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With the high competition in today’s market, it has become quite important to stand out from the crowd. That is why most organizations perform a job performance analysis of the employees, at least once a year. This practice helps to keep a track of the work duties and responsibilities of the employees.

This article will discuss more on job performance analysis and everything you need to know about it.

  • What is Job Performance Analysis?
  • How do you Carry out Performance Evaluations?
  • What are the Job Analysis Methods?
  • How do you do a Performance Analysis?
  • What are the Steps in Job Analysis?
  • How to Develop a Performance Analysis Report
  • Benefits of Conducting a Job Analysis
  • What are the 5 Steps of the Performance Process?
  • What are the Types of Performance Evaluation?
  • What are the 5 Tools of Performance?
  • What is Employee Performance Analysis?
  • How to Prepare for an Employee Performance Evaluation
  • Benefits of employee performance evaluations

What is Job Performance Analysis?

Job analysis is the process of studying a job to determine which activities and responsibilities it includes, its relative importance to other jobs, the qualifications necessary for the performance of the job and the conditions under which the work is performed. An important concept in job analysis is that the job, not the person doing the job, is assessed, even though human resources (HR) may collect some job analysis data from incumbents.

Read Also: Should Business be Market-focused or Product-focused?

Job analysis is often confused with job evaluation, but the two activities are quite different. Job evaluation is the process of comparing a job to other jobs within the organization to determine the appropriate pay rate and is not addressed in this toolkit.

Examples of how an organization may use job analysis data:

  • Workforce planning.
  • Performance management.
  • Recruitment and selection.
  • Career and succession planning.
  • Training and development.
  • Compensation administration.
  • Health, safety and security.
  • Employee/labor relations.
  • Risk management.

How do you Carry out Performance Evaluations?

There are some steps that need to be followed in order to perform performance evaluation:

Set Performance Standards

Setting transparent performance standards is important to understand what an employee is expected to achieve. Similar standards should be set for every employee in the same position. Make sure the performance standards are realistic and achievable. Also, they should relate to the job description of the person.

Set Specific Goals

Unlike performance standards, you also need to set some goals that are specific to each employee. Goals should be set based on the strength and weaknesses of every employee. This practice can help to improve the skills of the employees. Remember that the goals should be relevant to the position of the employee.

Keep Making Notes Throughout the Year

It is important to track the performance of the employees throughout the year. For this, you can maintain a separate file for each employee. Whether positive or negative, maintain records of noteworthy incidents or accomplishments. You should give immediate feedback to the employees whenever something is appreciable. Don’t wait till the year-end review process for praising or providing constructive criticism.

Be Prepared

Before giving an employee evaluation, it is important to be prepared for the meeting beforehand. Review the records of the employee before the meeting and make notes whatever you want to discuss with the employees. The performance review should consist of mainly positive points about the employee and some points that require improvement.

Honest Criticism is important

When you are required to provide criticism in any evaluation, you should try to give honest feedback. You should provide clear examples and provide specific advice on how can the employee improve upon his weaknesses.

Avoid Comparison

Instead of comparing employees with each other, you should check if the employee is improving upon his own performance or not. Individual growth is quite important in an organization. Comparing the performance of the employees can lead to unhealthy competition which can affect the overall work environment of the organization.

Focus on the Performance and Not on the Personality

Some employers evaluate their employees based on their personality instead of their performance, this is a wrong practice that should be avoided. Passing judgements about the personality can make the employee feel awkward, which can further hamper his performance. So, instead of passing judgements related to the personality, you should focus on reviewing the job performance of the employees.

Conversation is Important

Having a one-way conversation during employee evaluation is not a good practice. Make sure a two-way conversation takes place between you and the employee. You should listen to your employee’s concerns and provide suggestions accordingly. You can even ask the employee to provide a self-evaluation of their own performance. The employee should be given the opportunity to review the workplace and his employers so that transparency can be maintained.

Ask Some Questions

In order to enhance conversations with the employees, you can ask some specific questions to them. Here is a list of questions that you can ask the employees:

  • What are your goals to achieve within this year?
  • What resources do you require from the department in order to achieve your goals?
  • What challenges will you face to achieve your goals?
  • How often you would want to get feedback from the employers?
  • What are the tasks that you love doing the most?
  • Mention some leadership qualities that you have.
  • What have you done to improve the overall performance of the organization?
  • Do you communicate with your manager often?
  • What skills are you planning to learn this year?

