When conducting performance reviews, making mistakes now can create legal problems for your company later. Here are some tips to keep your company compliant when performing reviews.
- Hold reviews in a private office and keep records confidential.
- Do not 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.
- Look at performance during the entire appraisal period; not just recent work.
- Put aside personal bias; especially any that may be discriminatory.
- Be specific. Avoid vague statements such as "bad attitude" or "poor performer."
- Be honest. Do not state that an employee is satisfactory when s/he is not.
- Be consistent in your documentation and treat employees equally.
- 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.
- Revisit previous years' performance reviews to identify any concerning trends, such as tardiness or ability to work well with others.
- Keep in mind that an evaluation is not the time to first tell an employee of an issue. Ongoing communication throughout the year will ensure that the employee receives valid feedback.
- 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 or need sample appraisals, please contact your HR Consultant at Nextep at 888-811-5150.