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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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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Question: “I manage a group of four women who bicker constantly. They are quick to “cop an attitude” and get defensive about stupid little things. To make it worse, I recently hired a young, inexperienced secretary who is very rude. When anyone tries to instruct her, she comes back with a smart-mouth response. I feel like I’m supervising a bunch of tattling two-year-olds. I wish they would all just shut up, get along and focus on work. Sometimes, I plan what I’m going to say about these issues, then I chicken out. I know I need a stronger backbone, but I'm not the type of manager who likes dealing with conflict. What should I do?” — Tired Supervisor
Employees who complain about alleged discrimination are protected from retaliation for doing so. In order for the employee to win a lawsuit, the retaliatory act must be adverse—that is, it must be an act that affects the employee in more than an inconsequential way. In a recent case, an employee claimed that by merely ignoring her complaint, her employer was retaliating. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals nixed that idea.
In age discrimination cases, employees only have to show they were replaced by someone younger, or otherwise discharged because of age. You will have a much easier time showing that you had a legitimate reason unrelated to age for terminating the employee if you can cite specific business reasons to back up each part of your decision-making process.