Give Feedback

Performance evaluation is an ongoing process throughout the year, and not just once a year. That is why you should provide feedback regularly to your employees. This can help to boost the morale of the employees. Also, they will be able to work on their improvement areas.

What are the Job Analysis Methods?

Job analysis plays a key role in designing and managing the performance appraisal system in an organisation. It helps in identifying the key responsibility areas (KRAs) for a position and then setting the goals or objectives for the appraisal period. This forms the basis for the evaluation of an employee’s performance.

A comparison of the job specifications arrived at, at the end of a job analysis, with the existing competencies of an employee, helps in identifying his training needs. Thus, job analysis contributes either directly, or indirectly, to almost all the fields of human resource management.

The various methods of job analysis are as follows:

1. Observation Method:

Three methods of Job Analysis are based on observation. These are- Direct Observation; Work Method Analysis, including time and motion studies and micro-motion analysis; and critical incident method.

2. Interview Method:

It involves discussions between job analysis and job occupants or experts. Job analysis data from individual and group interviews with employees are often supplemented by information from supervisors of employees whose jobs are to be analysed.

3. Daily Method:

It requires the job holders to record in details their activities on a daily basis.

4. Technical Conference Method:

In this method, services of the supervisors who possess extensive knowledge about a job are used with the help of a conference of the supervisors. The analyst initiates discussion which provides details about the job.

5. Functional Job Analysis (FJA):

It is a method that uses precise terminology and a structured job analysis “schedule” to record information regarding the job content. It is especially useful to the recruiting and selection functions.

6. Questionnaire Method:

These can be filled out by the employees on an individual basis or by job analysts for a group of employees.

7. Job Inventories or Checklists:

These are structured questionnaires that require a respondent to check or rate behaviour and/or worker character necessary to a particular job or occupation. Job inventories can either be Task/Job Oriented or Qualifications/Worker oriented.

8. Job Performance Method:

In this method the job analyst actually performs the job in question and thus receives 1st hand experiences of contextual factors on the job including physical hazards, social demands, and emotional pressures mental requirements.

How do you do a Performance Analysis?

A performance analysis is an evaluation of how a business or individual has performed over a certain amount of time. A performance analysis can track progress through three different methods: analyzing revenue, analyzing other key performance metrics and analyzing progress on business goals.

It’s important to interpret this data by measuring any variations from projected metrics, understanding why these variations happened, putting the business’s progress in the context of market and consumer behavior and using that information to decide what to encourage, discourage and plan for in the future.

A sales manager, executive or small business owner may use performance analysis to understand how a business has performed relative to projections over a month or a year. A manager may also use performance analysis techniques to measure individual performance for periodic reviews or employee evaluations.

For each situation, different metrics and goals are relevant. In an individual performance analysis, a manager may only need information on individual and department performance, while for a whole business analysis, company and department data is more useful than information on each employee.

Here are the steps to conduct a performance analysis for an entire department or organization:

1. Do variance analysis

A variance analysis involves comparing financial projections to data in different categories of revenue. The variation is the difference between the projected amount and the actual amount, and can be conveyed as a dollar amount or a percentage of the projected total. Analyzing your revenue over time can show you if your business was successful in certain seasons, product lines or markets.

2. Research variances

Next, note significant variances that are large in proportion to the total category or a large dollar amount. Then investigate why the variances happened. You might look into external factors like changes in market values of supplies, changes in availability of materials, seasonal variation and larger patterns like weather or economic trends that could have influenced that area. In addition to external factors, consider internal factors like staffing availability, hours worked, process efficiency and technological abilities.

3. Analyze metrics

Understanding your non-financial key business metrics can be a helpful tool in researching the causes of variances. By looking at process numbers and contact numbers, you can understand stages of your manufacturing or sales process that don’t directly change your company’s revenue and provide a greater level of detail about company performance.

It’s important to look at the same metrics you used to project your results to see whether you met your goals. Depending on your business, these metrics may include numbers of visitors to a digital or brick-and-mortar store, possible sales leads or contact with potential customers. Other sales, production and distribution metrics can help you find opportunities to improve your internal processes.

