Many Americans get their first job working at a fast-food chain. You may have been one of them. If so, you probably remember your first day. Maybe you started at a register. Or perhaps you began in the kitchen. Either way, you had a lot to learn in a short amount of time. Everyone was counting on you to help keep the lines moving. Patience isn’t a virtue in this business, after all.
When completing performance reviews, psychologists and researchers alike agree that managers naturally exhibit bias in the ratings. To be fair and objective, a performance evaluation must be based on the employee’s job-related behavior, not on the employee’s personal traits, work situation, or other factors unrelated to employee performance. While subjectivity and partiality will never be completely removed from the process, it is important to keep some of our most common prejudices in mind when completing performance reviews.
We’re all supposed to feel stress from time to time. It’s the way the body responds to demands and dangers. A stressful event triggers the release of hormones. These hormones, according to Psychology Today, “increase heartbeat and the circulation of blood to support quick action, mobilize fat and sugar for immediate energy, focus attention to track the danger, prepare muscles for movement, and more.” This fight-or-flight response helps us overcome these challenges. It can save our life before we realize we’re in danger.
We are going to talk for just a couple minutes about the magic formula for documentation. Why are we talking about documentation at all? Well, one of the most common questions we get is, “Can I terminate this employee?” The first thing we say in response is, “Do you have documentation of the poor performance or the behavioral issue?” Sometimes the answer is “yes,” often the answer is “no.”
It is really important that employers have documentation to back up their employment decisions. That documentation should have a few elements. So, let’s talk about those.