end, and that is stifling and boring (Once you eat the carrot there’s nothing you can see to munch on).
  • It forces the supervisor and employee to take time to have an honest discussion of what is working and what needs some repair. Without this mandatory date, it just gets put off until “later”.
  • It clarifies for the supervisor and employee what the current goals and objectives are. By the way, if you wait a whole year to do an evaluation, you may be evaluating old stuff that doesn’t really matter anymore.

But, here’s the KEY to staff evaluations.  Success is totally in the delivery.  What is written, how it is discussed, what the next steps will be are pivotal to no tears.