What Are the Best Tips for Evaluating Job Performance?

Amanda R. Bell

As a manager, evaluating job performance can sometimes be difficult. One of the best tips for doing so is to assess any reasons an employee may not be performing to expectations that may be outside of the employee’s control. It can also be helpful to focus more on discussing issues with the employee rather than simply providing him or her with a rating, as even the most detailed rating system leaves little room for setting attainable goals and may reduce an employee’s overall morale. Looking at each area of an employee’s job performance separately without letting one poor area distract from areas where an employee may excel can also be helpful.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

While each person is ultimately responsible for his or her job performance, there can be extenuating circumstances that can hinder an employee’s ability to meet or exceed goals. When evaluating job performance, make sure that the employee has all of the equipment that he or she needs to perform the required tasks and that the working conditions are adequate. If the employee’s work depends on support from colleagues, managers, or those in lesser positions, be sure that the employee is receiving all of the necessary information and support to do his or her job. Then, take a look at the employee’s overall work load and determine whether what is required of him or her is reasonable.

Rating systems often seem to make evaluating job performance simpler and more organized, but this is often far from the truth. While a basic determination of whether an employee is failing, meeting, or exceeding the expectations of his or her position can be a good starting point, a detailed discussion with the employee is often the best way to ensure that the employee improves. With a clear set of expectations in hand, go through each one with the employee to determine what may be hindering performance and how he or she is excelling in other areas, as applicable. In areas that need work, setting specific goals and providing the employee with ideas on how to reach these goals will help the employee to perform to the company’s expectations and increase his or her drive to do so, which would likely not be the case with a standard rating system.

When evaluating job performance, it can often be difficult to separate each specific requirement when reviewing. For example, when evaluating an employee who consistently turns in high quality work yet fails to do so on time, it can be difficult to see the quality of work as a separate part of evaluating job performance with the knowledge that the employee has poor time management skills. Looking at each area separately, however, will give both the company and the employee a relatively accurate evaluation of performance, and better ideas on how to improve areas where the employee may be lacking.

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