Work evaluations are a key tool to assess employee performance against standards and to focus on improvements to achieve career and job goals. Some managers like to involve employees in the evaluation to gain feedback and to get their perspective. As a manager or employee, it is important to understand the pros and cons of employees being a part of the communication process in an evaluation.
For employees, a primary benefit of getting a chance to share your perspective on your work in an evaluation is the feeling that your voice matters. Getting to offer your own view helps protect against the feeling that you are at the mercy of the opinions and assertions of the manager. When you have a say, the evaluation system seems more fair. Goal setting is a common element of a formal evaluation. When an employee is a part of a discussion on performance goals and training requirements, she is more likely to commit to them.
Productivity and Morale
As a manager, your company and your team can benefit from employee involvement as well. Increased employee productivity and efficiency are more common when employees participate in evaluations, according to the North Dakota State Government's human resource website. The intimacy between managers and employees is typically closer. You could learn things by listening that may better your performance and that of your team. Employees may also feel more comfortable knowing they can approach you with concerns and feedback. Another long-term benefit is less staff turnover.
Opening the Door
Most employees would see little drawback to offering input in an evaluation, other than the potential that comments could be used against them by managers. However, some managers fear that enabling employees to have a voice in the evaluation could open the door to negative criticism and venting. Employees may have pent up anger or frustration over certain aspects of the manager's leadership or the work itself. Inviting the employee's input can help get issues on the table, but it could snowball into an ongoing complaint session.
The other slight disadvantage of employee involvement in the evaluation is that it requires more time for both the manager and employee. In general, managers and employees spending time together builds rapport and improves communication. However, the extra time required for the evaluation may make it more difficult for a business manager to schedule. A January 2012 Forbes.com article indicated that many managers don't like giving evaluations and prefer they be as brief as possible. The time commitment is especially challenging if the manager or employee is in the midst of time-sensitive work.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.