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  • Turn Fears Into Cheers - How to Conduct Pain-Free Performance Evaluations

    The Retail Florist

    Conducting yearly performance evaluations probably ranks right up there with cleaning out the cooler and organizing your ribbon inventory as one of your least favorite management tasks.

    That doesn't have to be the case. When done correctly, employee performance reviews can lead to increased productivity and help your shop achieve its goals.

    Starting Now

    The end of the year is the perfect time to schedule performance evaluations. The end of the year is a natural time to look back on the year's successes and failures. And to set goals for the next year.

    In an ideal world, preparations for reviews would be an ongoing process throughout the year. You would provide regular feedback and record responsibilities employees are handling well and those that need improvement.

    However, even if you haven't documented everything throughout the year, it's not too late. Begin by compiling information about each employee's performance as it relates to areas in your shop. Gather job descriptions, customers comments, accomplishments, records of training and files of disciplinary action.

    With this information, you can get a picture of the employee's performance.

    Facts and Figures

    To conduct fair performance evaluations, use hard facts and figures to support your general impressions of performance. Some quantifiable areas on which to evaluate your staff include productivity, volume of work, customer relations, sales figures and attendance. For designers, also judge the quality of their work on specific types of designs.

    Adding it Up

    Once you have identified areas you will evaluate, develop a score keeping system. One proven technique is to rate skills from 1 to 3:

    1 — Improvement Needed. Performance is below the minimum required.

    2 — Satisfactory. Performance meets all job requirements.

    3 — Outstanding. Employee exceeds expectations and shows initiative.

    In addition to awarding numbers, gauge all factors by the percentage of time the task requires to get a relative value for that task. Here's an example:

     

    Design 

    3.0 x 60% = 1.800 

    Sales

    1.0 x 30% = 0.300

    Training

    2.0 x 10% = 0.200

     Overall Rating

    = 2.300 

    This evaluation allows employees to see both skills and weaknesses. The employee above, for example, needs work in sales. However, design — 60 percent of her time — is a strong point.

    After you compile these numbers, discuss each strength and weakness, then set goals for the future.

    Put It in Writing

    Everything you discuss in an evaluation should be put in writing. The written record will help you measure progress in the coming year. Both you and the employee should sign the review once it is completed. Give a copy to the employee and put one in the personnel file.

    Following Up

    Following up on the recommendations made in reviews is extremely important. Periodically review employees' progress toward obtaining the goals that were set. Then offer suggestions for improvement or provide more challenges if necessary.

    If you follow these steps, year-end reviews won't be a surprise. Your employees will know where they are headed. And you will know your shop is headed for success.

     

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