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Use Effective Employee Evaluations to Boost Performance
by Chad Bordeaux

Employers should regularly give meaningful feedback to employees regarding their work performance. Most companies perform a formal evaluation at least annually, and many do it twice annually. Employers who do periodic reviews typically enjoy many benefits for their efforts, including:

• Evaluations provide a basis for which to promote, discipline and terminate employees based on job performance.

• If done regularly and routinely, they can be used as strong evidence if a legal claim arises due to adverse action taken by the employer -- such as employee termination.

• They will help employees know what to expect of them. This is particularly useful with new employees. Some employers provide first year employees with additional periodic evaluations shortly after they are hired.

• Evaluation sessions can be used to coach employees who may be having trouble in certain areas -- thus increasing their job performance.

• Evaluation sessions should be used to recognize and reward all employees for the things that they are doing right. They should be conducted in such a way as to motivate exceptional employees to do even better.

In order to evaluate an employee properly, you should have several items in place well before an evaluation occurs. First, employees need written job descriptions that detail out their duties and responsibilities. Second, clear standards should be set as to what performance levels are expected. Finally, there should be some sort of goal setting system in place to help motivate employees toward improving their performance.

If done properly, the evaluation will focus on the achievement of the certain pre-set goals and your conclusions as to whether or not the employee met these goals. Remember that goals do not have to be related to job performance such as sales, but may also be related to company policies. For instance, if an employee is having trouble coming to work on time, a particular goal that you may set up could be an improvement of this violation. In all cases, employees should receive praise and recognition for improvements made.

This is likely one of the most important meetings you will have with your employees. Make sure that enough time is scheduled to discuss any issues thoroughly. Just because you do not foresee any issues does not mean that the employee does not have a handful of issues to talk about that you may not even be aware of. Always let your employee know what they are doing well. This is a task that should not just be done during an annual evaluation, but continually, on a daily basis, if possible. Always remember that positive motivation will go much further in increasing employee performance than will negative motivation.

Chad Bordeaux may be contacted at

Chad is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner residing just outside of Charlotte, NC in Lake Wylie, SC. He has a wide range of experience from former positions including corporate and SEC accounting, financial reporting, tax compliance, and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. In addition, Chad has gained a variety of entrepreneurial expertise through the ownership of several businesses and through real estate investment.


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