4. Review goals

Review your original goals for the year outside of revenue and metrics. This may include goals about cultivating a brand tone, interacting with customers or providing a different level of service. Analyze how you met these goals and what factors contributed to your success or failure.

5. Review competitor performance

To put your business’s performance into perspective, evaluate how your competitors have performed over the same period. You might list specific strengths and weaknesses of your main competitors, any opportunities they have had or made and any specific threats they might pose to your markets or products.

6. Review customer and market context

Reviewing the entire market and customer behavior over the time period can show you whether you are meeting needs with your product and where you might find additional possibilities. Note any changes that may have happened within your customer base or influenced it, as well as economic events, market demand or supply changes and any strategy changes to your marketing approach.

7. Decide on changes

The final step of a performance analysis is discovering how to use the information from the analysis to improve your processes. As you look at instances where you had plenty of revenue, excellent metrics or fulfilled your goals, consider the reasons why you achieved that success and how you can encourage that success in the future.

For instances where you fell short, consider whether or not the factors were within your control. If you can control those factors, you might make a plan to influence them differently by changing your strategy, staff or process. For factors like extreme weather, changes in demand or economic events, consider whether you can make your business more resilient or agile to counter those factors in the future.

What are the Steps in Job Analysis?

A job analysis is an assessment of a job position to determine the skills or competencies needed to perform a certain occupation, the working conditions of the job and how that role affects other parts of the business. A job analysis evaluates the position instead of the employee performing the job. The goal of a job analysis is to define the unique set of abilities and expertise that each position requires.

The job analysis is a process that involves different methods and steps used to evaluate any position. Job analyses are conducted across multiple industries. The government even offers guidelines for conducting an analysis. A job analysis is most effective when the same professional standards are used to complete the process regardless of the industry or business.

Employers conduct a job analysis to better understand the competencies used to perform a certain role in the company. A competency is a set of behaviors, abilities and knowledge needed to work in a job. This might include knowing how to work a certain computer software or operating a specific machine or tool. It could also include certifications and education. Skills like time management and problem-solving may also be considered competencies necessary to perform a job.

Here are steps a company can take to complete a job analysis:

1. Gather information about a position

Observe and interview employees currently in the job position. Ask employees to describe the tasks they perform and encourage them to be as specific as possible when defining their responsibilities. Read through any manuals or written documents that currently define the position.

Compare current job descriptions to what employees are actually saying and doing. Record your results by departments or individual positions. Generate an account of all the tasks and skills a job includes.

2. Evaluate the importance of each task and competency

Once you gain an understanding of which competencies are needed to perform each job, you can rank the difficulty of each task and skill set. Decide on the high-level skills for each position. Notice which skills are entry-level and which require more experience. You may get a different idea than what you originally thought was the most important part of a job.

3. Research industry standards

Find data about the positions on your job analysis to make sure you are aligned with the current workforce. Use government literature and information from professional organizations to check your results. Consult subject matter experts who can describe the tasks needed to perform a job. Network with other businesses and compare data.

4. Revise job descriptions and standards

Once you’ve observed and figured out the most important competencies needed to perform a job, set up a list of every task and skill set. Use this to modify an existing job description or create a new one that fits your analysis. Create a set of standards for each position that matches your employee input and your own observations of the job. Include expectations that you may not have observed but are based on professional guidelines from your research.

5. Use data to make changes

Look at your organization as a whole. Decide if the right tasks are assigned to the right jobs based on your analysis. If you find work from one department would better fit in a different team, shift those tasks to another job. You may also find that some departments are handling more than others. With the data from the job analysis, you can find ways to move work responsibilities based on the competencies of each position.

How to Develop a Performance Analysis Report

A performance analysis report needs to provide an actual view of how the business is doing. Hence, this document is important to be as clear and as precise as possible. If you plan to develop a performance analysis report, you have to make sure that you will follow several guidelines that will allow the specified document’s usage to be fully maximized for the benefit of the organization and its intentions.

