Employee evaluations are crucial for helping everyone from new hires to tenured team members improve and grow as professionals, learn how to better serve your organization and feel motivated toward reaching personal and company-wide objectives.
But for these evaluations to be effective, employers should record their feedback using an employee evaluation form.
Here are the answers to a few of the most common questions employers have about employee evaluation forms and how to best use this important document.
Why do I need an employee evaluation form?
An employee evaluation form achieves three primary objectives:
- Organize feedback before a performance review
Taking time to record feedback before meeting with an employee is critical to the success of the evaluation. Preparing and organizing your thoughts ahead of time will make for a smoother, more effective meeting and give greater clarity for the employee you’re reviewing.
- Document employee strengths, weaknesses and areas of opportunity
As time passes, it’s easy to forget the benchmarks and objectives you’ve laid out for an employee. Documenting achievements, challenges and progress towards improvement is essential for HR purposes as well as your record.
- Create a roadmap for employee success
An employee evaluation form provides a clear synopsis of where an employee is excelling and where they need to improve. By having specific goals to reference, they’ll know where to focus their energies in the weeks or months ahead.
Who should fill out the employee evaluation form?
In some organizations, the HR manager fills out the evaluation, but in other businesses, the employee’s direct supervisor or the department head complete the form. The short answer is: whoever is conducting the review with the employee should be the person who fills out the document. This helps eliminate any confusion or misinterpretation of the comments included and helps foster more honest and direct conversations.
Some companies also include self-evaluations within performance reviews. In this case, both the employee and whoever leads the employee review meeting will each fill out a form or portion of a form.
When should I use an employee evaluation form?
One of the most common uses for an employee evaluation document is to assess employee performance, goals, and achievements as part of an annual review process. Often, employers use yearly reviews to determine whether an employee qualifies for a raise, bonus or promotion.
However, these forms may also be used to document areas of opportunity or measure whether or not an employee has corrected previously cited problems. This documentation gives employees a clear path to improvement, and also provides employers with a clear paper trail to support disciplinary action, termination and other difficult HR decisions.
What should I include in an employee evaluation form?
The information you include in your evaluation form can depend on an employee’s department or level within the organization.
But here are a few essential elements all forms should include:
- Basic information about the employee and reviewing manager: Include the names of the employee and the person conducting the review. The form should also specify the review period and the date the evaluation is shared.
- An easy-to-understand rating system: Whether you’re ranking skills from one to 10, poor to excellent, or some other measurement, make sure the method is clear. Consider including a rubric for additional transparency.
- Clear, specific and measurable goals: The best way to help employees meet their goals is to make sure they understand them in the first place. Share not only what you want them to accomplish, but the timeframe and method of measurement, too.
- Additional comments: Maybe you’d like to make a note of a particular project, highlight a key accomplishment or expand on other feedback listed in another part of the form. Whatever the case, having extra space for comments helps ensure you’re documenting all necessary information.
Should I share employee evaluation forms with the employee?
Every organization has to decide whether or not to share evaluation forms with the employee being evaluated and should stay consistent with this policy. That is, you shouldn’t share evaluations with some employees and not others.
Some companies choose to share a full copy of the form with employees while others only share a specific element of the document, such as an employee’s goals for the next review period.
Other companies choose not to share forms at all to prevent employees from inadvertently sharing confidential information with one another, such as salary information.
While you can conduct a performance review without a formal employee evaluation form, your employees will notice if you take the time to prepare. Using a standardized evaluation document the best and most straightforward way for organizations to track employee performance and ensure critical conversations are on record.