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THIS WAY UP: Performance Reviews Guide Employees Toward Advancement

by Jerry McVety
Posted On: 1/3/2011

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Jerry McVety, McVety and Associates, foodservice, food service, food service education, employee training, hiring tips, employee performace evaluation, customer service, vending, vending business, vending machine, coffee service, office coffee service, OCS


In the November issue, I provided a basic overview of the initial steps in hiring and training, and evaluating the performance of the new hire. The objective is to have each employee performing at a level that exceeds the customers' expectations, with the ultimate goal of keeping your company successful as an organization and a viable business.

After new employees have proven themselves in the initial 90-day probationary period, it is time to establish a second-level performance review that should be done, formally, at least once a year, and preferably twice per year. These performance reviews can either be conducted in July and December (if done semiannually), or on the anniversary of the employee's hire date. However, it is paramount to provide ongoing feedback to each employee throughout the year.

The formal review provides the opportunity to quantitatively grade the employee's performance during a period. This review identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the employee relative to his or her assigned job and duties, and also can be used as a tool to determine whether the individual needs more development, or is ready for advancement and a salary adjustment.

The formal review process that I have used successfully involves a 1-5 rating system, with five being the highest score. To make the most effective use of a formal employee review, it is essential to define the performance description assigned to the rating. The ratings are as follows:

Rating 1: Performance does not meet minimum standards for the position. Corrective action needs to be implemented immediately, and instant improvement is required.

Rating 2: Performance meets minimum requirements for the position. Employees at this level typically produce inconsistent results and need close supervision. Improvement is required.

Rating 3: Performance is fully effective and meets the standards established for the position. Employees at this level achieve satisfactory results and reach the minimum of expected performance levels.

Rating 4: Performance that frequently exceeds the standards established for the position. Employees at this level require minimal supervision, and clearly stand out among their peers.

Rating 5: Performance which consistently exceeds the standards established for the position. Employees at this level typically require little or no follow-up, and are considered exceptional by their peers.

It should be clear, when reading these criteria for the different scores, that if an employee is effective and meets the standards of the position on a consistent basis, he or she should be given a score of three. Although this grade indicates that there are probably no problems with this employee, this performance level will not assure success in the future, or predict more than an average effort in overall performance.

It is crucial that all employees understand the five-point evaluation system so they have some guidelines for working to attain higher performance levels, particularly to the four or five grades.

Scoring a four or five will not only increase job satisfaction and security, but also helps employees wishing to advance their careers become more successful, since their performance exceeds expected standards and continues to improve.

In the next issue, I will recommend basic criteria that can be applied to almost any position. These can be the basis for establishing a formal performance review, and, of course, can be modified according to particular needs.

McVety Employee Evaluation

JERRY McVETY is founder of McVety & Associates, an international foodservice and hospitality consulting firm. He has held a variety of executive positions in the foodservice industry. McVety, a Knowledge Source Partner in the National Automatic Merchandising Association, is also an active speaker on the industry lecture circuit. He can be contacted at