Performance appraisals are one of the most valuable tools in a construction site manager’s toolbox. Assessing your employees’ current productivity can help you track their progress and job growth, while also allowing you to plan your company’s future goals.
In order to maximize the benefits of performance appraisals, contractors, managers and business owners must craft the right questions to assess strengths and weaknesses. To conduct an effective review, be sure to consider:
Categories that mirror your job site objectives.
Before conducting a performance appraisal, ask yourself: What do my employees need to do in order to create the most effective, efficient and successful job site? Then, create broad categories to classify these needs. How does each individual employee contribute to each category?
Example categories include: teamwork, attitude, knowledge and skills, operation and maintenance of equipment, attendance and punctuality, adherence to policies and regulations, safety habits, essential functions.
Ratings that use a numerical scale.
A simple numerical scale will make it easy for both you and your employee to see which areas need most improvement. However, be sure to clarify in detail what each number on the scale represents. For example, if using a 1-5 scale, earning a “5” could mean “Exceeds Expectations,” a 4 could mean “Meets Expectations,” a 3 could mean “Needs Improvement,” a 2 could mean “Below Expectations,” and a “1” could mean “Significantly Below Expectations.”
Numerical scale tip: Pick a scale that makes sense and is easy to follow. You want the appraisal, especially the areas with room for improvement, to be clear and concise.
Providing details for improvement.
Rate the details within the categories and then rate the category overall. For example, if you have one category labeled teamwork, you need to convey what teamwork means. How do you expect your employees to work as a team? Come up with three-to-five different details, so that your employees understand exactly what skills need to be honed. The more detailed you are, the more improvement you’ll see.
Making this an effective use of time.
A performance appraisal is more than just a to-do list; it’s an open line of communication between management and employees, both temporary and permanent. It’s an opportunity to convey to your skilled laborers exactly what needs to be done to be a part of your team. Be honest and open; listen as much as you talk. Most importantly, you need to:
- Provide specific ways employees can improve.
- Be upfront about areas of weakness. Praise strengths and talents.
- Let them self-evaluate and tell you how they think they’re doing.
- Find a balance between praise and critiques. Don’t overly sugarcoat, and avoid being too harsh.
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