Deep sigh. No, the title isn't another example of the circular logic attorneys sometimes (okay, more than that) use.
It's a legit charge: if you do employee evaluations, how are they working for you? Better yet--are you even doing employee evaluations?
At our annual Labor & Employment Law Seminar yesterday, the team presented a Top 10 list of "don'ts" for managers/supervisors in these particularly litigious times. One of those is disregarding the importance of employee evaluations if you are using them. Often, evaluations are presented at the same time an employee is given a raise. Because the employee will be receiving more money, even if it's just a cost of living increase, employers can feel the pressure to present nothing less than an average evaluation--even when the employee deserves less than that rating.
What some employers are finding, though, is that in years where raises aren't an option, the evaluations are becoming more reflective of actual performance. Gone is the need some supervisors feel to "justify" an increase in pay, even when that increase is only due to a COLA. This shift in evaluative approaches is giving pause to some employers, encouraging them to re-think when, how and whether to do evaluations.
Remember: you don't need a form called, "evaluation" to have a useful record of an employee's performance. Documentation of meetings with your employees, counselings, and interactions can create just as clear, if not clearer, picture of the employee's role in your organization.