Performance Evaluations

Performance eval process highlighting the evaluation phase.

The formal performance evaluation is generally what people think of when it comes to performance management, but remember, this is only part of the process. True performance improvement is more likely to come from your check-ins and conversations throughout the year, rather than this once a year meeting.

Performance Management: Evaluation

The Evaluation Process

Get Ready: Prepare for the review

  • Get employee input. Ask your employees to summarize their accomplishments over the year including specific situations, their role, and the impact on your department.
  • Get input from others. Ask for input from peers or important partners who can provide insight into your employee's work and performance. Consider the relevance and usefulness of that input and compare it to other information about the person’s performance.
  • Evaluate results. Think about the employee’s accomplishments and the impact on your department. Consider the employee’s input and incorporate some of that into your evaluation along with input from others.
  • Evaluate behavior. Identify the behavioral competencies the employee needed to achieve their goals and provide examples of how they did or didn’t exhibit these behaviors on a consistent basis over the past year.

Get Set: Write the review

The heart of the review is the narrative which will help the employee understand why they received a particular score. Use the rating scale provided by your unit. However the best practice is to use a three-point rating scale: 3—Exceeds Expectations, 2— Meets Expectations, and 1—Requires Improvement.

Go: Deliver the review

Feedback should be shared throughout the year during check-ins, so the formal performance evaluation should be a simple summary of those conversations. Spend the majority of the review discussing your employee’s accomplishments (both what they achieved and how they achieved it), goals that were not achieved, strengths, and areas for improvement.

How to reward, recognize, and encourage strong performance

Financial rewards, such as merit increases and bonuses, are often the first thing that come to mind as ways to motivate and reward good performance. When financial rewards are limited or unavailable, many people wonder what to turn to. You may ask yourself: how can I motivate people to do good work? How can I give strong performers rewards and recognition that will keep them engaged? Learn more