Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

What’s Your Grade? The Importance of Employee Evaluations

Just because you’ve hired a great new employee using online video interviewing doesn’t mean the evaluation process should stop. After all, evaluations are a large part of hiring top talent. When a candidate becomes an employee, this is no excuse for the evaluation process to ground to a halt.

Employee report cards are more important than ever for companies of all types. You might see evaluations as a pain, or just more paperwork to fill out, but employees find them invaluable. Plus, these report cards exist to protect you legally on the off chance your superstar hire turns out to be a dud in the workplace. If you need to let an employee go, you’ll have the relevant paperwork to back up your decision using their negative evaluation.

Most importantly, evaluations are helpful in retaining employees by giving them necessary feedback. According to a study by the Conference Board, while nearly 47 percent of employees are satisfied with their jobs, only 15 percent admitted to being very satisfied. You obviously want your employees to be part of this 15 percent, and the best way to do this is to provide them with relevant and helpful feedback. Everyone likes to know what they’re doing right and wants the chance to correct what they’re getting wrong.

Here are some tips for giving out more useful report cards to your employees:

Have Set Standards
Using set evaluation criteria is important, not just in the hiring process when using video interviews, but also for giving employees useful feedback. This helps employers to guard against claims of unfairness. It also helps to better gauge employee performance by forcing employers to focus in on the essential aspects of the position. Once employers have set standards to evaluate based on, filling out these essential employee report cards becomes easier.

Give More Insight
The most important way to improve your employee evaluations is to give as much insight as possible. Employees want feedback on their job performance and how they’re doing in the workplace. They want to know what they’re doing right, what they’re getting wrong, and how they can improve their overall performance to go from a good employee into a superstar. If you give your employees a threadbare evaluation without any useful information, they will be disheartened.

Remember that happier employees are also more productive employees. This doesn’t mean you should only hand out glowing report cards, but it does mean you should be thorough in your assessment. You spent untold hours sourcing and interviewing great candidates in the hiring process; make sure this time and effort is paying off. If you don’t give employees relevant feedback, they cannot improve their performance. Use your evaluation to give workers the tools they need to go from good to spectacular.

Allow Feedback
Employee evaluations might seem like a one-way street, but they don’t have to be. The best organizations allow for employees to give their own feedback as well. This could come in several forms, depending on what works best for your company.

Your company might want to implement a system in which employees can address negative evaluations if they feel these reports are unfair. This works to keep managers more honest in their assessments and gives workers an outlet to address concerns.

Companies could also allow employees to give out their own report cards on the organization, evaluating what they love about working there and what they would improve if they could. Now employers can get the same value out of evaluations, and improvements can be made to address pressing employee concerns.

Employee evaluations are essential in promoting growth and improvement. Employees get the feedback they crave and companies get better workers out of the bargain.

How are you using employee evaluations to better your workplace? Share in the comments!

Image Courtesy of Flickr.

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).