A recent article in the New York Law Journal outlined the following interesting ten commandments of employee performance evaluations:
1. Don’t let the time slip, if it is an annual review, do it on an annual basis.
2. Tell the truth.
3. Remember the audience and be accurate but professional…now is not the time to “Donald Trump” someone.
4. Do not over-praise, give the highest grades only to those who deserve them.
5. Do not be afraid to be candid.
6. Do not speak in code or corporate jargon.
7. Avoid meaningless buzzwords like “bad attitude” or “not a team player” and instead give specific examples of problem behavior.
8. Don’t let a good or bad evaluation be a surprise, communicate on issues throughout the year too.
9. Get rid of non-performers after they have had notice of problems and a fair chance to improve performance.
10. Word gets out, and you will be judged in the recruiting market by what your former employees say about your review system, so do it well and professionally.