What kind of feedback do you give your employees? “You always this, you that….” or “So and so says you do this….” or “I hate it when you do that….” or even worse, you say nothing and blindside an employee at evaluation time. These are common missteps to employee evaluations.

Written employee evaluations should be a tool to reward and maintain positive contributions. Evaluations should also provide course correction for an employee that might be off track. Word choice and tone are important to maintaining a positive working relationship. As mentioned in the part 1 blog post, not everyone can give constructive feedback. Not everyone can receive constructive feedback.

Unless you are working towards terminating an employee, keep the negative criticism to a minimum. The average person has a limited capacity for behavioral change. Choose only 1-2 areas of weakness with short- and long-term goals. As the business leader, focus on the 1-2 areas that have the highest impact on productivity or the working environment. Use the “praise sandwich” then support the employee with drafting realistic recommendations and steps towards measurable improvement. See the following example:


John has good time and attendance to team meetings. He needs to provide 1-2 recommendations at quarterly meetings. John has a positive attitude with team members.  Recommendation: If recommendations cannot be made before or during the quarterly meeting, then John needs to email the team lead with 1-2 suggestions afterwards.

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