“We currently deliver performance evaluations two times a year. Isn’t that adequate for accurately assessing any new or existing hire?”
While the majority of companies out there still operate like this (if they do evaluations at all) rather than build out a comprehensive ongoing system, having an employee review twice a year is the same as attempting to stay in shape by going to the gym 5 times a year. Here’s some coaching I offer to my clients on this subject.
Reviews only twice a year make a company vulnerable to costly mistakes. More frequent employee reviews will prevent two of the greatest challenges amongst management and business owners.
1. Keeping Them Around Too Long.
Are you keeping someone aboard who isn´t serving the best interests of the company? The "Lets just wait and see" approach is a surefire strategy for failure. Are you trying to be the "good guy?" Are you worried about having to refill the position? Are you attached to making this person work out?
Every day you keep a bad hire aboard costs the company money, time, leads and many selling opportunities. Don´t let your staff keep you prisoner. Look at the numbers. Make your decision based on their productivity, not on your emotions.
One of the hardest parts about being the manager is letting someone go. Instead of asking, "What´s best for me" or "What´s best for the salesperson," ask yourself, "What´s the best decision for the company?" The answer you come up with is typically best for all parties involved.
2. Letting Them Go Too Quickly
If you´re expecting a new salesperson to produce immediate results without any conscious effort on your part, chances are you´re hiring from need rather than from choice or you haven´t taken the time to develop a reasonable barometer for acceptable performance. If you don´t have the time, mindset or patience to let them grow or to put these systems in place, you may wind up firing a salesperson that in the long run may have been your top producer.
Before you make the decision to let someone go, look in the mirror and ask yourself, "Have I done everything in my power to try and make this person successful?" If the answer is "Yes," it´s time to move on to more promising candidates.
Aside from staff meetings or one on one management meetings with each employee, some companies hold year-end reviews. The problem is, unless you are continually checking in and meeting with your staff throughout the year, the year end review is often the first time that both the employee and employer get to share their wins as well as their challenges.
More frequent reviews enable you to identify and eliminate problems that can compound over the year and cost the company money, new business and countless hours in salvaging this employee. And if they lost this employee, it would have cost the company even more time and money to refill this position.
Frequent reviews throughout the year make it possible to turn a year-long problem into a minor week-long concern. Checking the pulse of your team and each individual on a consistent basis allows you to handle the little problems before they become the big problems that could have been avoided in the first place.