Employee Evaluations

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Employee Evaluations


What happens in an evaluation meeting?  How are employees evaluated?  This section will hopefully provide you with insights on the evaluation process!


Overview of the Evaluation Process

Purpose of Evaluations

What Supervisors Evaluate

Responding to the Evaluation

Appealing an Evaluation

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Overview of the Evaluation Process


Most companies conduct formal evaluations of every employee at least once a year.  
At such times, each employee meets individually with his or her supervisor, and the supervisor reviews and discusses each employee's job performance.  The supervisor often prepares and presents a written evaluation to the employee, and a copy of the evaluation is kept in the employee's personnel file.

Evaluation meetings are valuable to employees for receiving feedback, but sometimes 
they can be terribly uncomfortable for both the employee and supervisor.  Employees 
who feel less than confident and positive about their work performance often dread the 
experience, and supervisors certainly never enjoy giving an employee a poor report.  But employees who feel confident they have done good work will find the evaluation process enjoyable.  After all, the meeting provides a rare opportunity for positive feedback and 
praise for a job well done.  And nothing beats receiving recognition and praise.

It's rare, however, for an employee to get perfect marks across the board.  Most 
employees have at least one or two areas in need of improvement, and employees 
usually have a fairly good sense of what areas could be improved.  But for some, it can 
come as a shock.  Perceptions can and do vary, but it's the supervisor's perception 
that counts!

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Purpose of Evaluations


The evaluation process serves a number of important purposes for both employees and supervisors.  Evaluations provide employees:

feedback on their work quality;

feedback on their overall work performance;

feedback on their work behavior;

feedback on customer comments received;

feedback on strengths and weaknesses;

an opportunity to gain insights into the supervisor's perceptions of
work performance;

and opportunity to become aware of the supervisor's concerns;

an opportunity to learn what the supervisor views as important to
be successful at the company; and

an opportunity to learn how to improve and enhance performance.


Employee evaluations provide supervisors the opportunity to:

provide feedback to employees;

critique employees' work performance;

recognize employees' achievements and accomplishments;

recognize contributions employees' have made to the company;

recognize measurable progress or improvements made in
employees' performance;

identify employees' work strengths and weaknesses; and

provide employees with guidance and suggestions for improvement.


Most of the time employees find themselves working in the dark -- wondering and 
worrying how well they are performing, if they are meeting company expectations, 
and if their supervisor approves of their work.  Evaluations help remove the guesswork 
by letting employees know how well they are doing!

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What Supervisors Evaluate


Although the scope and format of evaluations vary widely among companies, supervisors commonly evaluate and rate employees' performance in the following areas:

work quality

work performance

work output

work attitude

work behavior

customer satisfaction

Supervisors also evaluate how well or appropriately employees:

present themselves (in both manner and appearance);

accept criticism;

follow instructions and directions;

get along with fellow workers and management;

follow procedures and policies; and

demonstrate interest in, and commitment to, the company.

Evaluation formats also vary widely.  Some companies use a standard company form 
with rating scales, while other companies provide employees with written evaluations 
in narrative form.  Regardless of the format used, almost all company supervisors 
evaluate employees on the performance areas noted above.

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Responding to the Evaluation

Whether you'll be smiling or frowning following an evaluation meeting will naturally depend 
on how well you rated.  If you leave wearing a smile, congratulations!  If you leave wearing 
a frown, you must realize how important it is to know how your work is rated in every area evaluated.

Even if the news is disappointing, you'll be far better off knowing it than not knowing it.  
Knowing where you stand, and how you need to improve, provides the best possible 
chance for success.  It's often uncomfortable and difficult for most supervisors to point out employees' weaknesses, but supervisors who point them out do their employees a big 
favor.  They provide employees with an opportunity and chance to make changes and be successful.  Again, it's much better to know than to be left in the dark.  You'll know clearly 
where you stand and what you need to do.  But you won't need to worry -- you'll no doubt 
leave the evaluation meeting wearing a smile!

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Appealing an Evaluation

If you receive a low rating on an evaluation, and you feel certain it was made in error, 
politely and calmly discuss it with the supervisor.  If you feel the rating was made in 
error, or perhaps due to an oversight, it may be possible to submit a written letter of 
explanation.  Check with your employee handbook or the Personnel Office for information 
and instructions.

In the letter, clearly note the evaluation item in question and explain what circumstances 
may have been overlooked and why you feel the evaluation rating may be in error.  Did 
the supervisor lack important information needed?  Were there circumstances the 
supervisor was unaware of when completing the evaluation?

Even if the evaluation remains unchanged, your letter of explanation will be attached 
in your file.

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