Humans crave validation. It’s in our DNA. Wherever and whenever we interact with others, we want to know – and need to know – how our performance is perceived. Thus, the performance review.
Here are some “smart” ways to keep your employees operating at peak performance:
- The SMART method. Define the expectations of an employee’s role. Set goals from the start. Make sure to include the following aspects: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Structured. In short, goals that matter to the organization in a way they can be realistically accomplished with measurable results over a set period of time. For example: Increase sales of widgets by 15 percent over the next six months through increased distribution to widget stores in the Midwest.
- No surprises. An annual review is not the time to make up for 11 months of poor performance. Identify gaps as soon as possible, provide critical feedback, train to correct any issues, document checkpoints, and hold follow-up meetings. There’s more needed than one sentence of instructions, but suffice to say a well-run machine does not operate at half efficiency for extended periods of time.
- The hard facts. Sometimes an employee and an organization mix as poorly as oil and vinegar. And usually both parties see this. If this employee is better suited in another role, work toward reassignment. If this employee is better suited in another company, acknowledge this amicably and part ways. You will both come out ahead in the long run.
Conduct performance review at least once a year; many organizations conduct mid-year reviews as well (not a bad idea if you have the time). Moreover, the most successful organizations encourage frequent manager-employee check points, which is another way to keep your team high performing.
If your small business is not so small, you probably rely on various layers of management to do their jobs properly. Don’t forget to review the reviewers. It’s your business, after all. And be sure to reward all those who meet – and exceed – your clearly defined performance expectations.
We’d give all our clients a “five-star rating” if we could. Turn to the performance specialists at Biz2Credit. Contact us for all your small business financing needs. Call us at (800) 200-5678, or visit us online at www.biz2credit.com.