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How Franchisees Can Perform Effective Employee Evaluations

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Franchisees must rely upon their employees to assist in the operation and marketing of their franchise. An important component of employee leadership and development is the ability to conduct effective performance appraisals. The following tips can result in more effective employee evaluations and improved performance.

Giving evaluations can be difficult. Some workers react to criticism defensively. And, sometimes, no one understands what merits a positive evaluation. If your workers feel that you take it easy on some of them while coming down hard on others, resentment is inevitable. Avoid these problems by following these rules:

  • Be specific. When you set goals and standards for your workers, spell out exactly what they will have to do to achieve them. Quantify the goals. For example, don't say "work harder" or "improve quality." Instead, say "increase sales by 20% over last year" or "increase customer server productivity by 10%." Similarly, when you evaluate a worker, give specific examples of what the employee did to achieve -- or fall short of -- the goal.
  • Give deadlines. If you want to see improvement, give the worker a timeline to turn things around. If you expect something to be done by a certain date, say so. 
  • Be realistic. If you set unrealistic or impossible goals and standards, everyone will be disheartened -- and will have little incentive to do their best if they know they will still fall short. Don't make your standards too easy to achieve, but do take into account the realities of your workplace.
  • Be honest. If you avoid telling a worker about performance problems, the worker won't know that he or she needs to improve. Be sure to give the bad news, even if it is uncomfortable.
  • Be complete. Write your evaluation so that an outsider reading it would be able to understand exactly what happened and why. Remember, that evaluation just might become evidence in a lawsuit. If it does, you will want the judge and jury to see why you rated the employee as you did.
  • Evaluate performance, not personality. Focus on how well (or poorly) the worker does the job -- not on the worker's personal characteristics or traits. For instance, don't say the employee is "angry and emotional." Instead, focus on the workplace conduct that is the problem -- for example, you can say the employee "has been insubordinate to the supervisor twice in the past six months. This behavior is unacceptable and must stop.
  • Listen to your employees. The evaluation process will seem fairer to your workers if they have an opportunity to express their concerns, too. Ask employees what they enjoy about their jobs and about working at the company. Also ask about any concerns or problems they might have. You'll gain valuable information, and your employees will feel like real participants in the process. In some cases, you might even learn something that could change your evaluation.

Effective employee evaluations are a prerequisite to an effective business. Itís what separates the good from the average.

© 2010 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He can be reached at franchiseknowhow@gmail.com 

 

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