Preparing evaluations is only a small part of the employee performance process. It is essential that supervisors and managers meet with their employees regularly to discuss expectations, new assignments and work performance. Supervisors should take notes during these discussions and maintain those notes in individual files for each employee. These notes should be supplemented by copies of work products and memos from customers that point out strengths or areas needing improvement. Of course, such work products and memos should be discussed with the employee during the regular meetings.

When the employee’s evaluation is due, a complete and accurate record of the entire year is available and, if the discussions have been documented, there should be no issue of the employee being surprised when an issue is noted in the performance evaluation. Consistent attention to the employee’s performance allows positive reinforcement of desired work habits and early identification and correction of unacceptable work habits and performance problems.

Again, if you are addressing performance issues with a probationary employee and feel his/her performance will improve with more training and need more time to assess his/her performance, you should consult with your manager and contact your Employee & Labor representative about extending the employee’s probationary period. The Human Resources Director should receive the written request to extend probation at least two pay periods prior to the end of the employee’s probationary period. Remember, you cannot extend the probationary period once the employee has worked the requisite hours for his/her specific classification.