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How to Achieve Effective Performance Evaluations

By: Bianca Strickland

Bianca Strickland, Director of Human Resources for ADB Companies

If evaluations are completed effectively they can be a huge asset to both employers and employees. The key word here is EFFECTIVE! If you, as the manager, undervalue the evaluation process, be prepared to potentially manage team members that feel dissatisfied, unmotivated and unappreciated — all of which can lead to increased turnover.

ADB has gained valuable team members throughout 2017 from other solid organizations simply because their previous employer never discussed performance goals, or professional development opportunities with them.

JD Hecht, head of ADB’s CAD department, is a prime example. JD has been part of our team for about 90 days and when I discussed with him why he left an organization after putting in so many years, he stated:

“One of the things that I found very attractive at ADB was the importance they put on the personal growth and advancement of the individual; as much as they did regarding the company overall. At my former place of work, there was never any discussion regarding personal goals and ways that you could improve yourself and better enhance the company itself which left a person unsure of where he stood in the present and future.”

Don’t let this be someone on your team. Don’t lose a valuable team member because you undervalued the evaluation process. To help ensure your evaluation process is effective, I recommend to:

  • Be Prepared: Your team members will know right away if you come unprepared to the discussion. Review their last evaluation and see how they have progressed or regressed to help you better plan for the conversation.

  • Be Specific: Being transparent and open with your team members is extremely important to their future success. Look at the big picture when it comes to their performance and development and give them honest, meaningful feedback. Avoiding this only hinders your team long term.

  • Set New Goals: This is a great opportunity to help your team member identify how they directly align with the larger business objectives. This helps them feel valued, and that they are performing toward something meaningful. If they are not performing where they should be, it’s important to provide clear, specific and achievable performance goals and advise them of the exact plan to help them get to where they need to be. You both should leave the conversation with assurance that you are on the same path toward improvement or growth.

  • Assess Training Needs: The ability to grow within an organization is one of the most important things team members are looking for today. Make sure you assess their needs to not only improve in their current role, but also to help them develop into their desired role in the future.

  • Be Persistent: Follow up on the goals you and your team members set. Continue to offer feedback and guidance on goals that are challenging to meet, and offer praise when goals are achieved.

Utilize the time you have with your team members and make your evaluation process effective. Ultimately, this is the opportunity to see if you and your team member align on their strengths, areas of improvement, goals and career aspirations. This communication tool offers transparency, builds trust between you and your team members, strengthens morale and improves retention efforts.


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