A performance evaluation is intended to appraise employee’s professionalism, work ethic and job skills. The evaluation score is usually based on quality and quantity of work, manager’s observation regarding how they conduct themselves and attend to their job and how well the employee works with others.
Rating an employee’s interpersonal skills is just as beneficial as rating their productivity, but it is the one area that is the most subjective.
Observation and Analysis of Employee Interpersonal Skills
The effectiveness of interpersonal skills are observed and experienced. Observing an employee go through their day will provide a strong indication of how well they work with others, as will analyzing their participation in and the outcome of a project.
Other employees may lodge complaints against an employee who does not communicate effectively with others, especially when regular communication is mandatory.
Interpersonal skills are considered less than optimum if productivity is affected and continues to be less than what it should be on a regular basis. If morale suffers due to the actions of one or two, lack of interpersonal skills are often cited as part or all of the reason. If communication is inconsistent, whether written or verbal, deficient interpersonal skills are often blamed.
Before an employee can be cited for poor or non-existent interpersonal skills, they must have the opportunity to know the standards.
Employers have their own definition of such skills and the expectations required to fulfill the definition. Interpersonal skills must be a discussion at the interview level and should also be contained in a handbook.
Explaining Your Assessment to Employees
During a performance review, the reviewer should explain the deficiency in the skills, and identify certain events as the reason for the deficient rating. The reviewer should also provide examples of positive interpersonal skills and how they can be applied to the deficient event (Learn more about Developing Interpersonal Skills).
The employee should also be given the opportunity to defend their action and explain the reasons for what they did. There may very well be a logical reason for their action and it might be as simple as not knowing. The reviewer should take the opportunity to provide the educational moment that will make a difference in the future.
Other reasons for lack of interpersonal skills application may include the employee not being suited for their position or the employee may be experiencing non-work related stress that may have caused a change in behavior or temporarily removed their focus from their job.
Allowing Employees to Mend Mistakes
An employee should be given the opportunity to right the wrong. It might mean allowing the employee time off to take care of personal business or it might be executing some form of education. It may also mean reminding the employee of their role in the office and what is expected of them.
Allowing the employee to make the necessary corrections will send the message to the employee they are a valued employee. That will provide the boost in confidence necessary to make the necessary changes in behavior.
Instead of waiting for the next performance review, schedule a follow up meeting to be held in the interim and discuss the effort and progress made in amending the matter.
When evaluating an employee’s interpersonal skills, always use positive words and actions when discussing deficient skills. It will inspire the employee to make a concerted effort to improve and that will result in an employee that is more productive in quality and quantity of effort.