Reviewing Team Members

By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching at Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
Photo Credit: @bakerbroductions

Team member reviews are essential. This process allows your employees to understand how well they are performing and what they need to do to improve their work. Also, if your employee is showing a lot of initiative and growth, it is also a great time to review their future with the company.

As for the timing, employee reviews should be done within 90 days of their being hired so that team member knows if they are on track or if they need to make some changes in what they are doing, and it helps you find out what might need to be clarified.

After the initial 90 day review, reviews should be on their anniversary date. A number of experts will tell you to not attach employee reviews to annual increases in pay. They recommend that pay increases and bonuses should be based on merit and contribution to your company rather than an automatic increase connected to an annual review.

Contribution of each team member could be measured by productivity. It is important for them to understand the value of monitoring their productivity if that is one of the measures by which they get compensated. For example, a design assistant should be billing 70 – 80% of their time. If they are not, then it’s important to discover the problem and then to develop a solution.

Set a baseline of what it takes to do the job, and the job description provides the outline of what the person needs to do for the role, but if they are just meeting expectations, and their productivity is low, then you need to figure out what you can review with the employee to improve their job performance.

For example, you want to evaluate the level of performance by the following:

• Exceeds expectations – more than 50% of the time.

• Meets expectations – satisfies job description tasks and responsibilities but does not go above and     beyond expectations 50% of the time.

• Below expectations – needs corrections to stay employed with the firm.

Another part of your employee review could include these evaluations:

• Keep doing.

• Stop doing.

• Do more of.

• Do less of.

• Do differently.

These are great parts of the review process, and will make your life easier if you use them between formal reviews. The idea is to course correct early and often just like a jet pilot when he is flying. He continually course-corrects from the moment he leaves the destination until he lands because he may encounter head winds, turbulence, weather, air traffic delays, etc. You’re doing the same thing with your continual review process.
Once you set it up, the review process will make your job as the CEO of your business easier in the long run. Among other benefits, it is easier to establish a fair and transparent compensation system, and it can establish a clearer communication system.

Finally, some words of wisdom from Brian Tracy, motivational speaker, to share with your team: “Only undertake what you can do in an excellent fashion. There are no prizes for average performance.”

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