As the end of the year approached many of us plan for staff performance evaluations. For most of us that means racking our brain to come up with some specific examples of what our people have done performance wise that is worth noting. For most of us that also means that we have about the last 6 weeks to pull from in our memory. This is super frustrating as a manager and it’s also unfair to your employees.

How do you avoid this? You take ongoing performance notes throughout the year on each of your people’s performance. This can be in the form of a notebook with a tab for each employee; a file folder in your email; a note on your Smart Phone; a list in your gmail calendar; whatever it is it needs to be kept updated on a regular basis. Doing this initially takes some practice but once you get into the habit of making notes on your employee’s performance in real time (and about once a week or once every two weeks) you will not regret it come evaluation time!

Your ongoing performance notes then provide the objective evidence as to how you score a particular employee on their annual review and simplify the process. Remember too that if it is important enough for you to document it in a performance note it is important enough for you to address it directly with them.