Why Honest Evaluations Matter

Posted on Feb 15, 2019 - By Samantha Garcia

Performance evaluations can be a difficult task for both employees and employers alike. However, ongoing performance discussions are crucial for maximizing staff performance and furthering company goals. Not to mention, employees find comfort in receiving accurate and constructive feedback. Employee evaluations help employers assess employee strengths and weaknesses and reinforce performance standards. This way, employees can take the appropriate steps to improve and become better professionals.

Furthermore, evaluations help determine the type of training certain employees need and provide recognition and rewards to those who continually show outstanding achievement. When conducting performance reviews, managers should always be honest and genuine with employees as there is always room for improvement. Employees should leave their performance evaluation feeling inspired to do better.

The Impact of Inaccurate Feedback

Some managers give their employees a false view of themselves by failing to address their weaknesses. This approach allows for mediocre performances, reinforces bad habits and prevents employees from improving at their jobs. As a result, projects are poorly executed and the company suffers.

Giving inaccurate performance appraisals can also lead to legal issues later on. All performance evaluations should support the reason a manager decides to let an employee go. If an evaluation contradicts an employee’s termination, he or she may seek legal assistance.

Other managers are overly critical and fail to praise their employees for their positive contributions. This can lead to a lack of confidence and motivation for employees that do well and have the potential to improve beyond expectations. Employees that were once passionate and enthusiastic about their positions can become discouraged about taking on new initiatives and setting higher goals.

Furthermore, inaccurate feedback or the lack of feedback can cause employees to feel unappreciated and undervalued. An employee that does not feel valued will not care for the company’s vision. If a company is customer-service based, customers can generally sense discontent employees who don’t take pride in their work. These negative attitudes can transcend in how customers ultimately view a business.

The Importance of Honest and Consistent Reviews

Consistent performance evaluations record the trajectory of all employees, helping managers determine an employee’s readiness in taking on greater responsibility. Managers can compare earlier reviews of an employee’s skill sets, knowledge and participation within a company to see how much he or she has progressed. If there is a higher level position available, employers can justify giving the position to a candidate who has been consistent in their achievements. Furthermore, consistent individual merit can validate an employee receiving a salary increase or a lump sum bonus.

On the contrary, inconsistent and dishonest performance reviews simply ignore skill deficiencies and set employees up for failure. Thoughtful and proactive evaluations help employees identify areas in which they are lagging and provide solutions on how they can improve. If an employee is struggling to complete certain tasks, a manager should be specific as to what he or she needs to see change. Additionally, the evaluation should address the need for remedial instruction. This may require additional on-the-job training or taking the time to go over an employee handbook.

Not only does this demonstrate a commitment to helping employees do their best, it gives reason to revisit a worker’s progress. If an employee’s work is continually not up to par with company standards, these reviews leave a legitimate paper trail for legal termination. Ultimately, consistent and honest performance reviews give managers the opportunity to discuss employee performances in a meaningful way. By providing regular feedback and coaching throughout the year, employers can eliminate or reduce the tension and anxiety that come with each evaluation.

How to Effectively Conduct Performance Reviews

Before conducting performance reviews, managers should take the time to prepare. Preparing 15 employee reviews all at once can be extremely difficult. It is best advised that employers disperse reviews based on hire dates rather than waiting until the end of the year. Additionally, it is nearly impossible to provide well-thought-out performance reviews while relying solely on memory. Instead, managers should keep track of each employee’s progression by utilizing performance logs. These logs can record specific instances of good and bad work habits that managers can refer back to during evaluations.

When sitting down for performance evaluations, managers should reinstate each employee’s job responsibilities so that they are completely aware of what is expected of them.  Additionally, mangers should have clearly defined criteria by which each employee’s performance will be evaluated. Having a defined standard of core competencies provides consistency in employee reviews. Not to mention, employees will be able to clearly identify areas in which they need improvement.

If there are any problems to address to an employee, managers should describe the problem in depth, reinforce company expectations and provide solutions for improvement. Furthermore, employers should offer ways in which they can help while using affirmative and positive language, such as, “I know you are capable of meeting these deadlines,” and “How can we ensure that these mistakes don’t happen again?” Employees should feel included in the conversation and managers should share the floor by allowing each employee to speak, address concerns and ask any important questions. Ultimately, employees and employers should end an evaluation on the same page and optimistic about the future.