The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council, an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and e-mail lessons. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.
Extraordinary company cultures don’t happen by accident. Demonstrate to team members that your values and culture matter by evaluating how well each team member has exhibited your foundation values. — Kevon Saber, Fig
It’s critical to me to know what my team members are interested in learning and where they want to grow. This type of question uncovers where their interests really lie, and when I hear “nothing,” I know that the employee has become complacent in his or her job. Reviewing past behavior is great, but looking forward is equally important. — Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems
3. Effective management
Our evaluation system breaks down all of the tasks in which an employee must be trained. The table lets us know if they still need supervision or can train and manage effectively. Once the employee is able to train and manage, I always ask, “If tomorrow I needed you to run a division of the company, which would you pick and why? How would you make it better or more efficient?” — Derek Capo, Next Step China
4. Impact on others
Employees should develop self-awareness about how their actions and behaviors affect the rest of the team, both positively and negatively. Learning the positive effects of their behaviors helps them feel rewarded about their work, while discovering the negative impact of their behavior helps them think about corrective measures they can take to create a better working environment. — Danny Wong, Blank Label
5. Employee comment section
Allowing employees to ask questions — or at least including a comment section — is important. There’s no point in giving out performance reviews unless they’re used as a basis for discussion so employees know how they can get better. — Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
6. Detailed goals
Having specific goals that can be measured is crucial. For example, what’s more powerful: saying you want to lose weight or lose five pounds by Oct. 1? Likewise, do you want to increase sales or add another five sales per week by the end of the summer? I recommend working with each employee to set realistic goals. And remember that regularly measured goals tend to have a higher success rate. — Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net
7. Personal development
In addition to asking about their deliverables for the company, I always ask people about their personal development throughout the past month. Sometimes, one might be less if they have focused on long-term progression, and more developed and skilled employees will produce better results in the months and years to come. So, the main piece to include is the long-term focus! — Christopher Pruijsen, StartupBus Africa
8. Clear expectations
I’ve been reviewed in the past and was graded on variables that didn’t relate to me or were so vague that I wasn’t sure what aspect of it I was really being measured against. When people don’t have clear expectations/goals, they don’t achieve them. Communicate these early on, and include them in the review as a point of reference to show where they surpassed or fell short of expectations. — Fabian Kaempfer, Chocomize
It’s often been said that performance reviews should never be a surprise. And yet, they so often are. It’s important to see the gaps between how you think an employee performed and their own perception. Those gaps can help with learning, coaching, goal definition and expectation setting. — Susan Strayer LaMotte, exaqueo
One of the biggest factors that drives performance is ambition. Ambitious team members are going to go for the extra mile and make things happen. Ask employees where they see themselves in three to five years, and compare their answers with answers from previous years to track their progress.
11. Peer reviews
We do a 360-degree review for our entire team. The most interesting question without fail is, “What would you have this teammate do to increase his or her rating by one point?” Assume you create a 10-point scale and you rate the employee an eight. What would make them a nine? We learn immediate development goals and gain a much clearer understanding of how our team interacts.