Here are some of the things that you have to remember if you want to come up with an impressive performance analysis report:

  • Know the key performance indicators and the baselines that are essential to be looked into. You have to identify the ways on how you can measure the quality standards that are adhered in the operations of the business and the activities within its units. Being able to list down KPIs and baselines can help you assess your current condition easier as you are already aware of the stage or level where you would like to be at and the gaps that you need to fill so that you can realize your vision for the organization.
  • Be objective when describing the performance of the business. You have to present the negative and positive results of the business operations as well as the effects of the strategies and tactics that are applied in different work processes and transactions. Just like a SWOT analysis of college, a performance analysis report is made not to hide the imperfections of the business or the organization, but more to provide an idea on the weak points of the company and how specific measures can be done to improve these areas in consideration of the circumstances that the business is involved in.
  • Point out the techniques that you have used in the performance analysis of the business within a given time duration. Your performance analysis report must specifically showcase all the processes that you have undergone to come up with the results as seen on your discussion. You have to clarify all areas of concerns so that the credibility of the document can be maintained.
  • Identify whether you will evaluate the overall performance of the business or you will just focus on particular areas. The scope of the performance analysis can affect the content of the report. Hence, you have to decide on how you would like to organize and execute your analysis procedures even before thinking of the report flow or any report-related matters.

Benefits of Conducting a Job Analysis

Here are ways a company can use the data from a job analysis to benefit their workplace:

Recognize necessary skills and tasks

A job analysis can benefit both the employer and employee by creating a clearer picture of what a job involves. This new knowledge base serves to educate managers who may not understand the nuances of every position under their leadership. It also creates a fair set of standards for employees so they know exactly what is expected of them within their role in the workplace.

During a job analysis, employers will also rank the skills and tasks to determine which require higher knowledge and skillsets. After careful observation, the employers may also notice additional duties that were not originally part of the job description.

Create evaluation methods

After a job analysis, an employer may use this guidance to update or create new ways to evaluate job performance. Once the necessary skill set for a job becomes clear, employers can restructure evaluations to more realistically gauge how an employee fulfills their job responsibilities.

Determine salaries and promotion criteria

Using the job analysis, employers rank the competencies used in a job. A job analysis can help determine that a certain role has a higher skill set than previously noted and employers could decide to adjust the pay scale for that position. An analysis also helps determine when an employee is performing more high-level competencies and deserves a promotion.

Guide employee training and development

A job analysis helps employers understand how to best train new and existing employees. If the analysis shows an important skill set that was previously overlooked as a big part of the job, they may decide additional training is needed. Analysis data can also show the most effective areas for professional development.

Update hiring processes

A job analysis may show employers they need to update job descriptions used for hiring and evaluations. New job descriptions can be used to improve language from the hiring process. Potential job candidates can get a better idea of what skills employers are looking for in a certain position and what tasks the job involves.

What are the 5 Steps of the Performance Process?

Step 1: Create a Performance Management Plan

Make the plan as detailed as possible, avoiding the use of ambiguous language.

The following questions will help you in this stage of your performance management plan:

  • What are the main objectives of the system?
  • How can the carrying out of the plan be made to blend in with daily work assignments?
  • How does each part contribute to the success of the company as a whole?
  • How can we develop a practical reward system?
  • Involve the Employees in the Process

Workers who are involved in decision-making in an organization perform better because they have a sense of belonging. For optimum results, incorporate your employees’ points of view while the plan is still in the pipeline.

One way to do this is to tell employees about the need to build a system and then hold meetings with them to develop an effective plan.

Another approach would be to write the plan and then hand it over to them, together with the freedom to add and subtract from it.

Step 2: Set Goals for Performance Management

Each member ought to work with their direct manager to set S.M.A.R.T goals.

Napoleon Hill defined a goal as a dream with a deadline.

Your performance management plan, written or not, will remain a dream until you break it down into actionable steps that are time-specific.

Here’s an example:

As the manager of a media and communications company, the goal you set for your sales representative could be to cold pitch to as many potential clients as possible on LinkedIn, Google, or any other platform.

But isn’t this a stronger goal? To craft convincing and friendly emails to at least ten potential clients every week that the salesperson discovers on LinkedIn, Google, or any other platform? It certainly is. It’s measurable as much as it’s precise. 

Also, using the second approach, the next step in the management process will be made easier. In your performance management process, you’ll need to set goals for departments as well as individuals. 

