Performance evaluations are one of the most nerve-wracking processes in the professional world, and as an employee, you would probably rather not have to suffer through them. This is understandable, but in order for a company to fully understand your contributions to the organization, these evaluations must be performed. You may feel powerless during this process, but there are certain rules and procedures that your evaluator will have to abide by. Keep the following information in mind the next time you are faced with an evaluation.
- Purpose: Every performance evaluation should have a specific professional purpose behind it. Knowing this purpose can give you time to prepare if the evaluation is scheduled beforehand. All of the documents that you receive from your employer in regards to the evaluation should underscore your employer’s reasons. If you do not understand the purpose or you simply have not been properly informed, don’t hesitate to ask your manager or supervisor for more in-depth information.
- Focus: No employer has a right to evaluate factors that are unrelated to your job. This is highly unprofessional and illegal in most jurisdictions. For example, it is legal for companies to evaluate your attendance record, but it is illegal for them to evaluate you based on your political views or personal life.
- Privacy: When it comes to your evaluation, you have a right to privacy. This means that only you and a supervisor should be involved in the process, and coworkers or other company members should not be consulted or informed of the results. At the most, some companies will include a human resource professional to ensure that all the necessary rules and procedures are followed by your supervisor.
- Anti-Discriminatory Laws: In order for an evaluation to be considered legitimate, it must follow all of the state and federal anti-discrimination laws. As mentioned above, your employer does not have the right to evaluate non-professional aspects of your life. If an evaluator does not comply with non-discriminatory legislature, you should take note of your concerns and present them to your superiors.
- Schedule: Most evaluations are performed on particular dates throughout the year. At the majority of companies, all employees are usually evaluated around the same time, or each employee is evaluated on the anniversary of his or her hiring date. Memorize the dates that your performance evaluations will occur on, and be sure that your superiors honor the timetable.
- Objective and Subjective Criteria:Objective evaluation criteria include hard data and statistics, such as test results and whether or not you have met certain goals. Subjective criteria are influenced by the supervisor’s professional opinion. A comprehensive and thorough evaluation will include aspects of both criteria types, not just subjective criteria.
“Negative Reviews: All performance evaluations should be specific, especially when you receive negative or unsatisfactory reviews. When your evaluation contains supervisor criticism, don’t hesitate to ask specific questions if you don’t understand the criteria that were used. Be sure to ask for details and see if your supervisor can provide you ways to improve.
“Compensation: Will your performance evaluation have a direct impact on your compensation? If the answer is yes, take the time to understand the factors behind the raise. Raises can be based on a variety of factors, and you always want to ensure that you have been evaluated fairly and justly.
- Personal Records: It is important to maintain detailed documentation of each performance evaluation in the event of a dispute. This includes both formal and informal comments such as verbal praise or messages. These records can prevent you from being terminated and work in your favor if you have to take legal action against your employer. A minority of courts have even ruled that an evaluation inherently creates an implied employment contract.
Protecting your employment rights starts with you. By understanding the professional and legal regulations regarding performance evaluation, you can ensure that you receive a fair and honest review.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.