The Finance Leader Podcast

049: Performance Reviews and Potential

May 04, 2021 Stephen McLain Season 6 Episode 5
The Finance Leader Podcast
049: Performance Reviews and Potential
Show Notes Transcript

Performance reviews may not be the most exciting topic, but determining a team member’s potential is critical to developing your team. Also, let’s think about performance reviews in a different way and that is through a leadership lens. I believe in doing something different, so you create a better way to do something. A better way to develop your team and a better way to create a positive outcome. That is why we lead….to create more positive outcomes for our team.

I will be talking about performance reviews and determining potential and will highlight the following topics:

  1. Team member feedback is an everyday exercise,
  2. Deliver feedback properly,
  3. What is the performance review trying to accomplish,
  4. How will you determine potential for your team members?

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This week I am talking about employee performance reviews and potential. Once you formally evaluate permeate the culture, if you reward individual work or maybe their collaboration ability to solve complex problems, then that will become the dominant feature on the team. So consider what you want your team's culture to be. And then build your team around that, what and how you evaluate maybe how your team acts, especially towards the southern going forward. Please enjoy the episode. Welcome to the finance leader podcast where leadership is bigger than the numbers. I am your host Stephen McLain. This is the podcast for developing leaders in finance and accounting. This is episode number 49. And I will be talking about performance reviews and determining potential and I will highlight the following topics. Number one, team member feedback is an everyday exercise. Number two deliver feedback properly. Number three, what is the performance review trying to accomplish? And number four, how will you determine potential for your team members? Dr. Bob Nelson best selling author and motivational speaker said people may take a job for more money, but they often leave it for more recognition. I want to share some interesting news. I found out this week that This podcast was selected to be on feed spots, top 15 corporate finance podcasts. The finance leader podcast was number eight on that list. So thank you for the incredible support. Thank you for listening. The point of this podcast is to help you as finance and accounting professionals. As I've always said, We are already expected to be technical experts, but it is leadership that can make the difference to help us achieve our goals. Developing your leadership skills can help you stick out in a positive way from your peer group. It can help you get on high visibility projects, and work with the senior leaders, which can lead to exposure for better raises, promotions and other opportunities. Also, these are all resume bullets that can help you advance. And that is why I'm doing this podcast every week. So you can get an edge to move forward in your career. And I love doing it. Thank you again for the great support. In this season. My goal has been to tie together hiring, team culture, expectations, and performance feedback plus a few other important topics coming in the next few weeks. To give you a blueprint to set your team up for long term success. You want to bring in the right team members while also setting a team culture of mutual respect and support through collaboration and group problem solving. Plus how to set expectations to achieve the team culture you want. We want to develop our team into leaders who will partner with other senior leaders to influence and deliver positive outcomes. This week I am talking about performance reviews and determining potential, they are interlinked. performance reviews may not be the most exciting topic, but determining a team members potential is critical to developing your team. Also, let's think about performance reviews in a different way. And that is through a leadership lens. I believe in doing something different. So you create a better way to do something a better way to develop your team and a better way to create a positive outcome. And that is why we lead to create more positive outcomes for our team. Now you have to write performance reviews. And also you will be receiving a review yourself. Do you think employee performance reviews are effective, or get the results they are meant to an evaluation or performance review is a formal feedback mechanism within a specific time period, usually annually, meant to highlight the quality of your team members work. Performance feedback must be done more than just a one annual requirement. Feedback must be continual. This is what it means to be a leader must give feedback on where your team members are performing and living up to the values and culture you desire. There should be no surprises on the annual performance review if you have done your job throughout the year. Now what's the purpose of performance reviews. There are of course many reasons for employee performance reviews to determine the annual raise and maybe their bonus for promotion opportunity, or to even build a case for firing and to also match up to other available roles or projects. Ideally, it should be used to provide areas To improve, which can be added to that individual development plan, that is a great outcome. Now are companies still doing performance reviews? It's still happening. And I did read an article saying that some companies like GE and Adobe have opted out of annual reviews, they're doing more weekly and monthly feedback instead of the annual performance review. What typically happens when doing performance reviews is that managers only remember what you have done in the last few weeks, instead of over 12 months, which makes the process very unfair, I would opt to do more informal feedback on a weekly or monthly basis. Instead of the once per year requirement, you can correct behavior and performance much quicker, it continual performance review builds a better relationship. And it opens up dialogue, especially with their individual development plans. Now, what's the effect of performance reviews on individual behavior, team culture, or how people interact with each other. Hopefully, you can address the behavior or work performance. But what we want is a cycle of team member performance, feedback, corrective action, which then improves performance, which then results in a better and stronger team culture that is supportive and able to accomplish incredible results. It's all interlinked. Now, how do you evaluate potential? Now that's subjective. For many people, your list may be different from mine, here are a few items I look at to evaluate potential. And of course, it depends on what their next level is. So this list may change for whether you're going from individual contributor to manager or manager up to a director or even senior level opportunity. Now, the first thing is, does the person set a strong example of character? Are they also a learning person? Do they like to learn? Do they have a great approach to personal growth? Can they admit mistakes, learn and also move on? Do they fixate on issues? Can they adapt and overcome adversity? fixation is really critical to understanding a person can they help others succeed? Do they put others first or only their own perspective? Can they see the organization as a whole, especially in the execution of strategy do they also achieve results within the vision and values of the organization? Now, this is very important. This is critical. And it's very important to understand how the achieving results when we promote or advance someone who has achieved results, but has left a trail of destruction behind them. In the sense of demoralized team members and broken trust, we continue a cycle of toxicity and destructive behavior. So evaluate how results were achieved. Because we want to