I read this article from Inc. magazine explaining why employee performance reviews are a waste of time and money. While I don’t necessarily disagree, my experience tells me they usually are awful for different reasons. In my opinion, most reviews are not conducted honestly. This leads to problems down the road with employee performance and then legal issues when employers seek to terminate poorly performing employees.
I like to call this the Lake Wobegon effect: Every employee becomes “above average” because supervisors are unwilling to hold employees accountable. Then when it comes time to discipline or terminate employees companies are often shocked when I tell them it may be difficult to discipline or terminate an employee because of their employee evaluations.
Employee evaluations are valuable proof in an employment lawsuit. Make sure poor performance is properly documented. Otherwise, the judge or jury will not believe you when you say the employee performed poorly but all their evaluations are excellent. You should conduct the evaluations on a regular basis, usually at least once per year but periodically as discussed in the Inc. article is a good concept if pulled off by supervisors. It is important to create a dialogue with your employees as long as that dialogue is open, honest and holds employees accountable for their performance.