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How Do I Choose the Best Employee Evaluation Criteria?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 17, 2024
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When conducting performance reviews, it is important to have specific employee evaluation criteria in mind. Choosing the best employee evaluation criteria can help ensure that reviews are efficient and useful to improvement initiatives, while still being fair to employees. Good evaluation criteria will usually include a blend of data-based and subjective information about each employee.

Data-based employee evaluation criteria refers to things that can easily be measured and examined through hard data. For a salesperson, this might include amount of sales over a given period of time. Other factors, such as attendance records, or a history of on-time project completion, can also be considered objective criteria, since they are based primarily on evidence. Data-based performance assessment is often the easier half of employee evaluation, since it involves basic facts. Evaluating employees on objective evidence alone, however, can provide an incomplete, and often unfair picture.

Subjective data covers many areas that may be as important, or even more crucial, than objective data. In some cases, where employees do not have clearly measured goals to meet, subjective data can be the primary source of evaluation. Gathering and measuring subjective information can be a longer process that includes surveying personnel records, asking for self-evaluations, and speaking to other employees about the members of their team or department. Though an involved process, gathering this less-concrete information can be critical to creating the best employee evaluation criteria.

An employee's personality and observed behavior can be a major source of evaluation information. Some areas to consider include whether the employee is dependable, communicates well with others, and is able to keep track of all the responsibilities his or her job entails. Attitude can be a major contributing factor to performance evaluation, as an employee with a poor attitude can be a drag on the entire workplace. If an employee works with the public, it may help to have a system in place that allows customers or clients to report excellent or sub-standard service, as a means of evaluating performance.

One other area to consider when determining employee evaluation criteria is an employee's adherence to policy and rules. A pleasant and efficient worker can still present a disciplinary or loyalty problem if he or she refuses to follow company rules. Using company property for social or personal business, ignoring dress codes, or being constantly late to work can all be signs of a developing problem with an employee. While rule adherence may not be the most important section of employee evaluation criteria, it can be a significant help in determining goals for workplace improvement.

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Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGeek. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
By Melonlity — On Mar 09, 2014

There is a major problem with any employee evaluation -- managers feel it necessary to find something, anything, to suggest an employee can improve upon during the course of one. If an employee is doing a perfect job, such a tendency is more than a bit unfair.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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