GRADING EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Employers Should Not Flunk the Process

Properly conducted employee performance evaluations can be an excellent tool for enhancing management – workforce communications.  Such assessments provide administrators the opportunity to communicate their views to a worker on that person’s performance before a bad habit becomes a destructive disruption.  Employees may use the process for communicating satisfaction or dissatisfaction with working conditions.  Tips include:

– Fair, Consistent Process: The evaluation process should be as uniform and objective as possible, with a standard set of questions and judging criteria. Assessments that vary in thoroughness or subject matter from employee to employee or those that stray into subjective territories (e.g., someone’s taste in ties) may generate discrimination claims if person perceives unequal treatment on the basis of national origin, gender, age, religion or any of the other classifications protected by law.

– Criticism Should be Constructive: While management should not shy away from dealing with negative job performance in an evaluation, it should couple criticism with suggestions for improvement.

– Documentation: All evaluations should be in writing.  Procedures and forms should provide the subject employee open opportunity to offer in writing his/her self-evaluation and as well as comment on the performance evaluations from others.  Forms should include an ending section for the worker to sign as acknowledgment he/she has received the evaluation and has had the opportunity to comment, respond, etc.

– Trained Evaluators: Employers should make sure evaluators are well trained on the duties and skills of each worker’s position and to evaluate objectively the job performance of employees, avoiding extraneous questions or statements that could be construed as discriminatory.

– Appeals: Written evaluation policy and procedure should include the employee’s opportunity to appeal to senior management if that employee finds an evaluation unfair or incomplete.

An experienced employment attorney can often help management sort out the details of such policies and procedures or their application.