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...