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Performance evaluations — Pennsylvania

The value of performance evaluations

Performance evaluations can be useful for both employers and employees. Done correctly, they help the employer make informed decisions regarding important employment matters such as compensation, transfers, promotions, layoffs, and termination. They keep the employee informed regarding job performance, including areas where improvement is needed. Performance evaluations are also important, however, in avoiding and defending against litigation. A performance evaluation that creates a record of an employee’s performance can help build an excellent defense to an employment discrimination lawsuit. On the other hand, inaccurate performance reviews or a performance evaluation system that is not taken seriously by management can result in poor employee morale or lowered employee performance and can give rise to lawsuits when employees are disciplined or terminated.

Managers and supervisors need to understand the importance of a performance evaluation. There are several mistakes that managers typically make that can ruin the value of a performance evaluation. For instance, evaluators sometimes rate an employee’s performance as “good” or “excellent” without really considering the employee’s performance or because they seek to avoid confronting difficult personalities. Similarly, evaluators sometimes use the same language on each employee’s evaluation, suggesting that little time or effort was...

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