Performance Evaluation Methods | 4 mins read

The Best Methods for Evaluating Employee Performance

the best methods for evaluating employee performance
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow


With only 14% of employees reporting they feel motivated after a performance review, performance evaluation methods need to be improved.

Motivating Employees Through Performance Reviews

Performance appraisals are a critical tool for not only evaluating employee performance but also improving employee engagement levels long term. Performance evaluations are largely viewed as stressful and boring events.

However, if the proper performance appraisal methods are used, employee evaluations have the potential to motivate employees to set goals and exceed job performance expectations. Best practice techniques to motivate employees through performance reviews include-

1. Collaboration- Management objectives and rating scales can negatively affect employee engagement levels. If an employee feels the appraisal process is one-sided or overly critical they will likely disengage and shut down. Rating scales that numerically quantify job performance can make employees feel unfairly judged.

Instead, evaluators should view performance reviews as a unique opportunity to collaborate with their employees. Employees should be provided an opportunity to perform a self evaluation and give feedback on the appraisal process and how it can be improved in the future.

A way to further motivate employees is to include them when you set goals for the company. When employers set goals without employee feedback, they may be setting up employees to fail their individual performance reviews and key performance indicators.

If there is a critical incident that is being focused on, make sure to give your employee a chance to explain their perspective. If critical incidents are not seen from multiple perspectives they can be wrongly interpreted.

An employee who feels their opinion is valued and trusted will not only be more engaged in the review process but will be more motivated to deliver top notch performance in the future. Your business succeeds when team members work collaboratively, and performance appraisals are no different.

2. Appreciate- An effective evaluation method will not be overly focused on negative feedback and nonconstructive critiques. Remember, your goal is to motivate and increase employee job performance by guiding employees in the right direction. Proper performance evaluation methods focus on comprehensive and constructive feedback which includes appropriate appreciation and praise for good work performed.

If an employee is consistently not recognized for their great work, their job performance and employee engagement levels will suffer. Genuine appreciation coupled with career development opportunities and financial incentives will keep employee morale high and employee motivation optimized.

3. Follow up- A performance appraisal method that does not include a follow up is not effective. Provide your employee with time to process and then present an opportunity for them to give feedback about their individual performance evaluation.

Depending on how many team members you evaluate at once and your own time capabilities, either a one-on-one conversation or an online survey can be used to gather their opinions. Encourage your employees to be truthful and transparent with their critiques on what they feel could be improved about the evaluation process.

It is also helpful to provide employees with a chance to officially rebuttal to their employee evaluation if they desire to. If they do not agree with your evaluation methods hear them out, there may be room for your performance review process to improve. Remember, the more effective your process is, the more motivated employees will be to deliver their best performance.

Top Employee Evaluation Methods

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Too often a performance review relies on just one evaluation method instead of a comprehensive set of evaluation methods. Using multiple evaluation methods will provide a broader picture of where employees can improve and help you guide them towards further developing their strengths.

Top employee evaluation methods include-

1. Checklist- One of the simplest performance appraisal methods is the checklist method. The rating scale for the checklist method is only two options, yes or no. A surplus of no checkmarks indicates that there is room for development and improvement.

2. Graphic scale- A graphic rating scale is useful when evaluating several employees at the same time. If you are not doing individual performance reviews and are instead looking at the performance of several team members simultaneously, a graphic rating scale can simplify the process immensely.

3. Critical incident log- Evaluating critical incidents that occurred throughout the year can help evaluators to form more specific feedback and critiques. Each critical incident should be logged promptly and in great detail so that it can be easily recalled and referenced during future performance reviews. It is also helpful to check in with human resources for any other critical incidents that took place that you did not personally observe and log.

4. Self evaluation- A self evaluation encourages employee engagement in the performance review process. The most effective and comprehensive evaluations are those that are a two-way collaborative dialogue instead of a one way critique of employee performance.

Additionally, a self evaluation invites conversations about any discrepancies and misunderstandings that occurred during the performance review. Although developing ideal performance evaluation methods takes a great deal of work and consistent feedback, it is well worth the effort to motivate your employees.