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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin

๐—ข๐—ฝ๐˜๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ถ๐˜‡๐—ฒ ๐—ฌ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—•๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

Startups sometimes view employee reviews as a waste of time.

Iโ€™ll hear talk like, โ€œWeโ€™re too busy, working on this and that, and thereโ€™s no time to stop and measure performance.โ€ Iโ€™ll be told about a bunch of activities (hours spent, work done, items checked, and tasks completed) which clearly prove that people are working productively.

Why invest in performance reviews?

  • Grow the company more efficiently and effectively

  • Align company goals, team objectives, and individual performance

  • Retain key talent (your best employees want to grow)

Then consider the picture - someone running fast and far in the wrong direction does no one any good. Your employees will help you finish the race.

If these arguments put a spring in your step, letโ€™s get warmed up.

๐—”๐˜ƒ๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ฑ ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜€

If something negative happens, address it immediately. Also use 1:1s to cover any concerns or questions about performance.

"๐‘ฎ๐’๐’๐’… ๐’‘๐’†๐’“๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’Ž๐’‚๐’๐’„๐’† ๐’“๐’†๐’—๐’Š๐’†๐’˜๐’” ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’‚ ๐’„๐’๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’–๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’๐’๐’ˆ๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’„๐’๐’๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’•๐’˜๐’†๐’†๐’ ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’Ž๐’‚๐’๐’‚๐’ˆ๐’†๐’“." - Brett Fox

If an issue happens, discuss it but focus on the behaviors you expect to see and decide on a near date to check progress.

Shine a light on this behavior, don't wait for the review.

๐—ข๐—ฝ๐˜๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ถ๐˜‡๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€

๐˜‰๐˜ฆ ๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต: Most managers are hesitant to offer negative comments. Constructive feedback is only way an employee will improve.

๐˜Œ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ป๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ: You canโ€™t change the past, so cover how to build strengths, improve limitations, learn skills, & gain responsibility.

๐˜•๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜•๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ด: Include both analytical and anecdotal details. Compare ratings over time and use responses for deeper insights.

๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜—๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ: Separate this review from a discussion on compensation so everyone is fully centered on the productivity first and then on recognition second.

๐——๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜„๐˜€

The process should be clear, two-sided, and collaborative. Both the employee and the manager should complete the forms separately.

The best discussions come from discrepancies. Often employees rate themselves lower and do not realize they're doing so well.

Give a copy of the form 1-3 days before the meeting, so employees have a chance to process the comments and prepare any questions.

The investment in aligning employee performance with broader goals and improving outcomes serves the team and company.

๐—œ ๐—–๐—ฎ๐—ปโ€™๐˜ ๐——๐—ผ ๐—”๐—น๐—น ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€

I hear you. Doing something is exponentially better than nothing.

If you really cannot handle a full review process, at least cover:

ยท What did you do well?

ยท What can you improve on?

ยท How can I help you improve?

โ€œ๐‘ด๐’๐’”๐’• ๐’”๐’•๐’‚๐’“๐’•๐’–๐’‘๐’” ๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’๐’… ๐’Ž๐’๐’“๐’† ๐’๐’ ๐’”๐’‚๐’๐’‚๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’ ๐’‚๐’๐’š๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’†๐’๐’”๐’†, ๐’š๐’†๐’• ๐’‡๐’†๐’˜ ๐’Ž๐’‚๐’Œ๐’† ๐’‚๐’ ๐’†๐’‡๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’ˆ๐’†๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Š๐’“ ๐’Ž๐’๐’๐’†๐’šโ€™๐’” ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’•๐’‰.โ€ โ€“ Daniel Illes

Increasing performance and efficiency by a significant percentage will have compounding benefits across the company.

Run fast - and invest in a map.


Photo by George Carman who can be found here:

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