How to conduct employee performance reviews for leaders and managers — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 18
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Performance Reviews

For most managers, conducting effective performance reviews is the most daunting part of their job. Don’t look on it with dread! Make your performance appraisals work for you, not against you with these tools: performance review examples, tips on writing employee reviews, sample performance reviews and employee evaluation forms.
So, your tasked with assessing employee performance and writing performance reviews. Where do you get started?

See more scripts and strategies for writing performance reviews and conducting valuable employee appraisals. Get a sample performance review and employee evaluation forms when you sign up for our Free email newsletter for Leaders & Managers like you…

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An employee who thinks her supervisor is out to get her may be on the lookout for perceived discrimination. She can turn a negative performance appraisal into a bias lawsuit. The only way to prepare for surprise lawsuits is to consistently treat all employees alike and document that fair treatment. For example, performance evaluations should include as many objective measures as possible, making it easier to compare employees.
Having complete records of why you disciplined an employee often gives a court the information it needs to decide whether you’ve discriminated—or even retaliated against someone who has leveled serious charges against you.

Here’s a tip if you are revising your employee handbook: When it comes to discipline, make sure you give yourself some flexibility to deal with unusual circumstances. For example, if you want to use progressive discipline, be sure to account for the rare situations that may warrant immediate suspension or discharge.

If your organization is unionized and operates under a collective bargaining agreement that calls for progressive discipline, think twice before automatically firing an employee you believe has sexually harassed other employees. Unless your contract specifies discharge for a first harassment offense, you may have to follow your progressive discipline program.

Your progressive discipline probably gives you some flexibility to hand out different punishment, depending on the seriousness of the employee misconduct. As a practical matter, that means you must decide whether what one employee does is more serious than another’s similar transgression. Make sure you’re able to explain why one offense was worse than another and deserved harsher punishment.

Good employers strive to create a workplace that’s as respectful and civil as possible. But even in organizations that try their best, supervisors and managers sometimes mess up. A poor choice of words or an ill-timed joke can create tension and inflame passions. Mistakes like those don’t necessarily mean the employer is destined to lose if an employee sues.
Unless an employee has a poor performance history, don’t fire him a few days after he reports harassment.
Here’s how to recognize if you’re not giving direct reports the feedback they need to step up their game, adapted from The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave:
A co-worker makes Donna feel uncomfortable by spewing judgmental comments about her life choices. Donna wonders what to do about it. Is the HR department obligated to fix the problem? Or does this situation call for a frank co-worker-to-co-worker conversation?
Remember the good ol’ days when you could fire someone based on performance? All you needed was proper documentation. Well, those days are over. The U.S. Supreme Court has created a whole new class of plaintiffs—and added an extra step to your termination checklist…
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