Many employers fail to clearly differentiate between evaluations and orientation meetings… However, as they don’t serve the same purpose, it’s best to arrange them completely separately. Here’s a full explanation.

Planning to evaluate your employees in the New Year? Fair enough, but to be truly efficient, an evaluation cycle should ideally take place in three phases.

  1. The planning meeting

It’s during this initial discussion that the employer develops and schedules the employee’s work objectives. Time should also be taken to explain the targets they need to reach during the course of the year, as well as to identify the resources required for them to do it.

  1. The orientation meeting

Later in the year, the employer and employee get together for an orientation meeting. This offers a chance to take stock of the actions being conducted, re-evaluate the resources needing to be deployed, find solutions to any difficulties, make provision for specific training requirements, etc. What’s different about this meeting? The two parties are on an equal footing, since the aim is to fine-tune the employee’s orientation and enhance mutual cooperation. Consequently, instead of being used to judge or punish, it should be a high-quality moment of consultation, dialogue and exchange of views.

  1. The evaluation

Usually organised at the end of the year or of a project, the evaluation meeting provides managers with an opportunity to look back over a given period. This is the right time to evaluate the employee and draw up a report on the work and results accomplished by them. If it follows on from an orientation meeting, the evaluation meeting should not cause any major surprises. It will primarily be used as a decision-making tool with regard to any pay rise, promotion, career development, etc.

N.B.: due to practical considerations, many companies choose to hold the evaluation meeting for Year 1 at the same time as the planning meeting for Year 2. But for optimum efficiency and for the employee to really flourish, it’s best to schedule at least one orientation meeting during the course of the year.