Performance Reviews

Using the information to improve at your job

Evaluations, or employee performance appraisals, have become a necessary part of life in the corporate world. They help determine raises, promotions and sometimes, lay offs. They can also be a growth opportunity for any employee.

By and large, the appraisals serve two key purposes: to determine an employee's strengths and weaknesses and to protect an employer from false claims made by a former employee.

In many jobs, you may be evaluated once or twice a year, and more often if you are having problems. Use your evaluations as opportunities to improve your work performance.

An evaluation form should focus on how well an employee has performed the duties of the job during the period covered. Most forms will cover the following areas:
  • Attendance and punctuality.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Work quality.
  • Dependability (attentiveness, ability to follow instructions and meet deadlines).
  • Teamwork.
  • Initiative (taking on new tasks and generating ideas).
  • Communication skills.
  • Management skills (if applicable).
The form will be completed by your supervisor and should focus on your strengths and weaknesses in each particular area. It also will include goals to meet for improvement. If there are serious areas of concern, the form will most likely provide an action plan with details and deadlines for improvement.

The employee and supervisor will meet and go over the form, and the employee should always have a chance to respond to any point contained in an evaluation.

If you feel parts of your review are unfair or inaccurate, you may respond to them, but be sure to consider them objectively first. If they truly are inaccurate, try discussing them with your reviewer. Supporting documentation is very useful if you have it.

A perfect review is not necessarily a good thing; it gives you little information on how to improve at your job. The goal is to educate, coach and motivate during a frank and candid give-and-take session.

You may also be asked to evaluate your own performance. In a perfect world, your evaluation would mirror your supervisor's.




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