No Surprises!

Kevin King —  June 7, 2016 — Leave a comment

h6EABC3B2It is the time of the year when I am neck deep in employee evaluations. This means I need to remind myself of the number one rule when it comes to crafting evaluations – NO SURPRISES! Below are some things to remember to minimize surprises and will help you conduct a (hopefully) stress free and useful evaluation.

  1. Evaluations should be delivered to the employee no later than 24 hours before you meet with them. Not only is this a common courtesy, it will 1) give the employee time to really take in what you have written and 2) prevent them from reading the evaluation during the meeting.
  2. Your direct reports should never read a criticism for the first time during their evaluation meeting. I tell my direct reports that if they find a criticism in their evaluation that is new to them, then I will take it out. It is my responsibility as a manager to make sure I have discussed any issues throughout the year and have given them the tools to correct the problem. My primary tasks as a leader is to help my team succeed!
  3. The evaluation should not contain goals that are old or no longer relevant. Midway through the year, you should have re-visted with the employee their goals and made changes if needed. This will ensure that you are actually evaluating them on the most current priorities.

By following these tips you will not only provide your direct report with a fair and accurate evaluation, but will also start to build trust that will result in higher performance.

Kevin King


Kevin King is the Head of Branch and Circulation Services at the Kalamazoo (MI) Public Library. Previously Kevin led Teen Services at KPL, where he helped build a nationally recognized program. Kevin has presented all over the country on many topics including teen services, innovation, graphic novels, and programming. As a member of ALA, YALSA, PLA and the Michigan Library Association, Kevin has served on various committees and has luckily won a couple of awards. In his spare time Kevin obsesses over the Detroit Tigers, listens to music and does his best to be a kick ass dad to Abigail and Rachael.

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