Minimize performance evaluation legal risks.

 
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The goal of every performance evaluation is to identify staff strengths and weaknesses and create a plan for future career development. Employees expect useful feedback on job performance, and an effective performance evaluation system improves employee productivity and a firm's profitability.

However, the performance evaluation process can be a virtual landmine of liability, which is why supervisors should approach it with caution.

Following these evaluation guidelines may not guarantee that you or your organization will never be sued on a performance-evaluation-related matter, but they will result in more productive evaluations, thereby reducing the likelihood of a claim, and they will enhance the quality of your defense should a claim be made. For more on this subject, see "Performance Evaluations," JofA, Oct.97, page 8.

[] Keep all evaluations objective, honest and well documented.

[] Type all evaluation responses and comments on the evaluation form as web as on any attachments. Never handwrite anything, especially in pencil.

[] Do not amend an...

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