The Manager's Guide to Accurate Evaluations

HR's Guide to Accurate Evaluations

Many managers find the performance review process awkward and subjective—which tempts them to give all employees average or high scores.

But inflating ratings sends the wrong message to staff about the purpose of performance management and undermines progress toward organizational goals.

This toolkit includes ready-to-use worksheets, guides, and more to help managers accurately evaluate staff.

Download the toolkit

Why honest reviews matter

Accurate ratings motivate staff to improve, foster top talent, and enable organizations to fairly link compensation to performance—and they're also personally important to staff. Employees like to know where they stand and tend to appreciate managers who deliver constructive feedback, be it positive or negative.

That's why we've designed a toolkit to help managers home in on the right ratings and deliver effective performance feedback. The resources will help ease the review process—and motivate staff to do their best.

Resources to support the initial review

When managers are ready to start employee assessments, they should keep in mind five essential tips to ensure they're rating fairly. We've compiled these tips into a printable cheat sheet that managers can quickly scan during the review process.

Inevitably, some employees do not meet expectations. When this happens, managers have to deal with one of the hardest parts of performance evaluations—giving bad news to underperformers. This toolkit includes resources to ease these difficult conversations.

Resources to help justify employee ratings

After completing initial evaluations, managers often wonder if their ratings are on target. They may have dozens of direct reports, which makes accuracy difficult, or they may not know how their ratings compare to organizational expectations.

The final section of our toolkit helps managers double-check their ratings, understand how employees perform as a group, and adjust ratings appropriately.

7 tools to help managers rate more accurately

Worksheet to help deliver difficult feedback

Featured tool: Worksheet for planning tough conversations
Delivering honest feedback just got easier. We’ve created a worksheet that helps managers develop a watertight conversation outline and solidify their talking points before meeting with employees.

First, learn how to use the worksheet. Then, download copies for your team.

Section I: In-the-Moment Support for Employee Evaluations

  • Five tips for rating more accurately
    • Prepare for and conduct direct report evaluations
  • Prepare an outline for delivering difficult feedback
  • Keep difficult performance conversations on track

Section II: Double-Check Your Ratings

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