Job Descriptions & Performance Appraisals – Who Needs ‘Em?! (Part 4)

This is Part IV of our four-part series on job descriptions and performance evaluations, two tools that are underestimated in the operation of any department or business. Monday, we discussed that the two are inter-related.  We suggested using the essential functions from the job description to create the performance eval document, and assign a rating scale to each task.  Today, we will wrap up our conversation and show you an example of a performance evaluation.

Any conversation on performance evaluations would be incomplete without mentioning a very important point: don’t wait for the annual review to discuss performance.  Good managers live by the concept that there should be no surprises during the appraisal.  Similarly, when assessing performance, make sure you look at the entire block of time (one year if annual, 90 days if it’s a probationary period eval), and not just the last week or two.

That leads me to a reminder that you should document things all year long.  If an employee receives positive feedback from a patient or customer, let the rest of the staff know. And then print or save the info in his or her personnel file.  Same goes with negative issues.  When you have a disciplinary chat with a worker, jot down a note or two.  Some managers send an email to themselves (especially if there is no HR dept) and save it in an e-file.  Whatever method you choose, do it faithfully and performance appraisals will be the learning tool they were designed to be.

You may have the best intentions to do this all perfectly, but running your department or company will undoubtedly get in the way.  Start small.  Get the job descriptions done.  Think about performance targets.  Soon you will naturally progress to periodic evaluations and the more formal written appraisal.

We hope this four-part series has been useful.  Here is an example of the concept we discussed today.  Try your hand at these documents and be sure to leave us a comment on your progress.

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