Performance reviews can be stressful for everyone involved – not least the under-performing employee – but lawyers warn that managers may be the worst off since the comments made during the review period can be used against the company to win or lose a lawsuit if an employee sues for wrongful termination.
With this in mind, the pressure is truly on for managers to develop a review process that is not only effective, but also legally defensible should the need arise.
Squire Patton Boggs attorneys Susan DiMickele, Tara Aschenbrand, Jill Kirila, Meghan Hill and Traci Martinez recently compiled a checklist of best practices when it comes to creating a defensible review strategy. Read on to see if your own performance review process meets the grade.
A good performance review process should:
•Represent a standardized system for establishing goals, rating performance and suggesting improvement plans
•Be delivered in a timely fashion
•Include a clear outline of what employees need to do to attain goals and any corrective actions they need to take, including specific recommendations when possible, and
•Strike a balance between criticism about the employee’s shortcomings and specific examples of what employees do well.
•Provide supporting documentation to back up critiques
•Be based in specific facts
•Have written performance ratings sync up with verbal comments made during the review
•Not include inflated ratings designed to avoid having difficult conversations or hurting workers’ feelings.
So tell us, does your performance review process meet these criteria?