eliminate ways to achieve results through toxic means. How they achieve results is important, too. They help and grow people along the way. they partner with people to achieve collaborative solutions to problems or are they hurting people along the way, and we don't want to help advance anybody that uses toxic methods to achieve results. Now let's quickly talk about performance reviews and determining potential. Number one, team member feedback is an everyday exercise. We don't wait until the annual performance review to tell our team members how they are doing in the job. Feedback should be continual, but not so much that your team is feeling overly criticized or wary of constantly being corrected. One on one meetings are great for this, we need to schedule a one on ones at least every other week weekly is even better. The purpose of continual feedback is for to be no surprises. And to address issues sooner than later. No one wants to hear for the first time at the annual review, that they are not doing a good job. So let's address issues right away. Number two, let's deliver feedback properly. Your attitude is everything. When Delivering performance feedback, positive feedback is relatively easy. You tell them what they did well, if you need to address needed improvements or behavior corrections, it's best to approach it from a team building stance. We want our team members to address the issues personally. And to make improvements willingly, we want them to own it and how we approach it affects that if we go into it positively, and trying to build the person up, and they will probably own their behavior and try to correct it properly. If you have a bad attitude, then your team member will not embrace what needs to change and you are wasting your time and their time. Of course I'm not referring to life and death professions that require a more direct approach to correct a feedback like the military or an emergency room. But with our corporate teams, we can extend some additional grace and empathy when working to improve our team. Number three, what is the performance review really trying to accomplish each endeavor? performance review could affect the team culture, if you mistakingly reinforce a counter behavior. So look back at Episode 46. about the importance of team culture. What you evaluate and formally assess will be what becomes a part of the team's culture. It's important to coordinate and synchronize your evaluations around how your team is acting. In the long term evaluations are a documented performance record that could be used for a variety of reasons, including promotions, finding new opportunities for termination. And for compensation, there are numerous reasons to keep in mind how they will be used. We are ultimately trying to develop future leaders. And that is where I recommend you focus your efforts. Leaders build other leaders, we focus on the future. We take our team members, and we try to develop them into future great leaders. Number four, how will you determine potential for your team members? potential is very subjective. It's a guess, who will do well in the future, when given additional responsibility or a difficult task? How will they handle it? Will it overwhelm them? Or will they crush it and do amazing work? Sometimes we know and sometimes our guests is completely wrong. Focus on relationships and positive outcomes while also adhering to Team organizational culture and goals. potential is tough to sort out sometimes, can they overcome adversity in the high pressure when dealing with high level projects, especially when dealing with senior leaders in a C suite. And that is a good place to start. Now, I have another army story. For you all, I had a supervisor in the army who definitely wanted to show appreciation for when you did well, but also did not want you to get a big head around it. Because the work had not ended. Enjoy your victory for a moment. But I need you to bring that same focus and energy to the next hard task. We don't rest on our laurels and we don't forget that people are still relying on us. To bring the same effort. We definitely need to show appreciation for our people in a public setting continually. Now for an easy one today. If you lead a team and are not conducting one on one meetings with your team members, I recommend that you start doing them every two weeks is a great timeframe. To start T's all you need is 30 minutes per team member in a private setting, I would suggest that you have them start each meeting with major projects they are working on and where they need help or if a deadline will be missed. What do they need from you and the team to be successful and then schedule a follow up with whatever they need. You can then review recently completed projects and highlight things that were done well and areas for improvement. Now once a month would be a great opportunity to review the individual development plan every two weeks is a great place to start these and eventually you can do these every week. And I will tell you that you will start seeing great things starting to change in the positive way. They are really effective. So that's why I recommend doing them. I have a free guide for you. It's called the leadership growth blueprint for finance and accounting managers. In the guide I talked about three leadership areas communication, team growth, and empowerment. Plus a few recommendations around challenges with the systems you are probably using to complete your work. The link to the guide is in the episode description. Or you can go to Stephen McLain calm. Please use it to help you with a few leadership wins today. Thank you. This episode is sponsored by my course through finance leader Academy. It's called advance your finance and accounting career developing a promotion strategy that will set you apart. To advance your career you must set yourself apart from your peers, finance and accounting professionals are already expected to be technically competent. This course helps you establish your professional foundation and how you can set yourself apart from your peers by growing your leadership skills and developing your executive presence. You can go to Stephen McLain calm for more details on this career advancement course. The link is also in the show notes with this episode. Thank you today I talked about the importance of performance reviews and potential and highlighted the following points. Number one, team member feedback is an everyday exercise. Number two, deliver feedback properly. Number three, what is the performance review really trying to accomplish? And number four, how will you determine potential for your team members performance feedback is important but we must change our approach. So it is actually effective for your team. The annual performance review is too late to discuss issues, so we need to address it more frequently. Now also I want to give you another reminder about your 2021 goals are you on track. We are third of the way through the year now, and we don't want to be at the end of the year, and didn't make the right adjustments to what we want to accomplish this year. So stay laser focused on those goals, stay on track, adjust and plan accordingly. You're doing well, so don't quit now. Next week will be a celebration of leadership. As I bring to you Episode 50 of the podcast. It'll be a great highlight about how we as finance and accounting professionals can bring leadership into our workplace. We are not just the technical experts, we are leaders who can influence positive change and positive outcomes. I can't wait to share with you this special milestone. I hope you enjoyed the finance leader podcast. I'm dedicated to helping you grow your leadership because it is leadership that will set you apart from your peers. You can get this episode wherever you find the podcast. Until next time, you can check out more resources at Stephen McLain calm and sign up for my updates so you don't miss an episode of the show. And now go lead your team and I'll see you next time. Thank you