First 20 Steps to Evaluating Performance

Successful business growth relies on successful work habits. As a leader your responsibility is to enable growth through a professional, positive, constructive process of evaluation.

Excellent evaluation fosters cost effective work habits within an atmosphere that celebrates attitude towards work.

To me, an evaluation needs to be based on a genuine desire to help the person being evaluated, a willingness to put aside one’s own agenda to concentrate on someone else’s success and journey, and an understanding of personality differences, excellence, and ego.

Learning how to evaluate has been more of a journey than learning to present, as it involves learning to walk a thin line between being unnecessarily brutal and (just as devastatingly damaging,) white-washy. False praise can backfire on both the giver and the receiver. One style does not fit all recipients either. At heart, most people fear being criticized publicly. Smart ones welcome advice of how they can be even better than they are. It involves hope based on fact.  As we mature we spend a lot of time learning the distinction between evaluation and criticism and there is a very real distinction.

First 20 Tips 

  1. Plan optimum ways you can help the receiver.
  2. Establish expectations well ahead of time with those to be evaluated.
  3. Outline what, when and who you will be evaluating.
  4. Insure that the receiver understands the purpose of evaluation.
  5. Summarize the advantages of evaluation for the receiver.
  6. Be fair and reasonable.
  7. Choose an appropriate location from which to record your evaluation.
  8. Accommodate special needs of the recipient.
  9. Give your full attention to evaluating. (Turn off cell phones!)
  10. Concentrate on two or three main areas.
  11. Note challenges and how they are dealt with.
  12. Record evidence of organization.
  13. Describe specific positive work habits.
  14. Evaluate progress from previous evaluation.
  15. Suggest specific ways to improve.
  16. Be prepared with anecdotal reports.
  17. Remain mindful of the experience level of your receiver.
  18. Reflect the mood of your receiver.
  19. Write a balanced summary of positive and constructive feedback.
  20. Determine time for an appropriate follow-up evaluation.

Pauline welcomes your questions or comments about this article. If you choose to send it to a friend or colleague please send it as written, including the source.

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