Although performance reviews seem simple and straightforward, it is easy to make mistakes that can keep your employees from getting full recognition for their work or areas that need improvement, or worse, can hurt your company later with wrongful termination claims. Here are some tips to keep your company compliant when performing reviews.
- Hold reviews in a private office and keep each employee’s records confidential.
- Be careful not to let an employee’s stellar performance in one area blind you to other areas that need improvement.
- Likewise, do not let poor performance in one area lead to an overall low rating.
- Be sure to look at performance during the entire appraisal period; not just recent work.
- Put aside personal bias; especially any that may be discriminatory.
- Avoid vague statement such as “bad attitude” or “satisfactory.” Be as specific as possible in describing an employee’s performance and behavior.
- Be honest. If you write that an employee is satisfactory when s/he is not, it can be used against you in a wrongful termination lawsuit later.
- If an employee is not meeting performance standards, give him or her specific ways to improve and a specific time frame to do it in. Write on the review that if the employee does not improve within the time frame, s/he may be disciplined, up to and including termination.
- Be consistent in your documentation and treat employees equally.
- Document! Have employees sign the performance review. If s/he refuses to sign it, make a note of it on the review. Make a copy for the employee and be sure to keep one in your records.
If you have questions, need sample appraisals, run into problems, or just need help getting started, please contact your HR Consultant at Nextep at 888-811-5150.