Last week we talked about the importance of solid Job Descriptions in helping your employees to understand how to be successful in their positions and to provide a framework for your Employee Evaluations. When you give your employee a Job Description and answer any questions about it, it's important to also explain how that Job Description relates to his or her evaluation. The more directly the two documents are related, the easier it is for you and the employee to determine areas of success and areas of difficulty.
The first step of an employee evaluation program is to have one in place. Ideally, each employee will complete a probationary period in your program; 90 days or so. This will give each of you an opportunity to see if they are a good fit for the program. (Of course, even with a probationary period, their employment is not guaranteed for the entire probationary period; make sure you don't imply any sort of employment contract or you could really be in a mess.) At the conclusion of the probationary period, you need a way to decide if you want to extend an offer for that person to remain on your staff. Your Employee Evaluation can help you make that decision.
After the probationary period, your staff members need regular feedback on their performance. Having a schedule in place for Employee Evaluations makes this simple and predictable. One year is a pretty typical time frame for evaluations; whether it be one year from the date of hire or one year from the probationary evaluation. A word of caution; I worked in a program in which all evaluations were conducted in the same month, regardless of date of hire. This was a nightmare; talk about a sleepless month. All evaluations should never be due at the same time. Spreading them out throughout the year gives you the opportunity to spend much more time evaluating each individual's performance.
Your actual Employee Evaluation form should be, primarily, a reformatted version of your Job Description. If you are requiring that your teacher plan and implement a developmentally appropriate program, you need to evaluate on their ability to do just that. We go section-by-section through our Job Descriptions to write our evaluations. Do not include anything on the evaluation that is not included in the Job Description; that's simply not fair to your employees.
In addition to a rating system to evaluate the employee's performance, your Employee Evaluation form should also contain space to explain why each area was rated as it was, with examples of the employee's performance. It should also contain space to detail any goals that you, as the manager, has for the employee for the upcoming year and any personal goals that the employee has. This will be your opportunity to designate any necessary coaching or training for an employee that is having difficulty or additional training and/or responsibility for an employee that is showing great promise.
Having your Employee Standards of Conduct, Job Description, and Employee Evaluation clear and coordinated will help make your job much easier. If you don't already have an Employee Evaluation form, check ours out at: http://daycaretools.com/DaycareProducts.aspx#Personnel
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