How to Observe Employees to Write Evaluation Reports

For a growing business that has a large and varied workforce, employee observations and evaluations are one way to make sure all your workers understand the objectives of their jobs, and can do their jobs well. To keep morale high, it is important to write performance reviews carefully so that employees have a clear idea of how to improve their job performance, yet still feel like valued members of the company. Managers must follow a certain protocol for observations so that employee evaluations are accurate and meaningful. Here are some guidelines.

Try to observe employees on days when they are performing their normal duties, rather than during special assignments. If you want to openly observe, give a heads up that you will be evaluating them sometime in the next week, and let each person know when you plan to discuss his or her employee evaluation. Alternatively, you can appraise their performance in secret. Just be consistent across the workforce.

Have a clear list of job aspects to assess. This varies greatly depending on the employees' job duties, type of business, or particular company policies. For example, you might count how many times they say a slogan or phrase, how quickly they work, or how they prioritize tasks. Knowing the list ahead of time will help you focus when writing observation reports.

To make the observations more efficient, grade various aspects of their performance on a scale of 1 to 3, or 1 to 5, with 1 being to lowest. This will be faster than writing detailed comments for every aspect of an employee's work habits. Jot down notes or comments only when something notable occurs. This way, most of your focus will be on the employee, not the form you are filling out.

Write an employee's evaluation soon after you observe him or her in action. This keeps the details fresh in your mind.

While performing employee observations, try to use your eyes and ears more than your mouth. Merely observe; save your questions and comments for the performance review meeting. This ensures that your workers won't get distracted or flustered.

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