Many business owners look at yearly employee evaluations as a chore that must be done and often as nothing more than the time to discuss a raise in pay.

I used to think the same way.

But that approach is wrong.  In fact, employee evaluations represent a valuable opportunity to motivate and guide each member of your team as they seek to grow within your organization.  Below are my suggestions to help you get the maximum value out of your employee evaluations.

  1. Do not make them an annual event.  The point of an evaluation is to give your employee feedback and encouragement as he or she grows into the role you have envisioned for them.  So why the heck would you limit this to once per year?  I recommend quarterly evaluations.  (And “informal” feedback sessions as frequently as possible.) This gives you the opportunity to both provide feedback / coaching and evaluate progress on a regular basis.

  2. Do not focus on the money.  Both employers and employees tend to view evaluations as nothing more than the time to discuss a raise.  I recommend scheduling separate meetings… one to discuss your evaluation, and the other to talk about the money.  Otherwise, your employees are going to be thinking about their raise the entire time and everything you share will go in one ear and out the other.

  3. Do not make evaluations all about you.  Yes, the primary purpose of your evaluation is to help each employee grow into a more valuable resource for your organization.  But, you should also view an evaluation as an opportunity to help your employee grow into a more effective individual as well.  Take the time to point out areas of potential improvement that may not directly impact the employee’s performance at work.  When your employees realize that you are genuinely interested in their development, and not just in ways that benefit your company, they will become that much more appreciative of you.

The opportunity to provide feedback and coaching to your employees is valuable, it is unfortunate that many business owners fail to take full advantage.  Your employees are the backbone of your business, so take every opportunity to help them grow… both personally and professionally!