Step 3: Build a Performance Review System

If done well, this system will have your employees bring their work to you for evaluation. What you need here is a fair scale to grade their performance. Let it be known by your employee what the least acceptable standard is and what qualifies for good and excellent work, respectively. 

The two main qualities that you can build your performance review system upon as a result-oriented establishment are:

  • Quantity

Number of pages, number of documents, the total number of hours, net profit, number of viewers, mass, average length, etc.

These are just a few of the direct measurement qualities you can use to set up a review system. 

It will certainly be easier if the previous step was properly completed. All that will be left to do here is compare outcomes with initial goals.

  • Quality

The quality of your employee’s work is displayed mainly by the results he or she produces.

Analyzing these results, however, can prove to be a tricky endeavor.

For example, in a dynamic industry like fashion or music, an employee could produce excellent designs or beats but receive an underwhelming response from the public.

In such cases, it would help if you had a system that recognizes time invested, basics covered, and advanced methods used by the employee in question.

Step 4: Develop Strong Feedback-Giving Skills

In as much as many growth-oriented people appreciate honest reviews, most of them get demoralized when these become excessively negative.

As a supervisor, you need to learn to strike a balance between pushing your subordinates to perfection and keeping them motivated to do better.

It’s an ongoing process that calls for you to prioritize the ergonomic aspect of the workplace.

Step 5: Ongoing Employee Performance Management

For optimum results, keep the performance management cycle rolling. The scheduled meetings aimed at planning and reviewing a better way forward are undoubtedly important.

You and your team shouldn’t, however, be limited by them.

  • Give Instant feedback

Ongoing management calls for a healthy level of spontaneity.

In between the formal meetings, give a lesson or two. Correct wrong practices as soon as you see them happen. 

This can work to remove the awkwardness in the formal review and feedback sessions.

  • Make it Flexible

It’s a fast-paced world we live in, and those who take big, bold strides win faster. 

Let your employees know that even a job description is subject to change if it no longer serves the company’s main objectives.

Be prepared even with your plans and systems to surf out activities that don’t bear the desired results.

What are the Types of Performance Evaluation?

A performance appraisal, or annual review, is an evaluation of an employee’s work performance and contribution to a company over a designated period. This systematic process assesses an individual based on a predetermined set of criteria. It looks at factors such as an employee’s attitude, work ethic, attendance and mastery of their role. Typically, a supervisor or manager conducts the performance appraisal once a year.

Here are some types of performance appraisals:

1. Negotiated appraisal

Negotiated appraisals involve the use of a mediator during the employee evaluation. Here, the reviewer shares what the employee is doing well before sharing any criticisms. This type of evaluation is helpful for situations where the employee and manager might experience tension or disagreement.

2. Management by objective (MBO)

The management by objective (MBO) is an appraisal that involves both the manager and employee working together to identify goals for the employee to work on. Once they establish a goal, both individuals discuss the progress the employee will need to make to fulfill the objectives. When the review time concludes, the manager evaluates whether the individual met their goal and sometimes offers incentives for meeting it.

3. Assessment center method

The assessment center method allows employees to understand how others perceive them. This helps them understand the impact of their performance. The assessment center method divides the review into three stages: pre-assessment, during assessment and post-assessment. During the assessment, the manager places the individual in role-playing scenarios and exercises to show how successful they are in their role.

4. Self-appraisal

A self-appraisal is when an employee reflects on their personal performance. Here, they identify their strengths and weaknesses. They may also recount their milestones with the organization, such as completing a high number of sales within a month. This type of appraisal usually involves filling out a form, and manager may choose to follow up on this written self-assessment with a one-on-one meeting.

5. Peer reviews

Peer reviews use coworkers as the evaluator for a particular employee. This type of performance appraisal can help access whether an individual works well with teams and contributes to their share of work. Usually, the employee reviewing the individual is someone who works closely with them and has an understanding of their skills and attitude.

6. Customer or client reviews

Customer or client reviews occur when those who use a company’s product or service provide an evaluation. This provides the company with feedback on how others perceive the employee and their organization. Using this type of appraisal can help you improve both employee performances and customer interactions.

7. Behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS)

Behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS) appraisals measure an employee’s performance by comparing it to specific behavioral examples. Businesses give each example a rating to help collect qualitative and quantitative data. These examples help managers measure an employee’s behavior on predetermined standards for their role.

