The end of the year is the time when employee evaluations are often conducted. Jeff Beck of Faegre Baker Daniels, whose practice concentrates on defending employment-related litigation in state and federal courts, commented on best practices in employment evaluations in an article on the website HR Hero.
Beck explained that although some supervisors are uncomfortable criticizing those who are performing poorly, documentation of poor performance is important for any workplace. "Generally, supervisors are busy, nice people who do not want to hurt others' feelings, want to be liked, and dislike confrontation," Beck said. However uncomfortable such a meeting is, he stressed that failure to document poor performance can result in an employer facing an uphill battle if a suit is filed claiming wrongful termination. "To meet their initial burden in any discrimination case, an employee must present evidence that they were meeting the employer's legitimate expectations," Beck said. "Evaluations that show an employee requires improvement or is not meeting expectations can prevent an employee from meeting their burden. A supervisor who does not provide honest evaluations for poor performers is throwing away the employer's ability to prevail on this element."
Beck noted that evaluations for those performing well are equally important for retaining top talent in a company. "Evaluations for good performers provide an opportunity for supervisors to recognize and reward those who elevate the organization, Beck said "Retaining star performers is critical to the organization's and the supervisor's success.