In the United States, there is a crisis in workplace communication: Only 45 percent of American workers trust the leadership of their employers, and millions are fleeing from jobs because companies do so poorly laying out expectations and providing adequate feedback on employee performance.

Reverse the trend and prevent high turnover by building a robust system of employee reviews that offers real insight into your workforce, while giving valuable feedback to your employees. There are five core aspects of employee evaluations that you should address when revamping your system.

Who:

In retail and hospitality settings, determining who should conduct an employee review is often a difficult question. Employees may report to several different managers, juggle a multitude of shifts or work in more than one department, which means the lines between managers can get blurred.

In general, you want the manager with the most direct oversight to complete the employee evaluation. This person has the most insight into the employee’s performance, and can therefore give the most valuable feedback. When there are multiple managers involved, consider creating a review board or team with enough firsthand knowledge of a shift’s performance to speak intelligently about each individual employee.

What:

During an employee evaluation, there are several areas you must be sure to address. If you follow a step-by- step process, your evaluation will touch upon all of these topics.

A simplified example of an employee evaluation process may include:

1. Positive feedback to set the tone for the meeting and put the employee’s mind at ease

2. Constructive criticism for areas of improvement

3. Discussion of obstacles to employee performance

4. Feedback from the employee about issues related to support or performance

5. Development of a goal plan for the future

6. Reinforcement of departmental or organizational expectations

7. Wrap-up questions

Following these steps, combined with using a thorough written evaluation form, can help guide you through the process of employee reviews with the confidence that you will not forget important topics.

When:

Annual employee reviews are standard in almost every industry, but research shows that employees need feedback much more often. Specifically, millennial employees have been found to thrive off feedback and perform better when they receive praise or criticism from a manager.

At a bare minimum, consider quarterly employee reviews. This timetable is long enough for employees to adapt to constructive criticism, but frequent enough that they feel their work is appreciated. You can use the employee evaluation examples collected over the course of the year to make more informed choices about promotions and raises during official annual reviews.

Where:

Your choice of location says a lot about the seriousness of the employee review. If you pull employees outside for a chat by the dumpster when things are slow, they will feel you do not take the evaluation process seriously, and neither will they.

Employee evaluations should occur in a quiet room with a closed door. In this setting, your employees will know they have your attention and can feel comfortable speaking their mind without the threat of someone else overhearing.

Why:

Employee reviews create a bond between the employee and the company that increases loyalty and improves performance. The evaluation process also allows managers to train and nurture employees, rather than spending money to hire a replacement when a worker fails to meet the company’s standards.

By using example employee reviews and following the evaluation process outlined above, you will create a stronger system of feedback that empowers managers and motivates employees.