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Have You Tried Using a Goal-Oriented Performance Evaluation?

Updated: Mar 3, 2020

It's no secret that managers in all different fields struggle with the process of evaluating employee performance.

The point of a goal-oriented evaluation is not to focus on the fact that the employee is often tardy or doesn’t complete assignments on time – those things should be initially dealt with outside of this process. Remember the old adage “No new news at the performance evaluation.” Although performance issues can be added to #3 question below as goals, the true idea is to dig under performance issues to get to the root of the problem and see if it's possible that the employee is dissatisfied, overwhelmed or under-challenged.

I typically use this form 90 days after hire, then at the one year mark, then every 6 months thereafter. Evaluating this much is very time-consuming (I usually spend about an hour with the employee), but you might be surprised in what BIG dividends it pays.

Called “Five Questions”, the employee completes the self-evaluation, submits it to the manager, then together they meet to discuss, evaluate and add to it during the interview.

Here are the questions:

  1. What goals did you accomplish since your last evaluation (or hire)?

  2. What goals were you unable to accomplish and what hindered you from achieving them?

  3. What goals will you set for the next period?

  4. What resources do you need from the organization to achieve these goals?

  5. Based on YOUR personal satisfaction with your job (workload, environment, pay, challenge, etc.) how would you rate your satisfaction from 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent.) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

You must stress that question #5 is not how well they think they’re doing their job, but how satisfied they are with the job.

The great thing about this evaluation is that it is one piece of paper and not too intimidating. Staff can use phrases or sentences and write as little or as much as they like. If it’s hard to get a conversation going with the employee, ask them “What was your thought process when you assigned your job satisfaction a number __.” Usually that opens the floodgates!

If you use a goal-oriented evaluation like this one, employees will grasp that you are asking for their performance to be beyond the day-to-day tasks, and to focus on learning new skills, teaching others, creative thinking and problem-solving and new solutions for efficiency and productivity.

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