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Mention performance reviews to an employee, whether it’s a teacher or other support staff. More than likely, you’ll receive varied responses, many of them ranging from lukewarm to outright negative.

According to a recent Forbes article, only 55 percent of employees surveyed considered performance management appraisals effective. Other studies have led to similar perceptions, which have prompted some corporations and entities to discard reviews altogether.

However, another recent report has found that getting rid of employee evaluations altogether can lead to a decline in performance. Without performance reviews, the study found, companies saw a 28 percent decline in productivity among high performers. 

That goes back to the reality of what employee evaluations were designed to accomplish in the first place — improve performance.

When conducting teacher evaluations or employee evaluations, keep in mind the end goal of helping your employees improve professionally. With that in mind, use performance reviews to accomplish the following goals:

1. Identify strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. By identifying them, you can put your employees in the ideal positions to match their strengths. You also can use performance review insights to pair them with training that addresses the weaknesses.

2. Develop training/development programs. When you’re coming across similar performance gaps among numerous employees, you’re able to more strategically develop training programs to help them perform their jobs. These could include workshops or peer mentorship relationships.

3. Motivate employees. A job without challenges can be uninspiring. An evaluation provides the opportunity for you and the employee to set goals that inspire growth and self-development. By implementing an evaluation with measurable goals, you can give employees the tools they need to gauge their own progress.

4. Outline benefits and outcomes. An employee that requires improvement should not be simply motivated to change behavior with the promise of a pay increase. However, find other motivational ways to inspire change. It can include recognition, increased responsibility or other incentives that recognize progress.

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