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Tips on What to Say in an Employee Evaluation

author image Cassie M. Chew
Cassie M. Chew is a multimedia journalist who covers politics, health care, education policy and technology news for print and online newspapers, magazines and trade press journals. When she's not pursuing a story, Chew enjoys independent film, biographies and books about nutrition and health. She holds a Master of Science in journalism from Northwestern University.
Tips on What to Say in an Employee Evaluation
An employee and her boss sit down at a desk for an employee evaluation meeting. Photo Credit AlexRaths/iStock/Getty Images


Employee evaluations help your staff determine whether they make a positive difference toward reaching the company’s goals and show that the firm values and recognizes their contributions. Yet most managers fail to see the importance of ongoing feedback and staff development, writes Paul Falcone in “2600 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews.” Falcone and the American Management Association provide a wealth of advice to help you learn what to say to your team members during a meeting to discuss their performance.

Include Employee Evaluation

The best people managers realize that by shifting responsibility for performance evaluations back to staff members, they take themselves out of the role of unilateral decision maker and into a career coach, Falcone writes. Prior to the meeting, the employee should have written a self-appraisal, AMA says. A shared evaluation process helps eliminate defensiveness and starts the meeting off on a positive note. It also establishes a two-way conversation where both parties can share observations, perspectives and comments about job performance, AMA advises.

Discuss Ways to Improve

Managers shouldn't make negative assumptions when the staff member's performance doesn't meet expectations. The conversations during the performance review can help you find out the reasons why an employee fails to meet workplace goals. Poor performance may result from his immediate supervisor’s lack of coaching. Even as employees should motivate themselves, managers must create a work environment where workers can achieve success at performing their duties.

Talk About Next Steps

The final part of the evaluation should feature discussion on the next steps for the employee. This constructs a blueprint for employee growth and learning, which further integrates her into the company and creates loyalty. The end of the evaluation should focus on the steps the employee needs to take next and how the company will support her growth.

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