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Performance Reviews that Support Staff Development

The annual performance review can be an excellent opportunity to work individually with staff members to enhance their skills and abilities as well as their job satisfaction. Some managers (and some employees) dread performance reviews, seeing them as the venue for telling unwelcome truths. Done properly, however, these meetings can enhance your relationships with staff and volunteers.

  • There should not be any surprises. Performance problems should be addressed on an ongoing basis.
  • The review should go both ways. The review process should allow employees and volunteers the opportunity to discuss their concerns. Ask whether the person is getting what they need from supervision, and whether there is anything that would enhance job performance and satisfaction.
  • Goals should be developed conjointly. Together, you and your supervisee should determine the goals for the coming year. Be sure to help the person to set concrete objectives to meet those goals, and to revisit those goals on a regular basis during supervisory meetings.
  • Pay attention to professional development. Ask about professional goals and interests, and do what you can to accommodate and encourage them. In our field, we have to provide incentives beyond financial compensation in order to retain excellent staff members. Something as simple as offering mentorship for an area of career interest may be of great value to a staff member.


Reviewed: September 16th, 2015