What are the 5 Tools of Performance?

Every organization, whether commercial or non-commercial, prefers to monitor its overall progress yearly, monthly, or weekly. It depends on the amount of work and the type of organization.

To help organizations to keep a check on the progress of the organization, performance management software and tools are available. These tools simplify the work of the organization and provide benefits to the employees. These performance management tools are: 

1. Performance Appraisals

Performance appraisals are one of the top 5 performance management tools. The tool is known to be potent for combining the goals of the individual with the common goals of the organization, but when used correctly.

To get the right amount of output from this tool, employees need to take care that the appraisal process is honest and fair and that constructive two-way communication takes place. If these points are not kept in mind, appraisals can work as demotivation for the organization and will lead to a decline in performance.

Appraisals also help in identifying people who are not performing up to the mark and those who have landed the wrong job. 

2. 360-Degree Feedback

360-degree feedback usually deals with the evaluation and assessment of employees, which could be either internal or external. The main question that this tool has to answer is, “How well are their employees performing?”. It provides each and every individual of the organization with a detailed assessment of their performance based on the views of the people with whom they work.

These people include their supervisors, managers, colleagues, customers, clients, and so on. The reports or the results are always confidential and therefore presented to the employees usually by their managers.

A 360-degree feedback tool is, therefore, typically, used in employee training and development. When this tool is used effectively and efficiently, it helps in simplifying the review process as it considers the opinions of many people instead of reviews of just the manager of the employee.

3. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

KPI is a perfect performance management tool that provides different ways to measure how well the organization, its units, projects, or the individual employees are performing to fulfill the organizational goals and objectives. It is a form of HR software. KPI is also used in enabling performance conversations, which are rich and data-driven. They also help in making better decisions for the organization.

4. Personal Development Plans (PDP)

A personal development plan is an expertly and efficiently designed action plan which is based on the needs, wants, and awareness of the actions that are going to support personal and organizational development. PDPs are most often used to identify various types of training and development needs. A PDP creates an action plan for fulfilling these needs. It helps individuals set out the way they want to grow and find out how they can achieve their goals.

This builds more interest in the company and helps individuals improve their performance. To ensure the high performance of the organization, different tools like a PDP act as an essential part of the organization.

5. Reward and Recognition Programs

Excellent performance should always be praised and rewarded. When employees feel that their hard work and performance go unrecognized and unrewarded, they become demotivated, which makes them deviate from the organization’s overall objectives.

Every organization should have rewards and recognition programs, which are an essential part of the whole performance management system of the organization.

Many big organizations think of reward and recognition programs as a source of distributing financial rewards and incentives like bonuses and increments. But sometimes, simple recognition of hard-working employees is an essential aspect of maintaining morale.

These are the top 5 performance management tools used by most organizations. Each of these tools has benefits, features, specifications, and flaws. It is upon the organization to decide which tools are suitable according to their needs and scope of growth.

What is Employee Performance Analysis?

An employee performance evaluation, also known as a “performance review,” is a process used by organizations to give employees feedback on their job performance and formally document that performance. Although companies determine their own evaluation cycles, most conduct employee performance evaluations once per year.

Some companies also conduct evaluations when employees reach the end of their initial probationary period. Those who perform well on that evaluation are typically removed from probationary employment status. Evaluation information is stored in the employee’s file and may be requested by future employers or institutions of higher education.

Performance evaluations vary significantly in structure and format across industries and companies. They might include rating scales, self-assessment checklists, formal observations or performance tasks. Typically, at least a portion of an employee’s performance evaluation includes a review of outcome metrics or progress against previously identified goals.

In the corporate sector, for example, part of an employee’s performance evaluation might include a review of sales generated or company growth targets. In a school setting, the academic performance of students in a specific class is included as a component of the evaluation.

How to Prepare for an Employee Performance Evaluation

Given the potential benefits and long-term implications of a performance evaluation, it is important to prepare for this process thoughtfully. Follow these steps before your next performance evaluation:

1. Organize performance information

Just as your employer is likely to bring documentation or notes to support evaluation ratings, you should gather similar information as well. This can include work samples, prior evaluations, customer reviews or a list of objective accomplishments.

