​A Guide to Employee Evaluations

 Why Evaluate?

Many employers on campus ask why they need to evaluate their student employees. Some feel it is not necessary to spend the time to evaluate an employee who will not remain for more than a year. Others feel that they are too busy to make the effort to evaluate all of their employees.

The fact is, continuous and effective evaluations can have an immediate impact on a student’s job performance. As employers and educators, it is one of our primary job to develop students and teach them the skills necessary to succeed. Proper evaluations can provide students continuity of understanding and agreement on priorities and objectives through clear expectations and feedback. Employers also provide a basis for coordinating organization, unit and individual objectives. By taking a few minutes each day to give feedback to your student employees, you greatly enhance their work experience, increase retention, and improve performance.

Finally, evaluations can provide necessary documentation for appropriate personnel actions.

Adapted from Think Like a Manager, Roger Fritz.

 Step One - Setting the Stage

  1. Notify employees well in advance of the evaluation process, when it will occur, how to prepare for it, how long it will take, what the purpose of the evaluation is.

  2. Make sure all of your comments, written and verbal, are completely confidential. You may speak with your supervisor (it’s encouraged) regarding a potentially difficult evaluation.

  3. At no time, should information given at an evaluation be a surprise to the person being evaluated. If an employee has not been performing, an intervention should have taken place before the evaluation to give the employee an opportunity to correct their behavior.

  4. Give each employee a copy of the evaluation. Ask them to complete it from their perspective and have them bring it to the evaluation session.

 Step Two - Preparation

  1. Hold the evaluation in a private setting. Place a sign on the door to “ward” off visitors and turn off the ringer on the phone.

  2. Have all of your written comments completed before the arrival of the employee.

  3. Clean the meeting space so that your attention is focused on the employee, not the piles around you.

  4. Plan your comments prior to the arrival of the employee. This is important to do particularly if you think the session will be difficult.

  5. Avoid the "halo" and "horns" effects. Evaluate over the course of the evaluation period, not just certain instances. Avoid the tendency to give an "average" rating on each point.

 Step Three - During the Evaluation

  1. Introduce the goal or purpose of the meeting.

  2. Allow the employee to speak first. Let them go through the evaluation from their perspective.

  3. Encourage employees to address positives in their work habits (build confidence!)

  4. Stay on task.

  5. Go through your written comments. Give specific examples.

  6. Ask for the student’s response to your thoughts.

  7. If there are negatives to address, focus on behaviors and actions, not the person. "What do you believe caused this to fail?" "How do you think this behavior can be changed?", "How can I help you be successful in this behavior?"

  8. Ask how you can be a better supervisor (make sure they know you will be asking this question a few days before the evaluation so that they can have time to think about the question). What's the one thing I can do to help you succeed even more? "What's the one behavior you'd like to see more/less of in me?", "If I set aside time each day to do one thing that I'm not doing, how would you suggest I spend that time?", "What's one thing I can do to decrease conflict on our team?"

 Step Four - After the Evaluation

  1. Thank them for their time.

  2. Let the employee know that they will receive a copy of the evaluation within a few days.

  3. If new information surfaced in the session, be willing to re-adjust information on the evaluation form.

If necessary, make an appointment to meet with the employee within a pre-determined time frame to identify if "problem" areas are being addressed.

 Things To Remember

  1. Be sure to have adequate documentation to justify your reasons for dismissing an employee. Your documentation should begin as soon as you hire a student.

  2. Student Employee retention begins when you interview the student for the job.

  3. Try to emphasize to the student that he/she is a valuable member of your team. The two of you are working together, not against each other.

  4. Evaluation is an on-going process; both formally and informally.

  5. Your feedback, challenges, and support help the student become better employees and stay with you throughout their college career!

  6. Always ask your student employees if there are any things that you can do to help them become better employees.

  7. If you ever have any questions about student evaluations or if you would like brochures do not hesitate to call the Student Involvement and Employment Office.
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