Employee Performance Reviews

Employee Performance Reviews are a crucial part of a human resources department. They not only improve performance, but also cut down on the likelihood of successful unemployment claims against you.


What are Employee Performance Reviews?

Performance reviews consist of regularly meeting one-on-one with your employees. You or a trained member of your team should conduct these. These reviews aim to improve performance of your employees and address any problems that have come up since the last one. Additionally, this is your primary time to create and evaluate improvement plans. Obviously, you will only have these if you have employees.



What questions should you ask during these meetings? Human resources experts have a wide range of questions you may want to ask. However, all of them come down to a few basic ideas. First, you want to address any performance, safety, or legal problems that have arisen since your last review. This is the most important portion of the review. For example, if your employee has been driving a forklift around corners without signaling, you need to address that here.

After that, you want to find out if your employee has any questions, concerns, or issues that may need addressing. For example, if he or she has trouble working with another coworker, this is the time to find that out. This portion should be conduct in a manner that makes your employee feel safe bringing issues to your attention. Next, you want to review goals from previous reviews and set goals for upcoming ones. These goals can be to correct bad behavior or improve already good performance.

If your employee is not meeting previous goals, this provides you with cause if you need to terminate him or her for bad performance. These improvement plans are very helpful in unemployment hearings. Finally, you want to have a little time spent getting to know your employee better or chatting about the workplace as a whole. This often brings more to light that the other questions because the employee feels more received and comfortable.



The main legal advantage to conducting these reviews is the evidence you get to protect your company against unemployment claims. If your employee had a performance improvement plan and they failed to meet reasonable criteria, that usually amounts to cause for termination. The other advantage should not be quickly dismissed. Regular performance reviews improve your employee’s productivity and also make them feel more valued. This leads to a stronger company as a whole.



Can you record these employee performance reviews? The answer is maybe. Certain states have restrictions on recording conversations that require all parties to the conversation consent to the recording. North Carolina does not have that restriction. You can record any conversation you have with your employee without his or her permission. That said, it’s very tacky. Additionally, recordings have to be treated with the same care as all personnel files. You should also know that this does not mean you can arbitrarily record your employees. This rule only applies to conversations, not instances where you are not around. Those are subject to different rules.


Witnesses at Employee Performance Reviews

Can you have witnesses in these meetings? Yes, but they’re subject to the rules regarding personnel files. Additionally, you’re not likely to get as open of conversation if there’s another person in the room. You definitely won’t get an open and friendly conversation if you call the additional person a witness! You can, and should, have witnesses present for situations you think the employee may become hostile. Generally speaking, if you believe your employee is likely to be hostile, you should probably terminate that relationship. For example, if you have an employee who is stealing from you, you likely want a witness when you confront him.


If you have any questions about employee performance reviews, please feel free to contact us using the form below. Additionally, we can be reached by emailing info@lawplusplus.com or by calling 919-912-9640.


The information on this website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Any information is meant strictly for legal educational purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

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