A useful tool in evaluating employee engagement and success, performance reviews have long been used by executives to manage employee performance and frame the conversation around their desired potential. Yet, despite their use, many finance and accounting executives may sometimes fail to employ successful performance reviews.
David Teets, CMA, CPA, general manager and COO of Vasari Country Club in Naples, Fla. and a member of the Institute of Management Accountants’ (IMAs) Small Business Committee believes that the biggest mistakes that employers make when instituting performance reviews is failing to do them on a regular basis.
“Oftentimes you see reviews come about as sort of a challenge session or only when employees are up for a raise and I think employers are really missing the boat by failing to use this tool to develop their employees to their fullest potential,” said Teets.
In order to make the most of these reviews, organizations should utilize them as a critical part of their employee development program – implementing regular reviews and using this time to set a baseline for future performance.
“Reviewing employees’ performance over the past year or quarter should only be the starting point,” said Teets. “Then you want to use that review process as a building block to help employees rise to whatever heights they are capable of rising to. So the review at any given period acts as the baseline to build plans and programs for that employee going forward.”
In order to develop a plan for employee growth, organizations should set attainable goals and objectives for each employee on their team – outlining both the desired outcome as well as the timeframe in which this goal should be achieved.
“In all of my reviews I do a three goal process. So I set three goals for the organization and I have the employee set three goals for their personal development,” said Teets. “Then, because we sit down and discuss these goals and come to an agreement on what we think should and can be accomplished, that becomes our contract moving forward.”
By employing this process, organizations will be forced to take an honest look at their employees and examine those areas that may need improvement. However, the overall tone of the review should remain positive.
“If the performance review is focused on negativity, there is really no positive to go from or to work towards,” said Teets. “Most people are hardworking and they try to do the best that they can so I think it’s important to focus on how we can make them better, rather than focusing on where they have fallen short.”
By viewing performance reviews as an opportunity for improvement rather than a chore that must be completed, organizations will ensure that they are making the most of their current team and improving the organization as a whole.
“The reality is that you have a chance to help people achieve things that they may or may not be able to do on their own and build your organization – whatever it is – to the ultimate heights with the people that are on the inside,” said Teets. “From that standpoint, I really think all employers should continually strive to educate themselves on this process.”
Click here for a PDF of this article.