The New Hire’s first Performance Evaluation

The first performance evaluation will prove to the new hire that he/she made the right choice



Explain performance criteria in the first weeks of work

The performance evaluation process begins immediately upon hiring the new employee. In the new hire’s first or second week of work, explain the firm’s / department’s performance criteria. If your company has a performance evaluation guide, use that as a basis for the discussion but don’t just hand it to the new employee. Taking the time to explain the guide with examples of superior performance will crystallize the behaviors you want the new hire to demonstrate.

Identify examples of solid performance

Entry-level workers generally don’t know how to perform at the highest level in a new job. If the new hire is an intern, post-college or lower-level worker, consider developing a rubric with examples of “solid performance (meets expectations)” and “outstanding performance (consistently exceeds expectations"). For example, if showing initiative is a key performance attribute, then you might explain the criteria as follows:

"Our firm values self-motivated employees. At your level, to show initiative, you should work diligently to perform your tasks. This is what is required to “meet expectations” for this performance attribute.   Ultimately, we want you to be self-directed, identifying what needs to get done and performing the task with a minimum level of supervision. You will need to be self-directed to “consistently exceed” our expectations for performance."

Develop feedback loops

Feedback is designed to:

  1. Align the new-hire’s goals around the organization’s goals
  2. Motivate the new hire through recognition
  3. Calibrate the new-hire’s performance relative to goals and objectives

Timely feedback is most relevant (at a minimum, you should discuss performance at the end of every project). Ideally, the feedback process should be two-way (as opposed to top-down, one-way delivery). I like to have new hires assess their own performance because it often helps them identify ways to improve. This makes your job as manager easier because you are more a coach than an instructor. One way to accomplish this is to have a new hire write a one paragraph on a weekly basis with reflections summarizing successes and perceived shortfalls.

Next page: Scheduling the performance evaluation meeting and Format for the performance evaluation meeting



About the author

Brian Heese

Brian Heese is the Director of Corporate Work Study Program at a unique high school in Harlem called Cristo Rey. Cristo Rey’s mission is to provide a college-preparatory, high school education to students who for academic or financial reasons cannot attend another quality high school.  Since the students’ families can’t afford to pay private school tuition, the students work at premier companies and assign their earnings to the school. The jobs pay about 45% of the cost of their education; the remainder is funded by donations and a small amount from the students’ families. Brian leads the job program by establishing relationships with companies, training the students for their positions and servicing the 100+ clients that hire the school’s students. Learn more about the Cristo Rey Corporate Work Study Program here