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Evaluating employee performance

Businesses in Florida often set well-defined parameters for their employment relationships that are outlined in their policies and procedures, and sometimes also in employee contracts. According to the Houston Chronicle, performance reviews may be a part of a healthy company environment, although they are not necessarily required. The way these are implemented may benefit a company’s productivity and reduce the likelihood of employment litigation, or they may cause further trouble instead.

Employers should be careful to hold all employees to a common standard, even though their job requirements may vary significantly. Using the specific duties listed in the description to measure performance is one way to avoid the appearance of favoritism. Alternately, companies may use a single evaluation form across the board to prevent discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act are just two of many federal anti-discrimination laws that may be referred to when creating a fair review plan.

It is also important to stay away from language that seems subjective. The Houston Chronicle points out that the burden of proof in a discrimination lawsuit is on the employee. But, once a system is in place, if the employer does not follow it, the employee may believe he or she has missed opportunities for advancement or sustained other damages that are compensable in a lawsuit.

An employee who is unhappy with the results of the review should be allowed to discuss any ratings that are perceived as unfair. By providing adequate feedback, the employer may help the employee understand both what behaviors led to lower scores, and what to do to improve performance and become a valuable asset to the company.

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