Your employees all (eventually) show up for work, they are as professional as they know how to be, and they seem to manage their work well. So what are you supposed to write in their performance appraisal? “Good job doing things, Joe” isn’t exactly the review an employee is looking for, nor is it one you should give. But, we can work with that. Let’s build on “good job doing things” and turn it into a more, er, eloquent performance review.
In the Develop Superstars course you learn how to build a team that will be deserving of more than a pat on the back.
The categories assessed can vary from business to business but generally speaking they include the following:
Attendance: Is the employee punctual? Or do they call out because their cat ate the car keys too often?
Customer Service: Does the employee demonstrate diplomatic communication skills when dealing with custo-monsters? (Check out this course on Customonsters and how to get rid of them once and for all.) Can they generally meet the needs of the customers?
Quality/Quantity of Work: Are they able to stay busy without managing to do nothing? Are they producing quality work? If you’re thinking “no, not really” then maybe you should direct them to the course Hyperperformance, it’ll help increase productivity.
Job Knowledge: Does the employee seem to understand what they are doing at work? Are they willing and able to learn?
Interpersonal Communication: Can the employee communicate with slow-talking, Southern drawl bearing Bobette in HR without losing their mind? Are they a good team player? Do they actively listen and lead the way in conflict resolution?
Safety: Can the employee make it through the day without being a hazard to himself or an unfortunate co-worker? Are they aware of the safety measures in place to keep everyone alive and well?
Approach to Work: Do they demonstrate leadership qualities? Are they the go-and-get-‘em type or the I’ll-wait-to-be-told-what-to-do type? Are they innovative? Problem-solver?
Okay, so some of the scenarios are a bit atypical, but the gist of what I’m saying is still evident. How does the employee match up the work standards, expectations and code of ethics that the company upholds? When answering don’t use your tough guy attitude to put an employee in their place. Exhibit leadership qualities, not boss qualities. Leaders inspire and motivate, bosses…well, they boss. Learn the difference in the course Transition to Leadership.
A lot of performance appraisals use a rating system to better generalize the ability of an employee to carry out their duties. The system used will usually model the one demonstrated below.
Not Applicable: if the employee for some reason is exempt from excelling or doing their job.
Unacceptable or Expectations Not Met: this speaks for itself, chronically late, not exactly easy to work with, doesn’t perform their job very well in general.
Needs Improvement: isn’t quite as bad off as the Unacceptable Employee, but perhaps some attention should be brought to their work habits and maybe some training should take place to help guide them towards the light.
Satisfactory/Meets Expectations: the employee is a solid worker, shows consistent productivity and fulfills the requirements of the job without their hand being held.
Exceeds Expectations: They work overtime, they show leadership when necessary but don’t oppose following rules, they are independent workers and this employee deserves a raise.
Goals: Here is where you highlight their weaknesses (nicely) and instill a plan for monitoring improvement in this area.
Alright, with all that said, it’s time for appraisal examples.
- Maintains a consistently professional demeanor, regardless of the situation, with both customers and co-workers alike.
- He actively seeks out information related to his job to stay up-to-date with new company policies, procedures or his personal job role.
- Her attitude towards her co-workers is standoffish which greatly affects the ability of the team to collaborate efficiently.
- She is always on-time for work, meetings and conferences of which she is required to attend.
- He rarely takes a sick day and adheres to all company policies about vacation days and personal days.
- He is often late for meetings, however, he has shown punctuality coming to work every day.
- A natural leader who has the respect of his team, yet also shows equal respect in return.
- She is approachable, quick on her feet and able to come to innovative and effective solutions to problems as they arise.
- He lacks inspiration and motivation to take charge of the situation when need be.
- He has demonstrated when establishing relationships with customers that his interpersonal communication skills are above par.
- She has trouble effectively communicating her needs to management and other necessary co-workers.
- He always actively listens to constructive criticism given to him by his peers and superiors.
- Excellent time management skills, pushes forward quality work to meet challenging deadlines.
- Leads his team to success by organizing tasks and managing them closely until project completion.
- She ineffectively manages time, displays disorganization and tardiness on projects she is in charge of.
- Despite working in a high call volume customer service center, he presents no signs of stress and is capable of multitasking without error.
- She sets a good example for her team members by handling high stress situations with grace and without complaint.
- He struggles to handle high-pressure situations or to meet challenging deadlines.
Goal: Improve communication skills
Description: Learn to effectively communicate the objectives and goals of a project to your team. This increases their belief in your as the project manager and it’s contributes to the overall success of the project.
Measurement: 1) Create organized meeting print-outs highlighting the main objectives for the week, and the overall objectives for the project. Turn these hand-outs into the floor manager on Thursdays for review. 2) Hold weekly meetings to check in with team members to make sure everyone understands their role and you can answer any questions they may have. Put meetings in the Outlook calendar and report back with a meeting summary to the floor manager. 3) Take designated interpersonal communication trainings as delegated by your supervisor.
Learn how to create your performance review template in this article.
These are a few examples of statements that can convey your message without coming across as uncivil or demeaning. Sometimes there are employees who just aren’t cut out for the type of work their doing. Now is the time to give them a heads up as to what areas they need to improve and how you, their leader, are going to help them get there. Every one deserves a fair chance to fix any mistakes they’re making. Help them help you. Help design clear goals and performance objectives for your employees in the Hire and Manage Performance course.