Performance Evaluation – Improving Your Process

WRITTEN December 19, 2019 Author: Rich Atkins

The Annual Review is a Necessary Roadmap for Change – And We’re Going Places!

Evaluating staff is crucial for setting standards and improving the organization. When there is a proper performance evaluation, participants will see justice served by recognizing a superstar, and the correcting the underperformer.

Let’s clear something up right now—it’s a performance review, not a person review. The whole point is to provide a historical description of performance for the year, as well as to describe goals to be attained during the next review period.

It’s all about improvement. The value of Performance Evaluations is in helping employees to perform at better levels, excel and be promoted, and to avoid termination.

Our goals for the organization are to increase employee engagement, grow in abilities, increase accuracy, decrease waste, and create a more pleasant workplace environment. To facilitate this, there needs to be a clear understanding of the employees’ responsibilities to see how they contribute to the organization meeting its goals.

Performance Evaluation Process

Be Clear and Specific

Do you clearly communicate expectations to the employee throughout the year?  How?  Some of these expectations are in job descriptions, job training, general orientation, and reorientation.


Are performances and conduct under observation and documented constantly and consistently all year?  Even documenting minor instances will help you to discover patterns before they get bigger.  This also ensures that the review will be fair – not based on only one event, or the most recent event.


Intervene when needed – counsel and warn appropriately (verbal and written – always documented).


Collect and organize all documentation before writing the review.

Performance Evaluation Form
Putting Fingers to Keyboard

Write the review (at least one week prior to the performance evaluation meeting).

  • Be specific with praise and identifying performance problems.  Include dates, times, names, and specific examples of performance and conduct.
  • Describe exactly what needs to happen including specific suggestions for improvement.  In addition, set time-measured goals to be achieved as well as additional meeting dates.
  • To avoid legal difficulties, a clearly written performance evaluation is a must!  Above all it increases more effective communication, the sense of team, and true accountability.

On Second Thought

Get a Proofreader to verify correctness and objectivity.  A second set of eyes will verify that you have been fair.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen…

Let the employee speak!  Discuss self- and manager evaluation (document the conversation).

Wrap It Up

Summarize the performance evaluation.  Check for understanding.

Often when the time of year approaches for annual performance review meetings, there is dread, however it may be surprising to know that it is both from the giving and the receiving end. Companies know it is worthwhile to devote time and attention to employee evaluations. Positive results will be seen by improvements in staff motivation and with discussions that will lead to the implementation of changes within the company. A win for all.

Some Extra Resources for doing a Performance Evaluation:

     >> provides tips for conducting a review.

     >> A sample form available from

     >> A sample form available from

     >> 100 Useful Performance Review Phrases from


This information is from the Leadership and Management class. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes.

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