Author: John Koloda, BComm, CLU, CFP, CHFC, RHU
Many Advisors struggle with how to communicate with deserving employees around a job well done.
We will leave a discussion around appropriate levels of compensation and bonus strategies for another time. The purpose of this article is to highlight the need for some type of performance evaluation and to have your employees view this feedback as a reward. An employee needs to hear the boss tell them how they are doing in a way that highlights their skills and reflects on areas of accomplishment and future development.
The benefits of a formal performance evaluation process are numerous. It is a valuable opportunity to focus on work activities and goals, to identify and correct existing problems, and to encourage future performance. It can have a profound effect on levels of employee motivation and satisfaction as well to help start the New Year with renewed energy and excitement. The evaluation period is also an excellent opportunity for a supervisor and subordinate to recognize and agree upon individual training and development needs.
Advisors are typically a very generous and giving group of people and take many opportunities throughout the year to thank their employees for the work that is being done. In addition to the monetary gestures of appreciation, nothing says “Thank-you” with more impact than taking thirty minutes of dedicated, uninterrupted face-to-face time to discuss the following simple three questions with your staff:
1. Things you (the employee) should continue doing.
2. Things you should start doing.
3. Things you should stop doing.
The third area is especially relevant if there is a specific performance issue. Having a process whereby the area(s) of concern is officially put on the table can go a long way if things ever start to really go south.
Be prepared with a few examples of behaviors and/or actions to illustrate your points, and don’t feel you must have a long list of things that you want to discuss. Quality is definitely better than quantity if you want to maximize the benefits of this meeting.
You should provide your staff with an opportunity to answer the same questions beforehand, and then compare notes. You can also take the opportunity to ask if the employee has any desire for some form of continuing education, or whether there are any special projects they would like to undertake in the office in the coming year. Scheduling a subsequent meeting in the spring where you bring out the notes from this meeting to evaluate how things are going is an ideal way to follow-up, and ensures this discussion is more than an event or, even worse, perceived as a waste of time by your employee.
Practical. Structured. Simple.
Make sure that you give your staff your undivided attention for this meeting. Don’t allow for any interruptions, and let them do most of the talking. In other words, let your sales skills shine!