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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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When it comes time to writing performance evaluations, it’s best to stay away from broad generalizations about the employee’s work. Instead, provide concrete examples that support your stated performance rankings. Follow these guidelines for writing evaluations.

Q. The mother of a minor employee (age 16) has asked to attend her child’s performance evaluation meeting. Do I have to legally allow the parent to sit in on this session?

If you give somebody a bad grade without explanation, that’s not acceptable, says Laura Yecies, CEO of online storage service SugarSync. Yecies fights the impulse by reading every performance review—not so much to see if she agrees with the assessment but to check whether the manager is being thoughtful.

Most HR professionals assume that a warning letter isn’t an adverse employment action and there­­fore can’t be the basis for a lawsuit. And that’s largely true. But if the warning letter also mentions restrictions on how well the employee will be rated at evaluation time, there may be trouble.

Employees who lose their jobs have an incentive to sue—and they’ll often look for evidence of discrimination to form the basis of their lawsuits. But to win in court, employees have to show they were meeting their employer’s legitimate expectations. That’s hard to do if the employer can show the employee admitted her shortcomings.

Not every new hire works out. Chances are, you’ll realize early on that you made a hiring mistake. You’ll want to give the employee a chance to improve, but you’ll also want to protect the company in the event of a lawsuit. To do that, provide a detailed and thorough performance review that includes specific examples and suggestions.

For each employee’s performance expectations, set A, B and C goals, suggests the SmartBlog on Leadershop. “C” goals are Comfortable; “B” goals are Believable; “A” goals are Awesome.
HR professionals are often among the first to know that big organizational changes are on the way. If you learn about an upcoming merger, don’t spill the beans, but do diplomatically prod managers to complete all pending performance evaluations.
Once in a while, promotions just don’t work out. Someone who was great at one job might bomb at another. That’s especially true if the new job involves different skills and talents. Don’t let past performance make you hesitate to discipline.
Follow these guidelines to deliver effective and efficient performance reviews.
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