One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is this: “Do you have any sample performance evaluation forms you can send me?” To be honest, I do have samples, but I never send them.
Why don’t I send them? Well, let me ask you: Have you ever seen a traditional performance evaluation system that actually improves performance? Probably not. To my knowledge, no such form exists. You don’t need a sample form. Instead, you need to lead well.
There’s a perpetuating myth in leadership circles that every good leader does annual performance reviews. That’s not true. You can be a great leader without going through the agony of filling out your annual HR evaluation forms.
From my previous conversations, it seems performance evaluations are started because leaders know there are one or two poor performers on the team. Rather than confront those employees, they’re looking for documentation to get rid of them. They fabricate an elaborate performance rating system to try to weed out the bad apples. In the process, they create a system that both supervisors and the employees they lead detest.
(As a side note, if you’re dealing with poor performers, do yourself and the team you lead a favor and read Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud. Then take action.)
Here are five reasons why your performance evaluation system doesn’t work and how to fix it:
Of course, I firmly believe the organization has to establish a clear mission, vision, values and strategy in order for employees to have a framework for great performance. Without that clarity, the team is left guessing what they’re supposed to do. They gravitate to what they’ve always done. That’s the comfort zone.
If you’d like to break the cycle and move in a healthier direction, let’s talk about how we can help you complete a strategic operating plan to create the right structure and accountability to realize it through prioritized action initiatives.
Tony Morgan is the chief strategic officer and founder of TonyMorganLive.com. He’s a consultant, leadership coach and writer who helps churches get unstuck and have a bigger impact. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, Ga.), NewSpring Church (Anderson, S.C.) and Granger Community Church (Granger, Ind.). With Tim Stevens, Tony has co-authored Simply Strategic Stuff, Simply Strategic Volunteers and Simply Strategic Growth—each of which offers valuable, practical solutions for different aspects of church ministry. His book Killing Cockroaches (B&H Publishing) challenges leaders to focus on the priorities in life and ministry.
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