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How to Prepare a Job Evaluation

by Josh Fredman

Job evaluations offer a way for managers to provide constructive criticism and praise to their employees. Since all workers are evaluated, employees don't feel singled out -- like they've been called to the principal's office. It is very important that your employees greet their performance reviews with the expectation of receiving helpful, performance-based feedback. Preparing a thorough evaluation begins long before writing the actual report; you start by keeping track of each employee’s performance using a combination of direct observation and objective metrics. With solid information and the right delivery, job evaluations can help your business prosper.

Put it in writing

Open a new document in a word processor or spreadsheet. Title the top of the document to indicate that it is a job evaluation, and create a prominent field to indicate the evaluation date and the interval that the evaluation covers — usually a year, half-year or quarter.

Create fields at the top of the document to identify the employee, including her name, birth date, employee ID number and job title. Below, add fields to identify the evaluator, including name and job title. In case involving more than one evaluator, you should include fields for everyone and, if applicable, indicate the chief evaluator.

List the general competencies for the given job title, leaving plenty of space for scoring and comments. For instance, these might include “communication skills,” “initiative” and “reliability.” Such measurements provide big-picture feedback that can apply to many areas of an employee’s performance.

Create another section and list each of the employee’s actual responsibilities, again leaving space between items. These might include “attending meetings,” “workload turnaround time” and “caring for equipment.” Measurements like this provide highly specific feedback.

Score each item in the two sections according to the scale that makes the most sense for you. Some employers use a simple two-part scale consisting of “good” and “needs improvement.” Another popular alternative involves assigning a numerical score, often between 1 and 5. Your overall goal of improving employee performance should help you determine what type of scale you use.

Provide commentary when relevant for the various items. Don’t just provide constructive criticism; make an effort to acknowledge strengths too. Both kinds of feedback are important.

Execute the evaluation by signing it and filing a copy in your records. Provide the employee with the original evaluation. Treat these evaluations as confidential and deliver them to your employees in sealed envelopes.

Give the employee at least a few minutes — preferably a day or more, to read the evaluation privately. Then schedule a meeting to discuss the evaluation with the employee in private.

About the Author

Josh Fredman is a freelance pen-for-hire and Web developer living in Seattle. He attended the University of Washington, studying engineering, and worked in logistics, health care and newspapers before deciding to go to work for himself.

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