Evaluating employees in the IT field can be difficult because the roles they perform are often so highly technical. New managers may not have the technical acumen to judge the quality of the skills the employee exhibited over the evaluation period. But there is also the human element to an evaluation that makes the process nerve–wracking. How should you phrase a critical conversation so that the employee will continue to stay motivated and engaged? Here are some of our best tips for successful employee evaluations that everyone should understand.
Use Data During Your Feedback Session
Basing your evaluation on anything other than concrete data makes the process subjective. Each technology employee should have clear-cut metrics throughout the year that vary by the job performed. For example, programmers can be tracked on the number of bug-fixes they perform – or cause. Project managers can be evaluated on how many projects came in under or over budget. Simple metrics, like did they arrive at work on time or more complex data like did they meet a deployment deadline, are all data points that can be measured. Each of these metrics should be set early on and then tracked throughout the year. These metrics will make the employee review process less of an arbitrary process.
Seek 360-Feedback From Peers
So much of the work in the IT world is now collaborative. Individuals rarely build software. Instead, it is developed by teams. A group of engineers manages On-premise server rooms. Security teams work together to keep data safe. The point is that IT departments are made up of a variety of teams that also interact with internal and external end–users. These interactions are vitally important to the success of the organization. Creating a standardized tool that allows members of the team to comment on the work of their peers is a good way to establish a culture of accountability in your organization. These forms should allow a numeric evaluation for each of the tasks the employee is responsible for as well as a section to comment further. Managers can gather all of these evaluations and tabulate the data but also glean important insight from the people that work most closely every day with the employee.
Set Future Goals
One of the best parts of the interview process is to engage the employee in goals for the future. It sets the tone for continued work in the company and gives the employee concrete tasks to work toward. Your employee will leave on a positive note with a sense that you want them to succeed and thrive in the organization. One of the most important considerations for the employee’s future goals is that you should work on them together. You shouldn’t be the one setting the goals, but you should collaborate with the employee to create them. Each goal should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely). These goals will set the framework for the next evaluation process, which could happen as soon as once a week, per quarter, or even annually. SMART goals help facilitate a clear-cut evaluation process that you and your employee can collaborate on.