When companies conduct performance reviews, their employees are more committed, have higher productivity and are more likely to stay. Such companies also have higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Yet in spite of all these benefits, many people struggle with evaluating employees. A common concern is deciding what rating to give.
Most performance review systems require evaluators to rate employees on a scale from high to low. JuvodHR uses a 7-point scale, grouping performance into three categories:
1 to 3.9 - Needs Improvement
4 to 6 - Meets Expectations
6.1 to 7 - Exceeds Expectations
In determining an employee’s performance score, start with the easiest and most common category - “Meets Expectations”. Use “Meets Expectations” as your baseline, your anchor.
Employees often misconstrue “Meets Expectations” as a bad rating –likening it to a C in school; but this analogy doesn’t hold. “Meets Expectations” indicates the employee is performing their job competently – which is good!
What does it look like when an employee performs their job at a “Meets Expectations” level? The employee:
- Competently performs job duties on a day-to-day basis.
- Routinely fulfills the job and role requirements by producing a high quality of work on a consistent basis and generating strong results.
- Achieves all work objectives.
- Makes positive contributions toward organizational results.
- Demonstrates full knowledge of their job responsibilities.
When an employee is consistent in their performance based on the above 5 objectives, a rating of 5 to 6 is fair. If the performance is good ‘most of the time’ a rating of 4 to 5 is fair.
Once you have the vision of what it means to meet expectations firmly affixed in your mind, it becomes easier to identify when someone performs outside that range – either better or worse.
Sometimes employees go above and beyond what’s expected. Their performance is outstanding, earning a rating of “Exceeds Expectations”. The following guide will help identify when someone should be rated at an “Exceeds Expectations” level. The employee:
- Produces results well beyond what is planned, expected or thought possible.
- Produces an exceptional quantity and/or quality of work.
- Conducts themselves in an exemplary manner.
- Takes on additional duties.
- Makes a significant contribution to the success of the organization - having or likely to have a very large positive influence or effect.
To earn a rating of Exceeds Expectations (6.1 to 7), an employee would need to excel at the particular task or work style over 90% of the time.
As much as we’d like all employees to fall in “Meets Expectations” or “Exceeds Expectations” categories, the reality is that sometimes they fall short - their performance needs improvement.
A rating of “Needs Improvement” (1 to 3.9) should be used for:
- A new employee in the position who is still learning the job,
- An existing employee who recently gained new responsibilities, or
- An existing employee who needs improvement performing their job.
Someone who’s on the cusp between “Meets Expectations” and “Needs Improvement” may have occasional lapses. Performance is inconsistent with results falling short at times. They’re almost there but improvement is needed.
The person who has consistent lapses should be rated lowest, especially when performance is unsatisfactory and completely misses the mark.
Use the following tips to identify when someone should be rated as “Needs Improvement”. The employee:
- Does not consistently meet established objectives.
- Produces results that fall short of what was planned or expected.
- Requires immediate corrective action.
- Doesn’t complete assignments on time.
- Fails to produce quality and/or a sufficient quantity of work.
- Is still developing competency.
With JuvodHR, employees are rated on each individual task and work style listed in their job description. An overall score is then automatically generated based on the individual ratings provided. JuvodHR helps you focus on specific factors making the rating process easier and more objective.
Even though it might be difficult, it’s important to be honest in employee evaluations. Not only will you improve poor performance or sustain good performance, you are creating a record for use in unemployment claims and litigation.
Employees want to know how they’re doing, they want to earn your approval and they really want to know if they are falling short of expectations in any areas. Communicating with your employees on a regular basis to discuss their job responsibilities is one of the best things you can do to grow your company.