Many managers dread performance evaluations because they fear not getting them done efficiently or on time. This dread is a self-fulfilling prophecy in many ways, but it doesn’t have to be a hindrance. If both employers and employees can gain an appreciation for the positive nature of feedback, the evaluation turns into a fun and performance-improving activity rather than a dreaded routine.

Why Procrastinating on Evaluations Is the Worst Thing a Manager Can Do

Employees know when evaluation season is coming, and if managers dread them, employees will too. The feeling is kind of like being in school and taking finals. If the grade will significantly affect how well you do in the class, waiting to hear how you’ve done can build the suspense and tension, leaving students anxious. If a manager procrastinates on employee evaluations, it may make employees feel uncertain about their future or as if a manager doesn’t care about employee performance.

Schedule enough time to write the evaluations and give them well before the deadline. You may need two hours to prepare and about an hour set aside to conduct individual meetings.

How to Make Evaluations Easier

As a manager or supervisor, you are in control of the evaluation process, meaning you have the power to make it a positive and rewarding experience or a negative one for yourself and the employee. Here are some ways you can improve the process for better time management and a smooth evaluation meeting:

  1. Always use a template: Instead of making up each evaluation off the top of your head or from scattered notes you have lying around your office, keep a file of employee notes on your computer or in your filing cabinet. Use a template that allows you to easily rate individual scores in hard and soft skills relevant for the job. It may also help prioritize each evaluation factor for a clearer picture.
  1. Schedule the evaluation in a pleasant environment: Take an employee out to lunch, go sit in a park, or find a neutral meeting room. A great evaluation will provide a manager with more information about the reasons behind an employee’s performance and will help an employee understand how to do his or her job better in the future.
  1. Focus on how the person acts and what he or she does, not the employee’s personality: An evaluation is not an assessment of an individual’s personal worth, and it should never come across that way. It should identify clear examples and patterns in behavior that deserve recognition and ones that need work to benefit the team.
  1. Outline talking points for the meeting: Instead of running through the points on the evaluation, make a note of three or four key takeaways you want an employee to keep in mind. They can read an in-depth review on their own. Give the employee time to read through the evaluation, ask questions, and try to get into a dialogue about the key points. Ask your employee for feedback on the process at the time or after the review.

Make evaluation a breeze with the right performance review template to serve your needs.