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?

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You’re as dependable as a Swiss train: You never miss deadlines, never show up late and always complete even your worst projects ahead of schedule. In return, you’d hope management would offer its appreciation once in a while. Here’s how to get the recognition you deserve without looking as if you’re seeking attention.

Managers and HR professionals are often pulled in many directions at once and don’t always have time to independently review the personnel decisions that line supervisors make. Under what’s commonly referred to as the “cat’s paw” theory, an employee can win a discrimination claim even if the employer successfully proves that the actual decision-maker didn’t intend to discriminate—or even knew that the employee was a member of a protected class.

Andrew Kurtz, part of a crew of guys who dress as hearty snacks and race around the Pittsburgh Pirates' stadium at every home game, was canned after criticizing team executives on Facebook. There's a lesson in here somewhere—perhaps on social media, perhaps on the tricky decision about who to fire when things aren't going well.

Has an employee complained about a supervisor’s alleged discrimination? If so, carefully review any important employment decisions the supervisor subsequently makes. Be alert for potential retaliation.
Q. Admittedly, this is an odd-ball question. My HR department just received a complaint from an employee about risqué e-mails that some of her co-workers were trading back and forth. Coincidentally, the employee who complained is also slotted for termination because of poor performance and attendance problems. Is there any risk in terminating this employee in light of her recent complaint?
If you can show that the employee wasn’t living up to your legitimate expectations, her discrimination case will most likely be dismissed. Legitimate expectations—or adequate performance—aren’t measured just by performance evaluations. That’s especially true if the last performance evaluation occurred months earlier and performance has since changed.

Presumably, when you terminate an employee, you have good reasons for doing so. If you pile on more reasons later, it may look as if you are trying to cover up a discriminatory decision with a host of excuses for why you fired the employee.

When you find out that an employee has been doing things that make the work environment sexually hostile, you must fix the problem right away. The sooner you do, the less likely that an employee will successfully sue. That’s because employees have just 300 days to file EEOC charges. That clock starts ticking as soon as you start acting to clean up the environment.

Comments supervisors make on performance evaluations can come back to haunt the company—especially if they concern the FMLA. That’s why HR should carefully review performance evaluations and tell supervisors to zip it when tempted to gripe about FMLA leave.
Question: “I recently took a job where I supervise three administrative assistants. These employees have been working here for many years. They are all good workers, but each one has a different way of working; one goes above and beyond, one is very organized, and the other one does just what is needed. I work directly on a daily basis with the one admin who goes above and beyond. I don’t have daily contact with the other two admins because they are in different parts of the building. How do I supervise the other two and complete their performance evaluations?  I have set up meetings with them to discuss their daily routines, and I plan on setting up a monthly meeting with them. What else can I do?” — Linda
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