Performance reviews are critical tools for evaluating and enhancing employee performance.

As businesses grow, the roles and responsibilities within the organization evolve, which creates the need for a consistent and intentional approach to performance management and development.  

Performance management isn’t just about annual reviews; it’s about ongoing development and intentional management of your team’s growth and performance. Regularly assessing your team helps ensure that you’re meeting their needs and aligning their goals with the business’s objectives. 

Tools for Performance Assessment 

There are various tools available for performance assessment, such as the nine-box model used for succession planning and the people analyser from the EOS system. However, a straightforward approach can be just as effective.

1. Create an Excel Spreadsheet

Start with an Excel spreadsheet and list all your employees by name in the left-hand column. This will be your performance and potential tracker.

2. Evaluate Overall Performance

Consider each employee’s performance over their entire tenure, not just recent periods. Reflect on questions like: 

  • How has their performance changed over time? 
  • Is their performance improving or declining?

3. Assess Potential

Determine the potential of each employee. Consider: 

  • Are they likely to take on new roles or leadership positions? 
  • Rate their potential as low, medium, or high.

4. Enthusiastically Rehire?

Ask yourself if you would enthusiastically rehire each employee. This high bar helps identify your commitment to retaining them. Mark this as a yes or no.

5. Determine Actions

Based on your assessments, outline the actions you need to take as a leader. This might include additional training, role adjustments, or even performance management. 

Conducting this assessment with someone who doesn’t know the employees personally, such as a business coach or HR consultant, is best to provide an objective perspective. They can help you unpack your thoughts and make unbiased decisions. 

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Addressing Different Scenarios 

High Performance, High Potential 

For top performers with high potential: 

  • Focus on retention strategies. 
  • Offer career conversations, mentorship, and challenging work. 

 

High Performance, Low Potential 

For employees who perform well but have low potential for new roles: 

  • Ensure they find their work fulfilling. 
  • Discuss what they enjoy and how you can support their current role. 

 

High Performance, Low Enthusiastic Rehire 

When performance is high, but you wouldn’t enthusiastically rehire: 

  • Reflect on the behaviour or cultural fit. 
  • Address any behavioural issues that might be affecting the team. 

 

Low Performance, Low Potential 

For employees with low performance and potential: 

  • Begin performance management processes. 
  • Reflect on why these actions haven’t already been taken and outline next steps. 

Continuous Review and Accountability 

Review your assessment quarterly to track progress and adjust your strategies. Hold yourself accountable for the actions you’ve committed to, ensuring you support your team’s development and manage underperformance effectively. 

Regular, intentional performance assessments are essential for maintaining a productive and motivated team. By following this practical approach, you can ensure your team’s growth aligns with your business goals, helping you retain top talent and address issues proactively. 

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