Employee Performance Management



Producer / Owners will realize the importance of the employee performance management process.




Employee evaluations…they are often viewed as that once-a-year, necessary evil. But, if your operations most important asset is its human resources, shouldn’t an evaluation be viewed as a priority, done on time, with consideration for future growth of the employee?


What exactly is employee performance management? It is an uninterrupted cycle that has fundamentals such as:

  • understanding the vision, strategy, and values of the operation;
  • translating the operation’s strategy into performance indicators;
  • planning and communicating individual and team objectives;
  • managing, developing, and coaching for performance, and;
  • measuring, evaluating and rewarding for performance.


Employee evaluation is a task that is intended to assist the employee in becoming better at what they do and how they perform on the job. From the employee’s perspective, the evaluation document and meeting can be the most important factors in their career development. An employee assessment on the other hand is intended to quantify how the employee performing their duties. There is a vast difference between the two concepts and how they are used.




As a manager or owner, an important part of your job is motivating and encouraging your employees to be productive contributors. Employee evaluations are a powerful tool toward this end. By approaching the evaluation process as an on-going, positive, career builder you can:

  • increase communication.
  • establish clear expectations.
  • reinforce good performance.
  • improve satisfactory performance.
  • foster a spirit of cooperation and teamwork.


Some things you can do to augment the effectiveness of the evaluation process include:

  • Hold periodic informal reviews with your employees.
  • Acknowledge high-quality performance immediately.
  • Address troubles or concerns as soon as they occur.
  • Observe and record specific examples of performance whenever they occur.
  • Keep communications open and remember to ask your employees about their feelings and perceptions.



Steps in preparing for a successful employee evaluation session.

1. Gather input from an assortment of sources.

  • Observe and record specific examples of performance as they occur.
  • Enter in employee record / journal monthly comments about each employee.
  • Solicit input and feedback from colleagues and other persons.
  • Request the employee prepare a self-evaluation of projects and activities.
  • Review previous evaluations, self-evaluation, and other progress reviews you’ve conducted.


2. Be thorough.

  • Be complete in your comments and give examples of the employee’s actions that support your points.
  • Focus on the observable performance, behaviors, and results.
  • Point out the effects of the employee’s behaviors and actions how they’ve helped or held up the business.
  • Identify what the employee should do to enhance or advance their position.
  • Do you and the employee have a clear definition of the position requirements?


3. Preparation for meeting.

  • Balance positive and negative performance feedback. Provide praise as well as provide constructive criticism.
  • Don’t overlook either positive or negative behavior.
  • The highlighting should be on joint problem solving and focus on future actions.
  • Be prepared for any response, and be ready to listen.


4. Review the evaluation with your own manager or team leader.

  • Once you have an evaluation document you’re satisfied with, have your own manager review it for comments and suggestions.
  • Keep your manager or team leader informed about your progress and status.


Conducting the Evaluation


When you sit down with the employee for the evaluation meeting give the meeting the preparation and priority it deserves – the same as you would expect for your own personal evaluation with your manager or team leader.

  1. Hold a brief, preliminary meeting.
  2. Schedule the evaluation session at a good time for both parties.
  3. Create a positive, open, and communicative environment.
  4. Be responsive to the employee’s feelings.
  5. Make the evaluation session a collaborative event.
  6. Arrive at a shared agreement.


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Information developed for the Pork Information Gateway, a project of the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence supported fully by USDA/Agricultural Research Service, USDA/Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, Pork Checkoff, NPPC, state pork associations from Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Utah, and the Extension Services from several cooperating Land-Grant Institutions including Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, University of Minnesota, University of Illinois, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, Purdue University, The Ohio State University, South Dakota State University, Kansas State University, Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin, Texas A & M University, Virginia Tech University, University of Tennessee, North Dakota State University, University of Georgia, University of Arkansas, and Colorado State University.