Reviewing this in advance helps you to reflect on the previous year and give you talking points for performance questions that your employer may ask. Also, there may be projects or accomplishments that your manager may inadvertently miss or forgets to include so it’s good to have this information to ensure all your hard work is accounted for.

2. Draft goals and areas for support

Thinking about what you hope to get out of the meeting and what goals you are striving for in the upcoming year can help you prepare for your performance evaluation. Also, consider how your employer might help you accomplish these goals. For example, there may be a mentor they can connect you with or a new project you could join to grow your skills.

Considering this in advance helps you be proactive in advocating for your own growth and development. Your employer will likely appreciate your specific requests and general preparedness.

3. Make a list of questions

Since you should have your employer’s undivided attention, a performance evaluation meeting can present an opportunity to get any lingering questions answered about the company, your department or your role. If your organization recently underwent leadership changes, for example, you may want to ask about any implications for your position. Writing down your questions in advance can help you maximize your time in the evaluation meeting.

4. Prepare for a two-way conversation

Most people approach performance evaluations with a lot of anxiety and anticipation about what type of feedback they will receive. While performance evaluations include at least some feedback about areas for growth, you should keep in mind that a performance evaluation is a two-way conversation.

As much as this conversation is about providing you with feedback, it is also about you expressing what you need to be successful and what you’re looking for in your career. You should come prepared with any questions you have about career growth opportunities, salary, and steps you need to take to achieve your career goals.

This is an opportunity for you to strengthen your relationship and communication between you and your manager. Be sure to take advantage of this time and clarify goals and expectations, share any challenges you think you may have with achieving those goals and any training that’s needed.

Practicing how to respond to critical feedback is also a helpful preparation strategy. Consider role-playing with a friend or practicing in the mirror. This will help ensure that your body language and tone communicate openness to feedback, which is important to employers when considering an employee’s long-term growth potential within the organization.

Benefits of employee performance evaluations

Employee performance evaluations have many potential benefits for employees and employers alike.

For employers

A few of the benefits of evaluations for employers include:

  • Protection against litigation

In situations where current or former employees are pursuing legal action against a company, having clear documentation of that employee’s performance is very important. This is especially relevant in situations where an employee is terminated or turned down for a promotion. In these cases, the performance evaluation can serve as objective evidence that confirms the company’s decision-making.

  • Encouragement of good work

With the busy pace of many organizations, an employee performance evaluation may be one of only a few times that employers give structured positive feedback

and reinforcement to their employees. Doing so boosts employee morale, shows them what to continue doing and helps build a positive relationship between the employer and employee. This can help minimize employee turnover as employees identify clear ways that their work is valued and valuable.

  • Informing hiring practices

Employee performance evaluations, when considered in totality, can offer valuable insight into past recruitment and/or hiring practices and inform future practices. For example, if a company notices a trend in employees having underdeveloped skills in a certain area, they can add additional screening items for that skill set to their hiring process. Assessing the number of people who are likely to be retained and the number likely to be let go as a result of their evaluation informs the extent and nature of recruitment necessary to rehire.

For employees

A few of the benefits of employee performance evaluations for employees include:

Growth and development

Employee performance evaluations provide a dedicated time for managers to focus on individual performance and growth and development opportunities. This is an ideal time for employees to discuss their salary, career goals and learn what they need to do to achieve those goals.

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By identifying areas of strength and areas for improvement, employers and employees can develop a growth plan that expands the employee’s skills and benefits the company. This can open doors to the advancement and attainment of long-term career goals.

Senior leadership visibility

There may be members of senior-level management that are not easily accessible and do not have frequent interaction with employees. The performance evaluation process can provide insight into these leaders about the workforce including who the top performers are and where to support promotional opportunities.

Potential for a pay increase and/or bonus

In certain companies, merit-based pay increases and/or bonuses are issued to employees who perform well on evaluations. A strong performance evaluation may also lead to opportunities for advancement within the company. This can include formal advancement through a promotion or assignment of leadership responsibilities.

Improved communication

The structured nature of an employee performance evaluation lends itself to productive communication. For both positive reinforcement and constructive criticism, it has mechanisms to guide the conversation and provide very specific feedback. This can ease tensions when discussing something challenging. In some instances, this process opens the door to more meaningful communication outside of the evaluation process as well.

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