Employee evaluations can often feel like a landmine for business owners, especially those who want to develop a supportive workplace. Employee evaluation comments can be excellent motivators that strengthen performance and employee satisfaction.
Imagine the scenario from your employee’s perspective. As the evaluation gets nearer, they anticipate one of two scenarios: either they’ll receive supportive and encouraging employee evaluation comments, or they’ll be faced with a review that shakes their confidence and enjoyment of their job.
If you want to ensure that the situation remains positive and motivating, consider a few things about performance evaluations.
Don’t Wait for Review Time
You don’t have to wait for an official annual review to give employee evaluations. Comments can be provided at any time, and it’s better to communicate often. Positive comments throughout the week can bolster employee confidence, leading them to put in better, more confident efforts. Making simple corrections and suggestions when minor problems arise can help prevent more significant issues in the future.
Using these ongoing evaluations can also make an official review far less stressful because both you and the employee are used to giving and receiving this type of communication.
Understand Your Goals with Employee Evaluation Comments
It’s also important to understand why you want to give your employees evaluations in the first place. Most employers accomplish three things with evaluations:
- It helps employees identify their strengths to improve upon and their weaknesses to address. Many people aren’t truly aware of their strengths and therefore aren’t as likely to pitch in for projects or tasks that they would be perfect for. By commenting on your employees’ strengths, you help build this confidence and provide a buffer against offense when discussing weaknesses.
- It helps provide a record of accomplishments, which can be used to evaluate raises and promotions. These records are essential for assessing when employees are ready to move into positions with more responsibilities and are due for increased compensation.
- It helps you set goals for the company. If you can see where your employees’ strengths are and where you may need to fill in gaps, it can help you set objectives for your hiring and managing teams.
Does Employer Feedback Really Matter?
You may be asking yourself if your employees will care about the comments you give or if they will be brushed off. The data shows that overwhelmingly, employer feedback truly does matter. A Gallup survey showed that regular communication about employee performance is directly connected to how engaged an employee is in their role. The survey even specified that the more frequent the communication was, the better the employees felt overall about their jobs.
How to Write Better Employee Evaluation Comments
There are three main things to consider for writing great evaluation comments:
- Be crystal clear with your language. This is not the time to throw in buzzwords or to couch the message with generalized language. Use clear, short sentences that say exactly what you mean. This will ensure that there are no misunderstandings about the comments and allow your employee to put your words into action.
- Speaking of action, be sure that your feedback includes actionable suggestions. Telling an employee that they aren’t working hard enough doesn’t help them as much as you may think. Instead, provide specifics, such as suggesting that they increase their time spent on a task to improve their accuracy.
- Finally, be sure to highlight specific skills where the employee has strengths and weaknesses. This can help the employee begin researching how to improve a particular area or allow them to notice particular situations where they could be leaders.
Specific Skills to Mention in Evaluations
When crafting your employee evaluation comments, there are several critical workplace skills to consider mentioning. These skills are vital for almost any type of workplace:
- Leadership Skills: Do you see an employee who excels in preparing resources for the rest of the team or in offering help and guidance to newer team members? This shows excellent leadership.
- Time Management Skills: If your employee often has a knack for prioritizing projects on their own, or is great at meeting deadlines, be sure to notice their time management skills.
- Communication Skills: It can’t be overlooked how crucial excellent communication is in the workplace.
- Innovative Thinking: Do you have an employee who always finds excellent solutions to problems, often before they even become problems?
Alternatively, these may be areas where you need to encourage your employee to improve. Consider comments such as:
- You often seem to prioritize low-urgency projects over high-urgency projects.
- Your communication style often leads to confusion and questions from your team members.
- You seem to struggle when presented with unique problems.
These comments are straightforward and directly connect to a specific workplace skill that can be improved upon.
Don’t Forget About Soft Skills!
Don’t forget to comment on overlooked skills, such as employee attitude or regular attendance. Positive comments for evaluations in this area could be:
- Your positivity impacts the rest of the team in a significant way.
- Your consistent attendance shows great respect for the rest of the team.
Alternatively, you may need to encourage improvement in these areas:
- You seem to get stressed easily when problems arise.
- Showing up late from lunch or breaks frequently puts a strain on the team.
Again, communicating with clarity and specific examples makes all the difference.
Giving Great Employee Evaluations
The best time to start giving employee evaluation comments is today. Consider your goals with these comments, and think in terms of clear, actionable feedback. What can you say to your employees to help boost their confidence and point them down a path that improves their weaknesses?
Remember, these evaluation comments aren’t designed to turn your team into the perfect working machine; instead, your goal should be to increase the strengths of each person in order to fill in the weaknesses of other team members. With plenty of practice, you will be able to inspire action through these comments.