close up image of an employee performance evaluation formWhile many people dread the time of the year that performance evaluations are conducted, it should be the opposite!  After a year of stellar performance, the evaluation is something that should be looked forward to. What better opportunity to grow as an employee within the organization and measure your overall success?

Before you get started, figure out what kind of evaluation you intend to do. The standard evaluations consist of the employee’s superior writing a report on how the year has gone and checking a few boxes.

But there is a better way to gauge the success of an employee, and this is through a 360 evaluation. This is accomplished by surveying not only the supervisor, but giving the employee an opportunity to evaluate him or herself and subsequently, collecting input from peers as well.

The advantage of the 360 evaluations is that you get a clearer picture of not only how the employee performs, but also how well the employee fits in with the corporate culture and interacts with his or her colleagues.

It is important that you let everyone who participates in the evaluation process know that their responses will be kept confidential. Oftentimes, employees are concerned about how a negative evaluation against a peer might reflect upon them. Staff should be encouraged to provide honest, clear responses that accurately reflect both the good qualities of an employee as well as those that they feel need improvement.

Maintaining privacy means keeping the integrity of the information intact.  Disciplinary information and performance evaluations should not be kept with the regular HR file, but should in fact be kept under lock and key in a separate filing cabinet. This prevents another department from having access to the information while they are looking for pay history or benefits information in the HR file. has some fantastic web based forms that you can fill in and print off for the employee’s file. If you are currently using any HR software, check and see if there are forms available for use that can be stored electronically. Otherwise, use a service like to download an appropriate evaluation form template. These will give you a good general idea about what the key characteristics of a good evaluation form are.

Evaluation forms will need to have a coaching and goals section as well, where staff and their managers can do a goal setting activity for the year to come. This may include the employee taking a skills workshop or reviewing the policy concerning dress code. This is a great way to keep the lines of communication open and figure out which direction their career is headed in.

The performance evaluation process should be seamless for most employees, assuming that the year has gone well. All in all, it should be a learning opportunity that is enjoyed by both parties as well as an opportunity to grow and progress within the organization.  A great evaluation form is a good first step in streamlining this process and is a must have for your next performance period.

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