Press Start Leadership Podcast

The Secret to a 5 Star Performance Review

May 31, 2021 Press Start Leadership Season 1 Episode 24
Press Start Leadership Podcast
The Secret to a 5 Star Performance Review
Show Notes Transcript

On this week's episode of Press Start Leadership Podcast, we discuss:

The Secret to a 5 Star Performance Review
Is Stacking the Fairest Way to Distribute Review $$$?

Link to my FREE ebook: 5 Heroic Leadership Skills

Music by: Joey the Mad Scientist

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Christopher Mifsud:

Hi there real quick before we jump into the episode, if you enjoy this episode, or any of the other episodes, be sure to give us a follow or subscribe. It would also be great if you shared it with a friend or better yet left a review so others can know how awesome it is. Thanks so much. And now, the episode.

Joey The Mad Scientist:

Hey there press starters and welcome to the press Start leadership podcast, the podcast about game changing leadership teaching you how to get the most out of your product and development team and become the leader you were meant to be leadership coaching and training for the International game industry professional. Now let me introduce you to your host, the man the myth, the legend, Christopher Mifsud.

Christopher Mifsud:

Hey there, press starters and welcome back to another episode of the press Start leadership podcast. On this week's episode, we're going to discuss reviews and stacking two things that go great together. First up the secret to a five star performance review how to tell your employee they aren't a unicorn, but still special. When I give performance reviews, I use the same system wherever I may be working. I work with the principle of five stars. I explained this before every review. So I'm sure the person I'm reviewing knows where they stand and why it's easy for people to use their own system ahead of time didn't face disappointment when their assessment doesn't match up with their bosses. There's a tendency to award lots of fours and fives. But trust me, once you see my system, you'll understand why those numbers are rare. First, let me describe what each number means starting with three. This is the baseline for the whole process. As a baseline, three represents that you're doing your job. That is great. Nothing wrong with the three. That is what you get paid for. You do your job. Most categories, you will be the three. Most people will be a three. I think Bob is great. He does his job shows up on time. No complaints. For me, that is a solid three individual categories for an overall three, I look for places to discuss either dangerous spots for them dipping to a to or areas they could reach for with a little more consistent effort. Next, let's talk about twos and fours. It too is not performing at the expected level of their work. The two should not be a surprise. The issues have been discussed, you have put together a performance improvement plan. And this annual review falls over this improvement plan period. Note it and discuss it and this is a good time to see if this person needs any support. Hopefully you were doing this regardless. But any touch points with your employees are important, especially for one that is struggling. Usually, I give zero to a couple of these on a performance review. Again, depending on previous issues discussed. I can't say this strongly enough. It is imperative to avoid surprises as they can derail and demotivate Do not wait till the year the performance review to tell someone they need substantial improvement. deal with this in a timely manner separate from the review before goes beyond the expected and exceeds normal expectations consistently. I want to stress the word consistently, often employee say remember that one time I came in early? Or that one time I did this other thing? My answer is usually Yes. And thank you for doing that. Hopefully, you thank them when they did it too. once in a blue moon is an exceeding the normal expectations. No exceeding expectations is consistently showing that effort. You see this in your rising stars and you should be noting their consistent performance, acknowledging it and now rewarding it. Here I tried to find at least one category the employee excels in and give examples emphasizing the consistency of the behavior and the appreciation of the extra effort. The outliers here are truly outliers. As I tell my employees, if you were a one, we wouldn't even be talking at this point. Or it would be a different conversation at least ones are people who fail to improve on a performance improvement plan and just didn't rise above for whatever reason. So with that in mind, I generally never have a one on my employee reviews. There are always exceptions. But I consider it a failure on my part as a manager, and a leader to let things get to this point without a prior discussion. The five is for Olympic athletes and unicorns, they consistently go above and beyond what is expected of them, as well as providing expertise or inspiration for that category of the evaluation. These are not only rising stars, but hopefully, you have earmarked them for fast tracking or promotion. You have already discussed their growth, and you have a plan for this individual. They are hard to keep. And so it is important to keep them engaged and aware that their efforts and work are acknowledged and appreciated. As with the two, a 500 performance review should not be a surprise, the process is simply in the myths of their transition to their new role of bigger and brighter things. Overall, in this system, most employees receive threes, and ideally at least one four to demonstrate their expertise and commitment. Your employees who are working on improving may have it too. But there's an improvement plan in place. rising stars who are growing into new things have their five, you already filtered out the ones prior to this process. The scarcity is important. And it sets reasonable expectations for employees. All the more so since most companies do not reward equal financial compensation during annual reviews, why tell an employee that they are a rock star to make them feel good, but compensate them as if they aren't. Hopefully, you can provide more than financial reward for your employees. But that's another discussion. In the end, the key is to give a fair assessment of your employees and coach them on ways that they can improve. Be upfront about this process. Correct unwanted behavior early not during reviews, track rising stars in a timely manner, so that you don't lose them. Instead, put them on a path of growth and success. Over time you'll get more forest, weed out potential ones and attract more unicorns. Who doesn't love horses so you can stab with their head and those secrets to a five star performance review. Next step is is stacking the fairest way to distribute review bunnie employee leaderboards or as HR hates to call it stalking. Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of stalking employee curves 15 7015 As I said before, I believe that employees have different strengths and weaknesses. You should be constantly coaching and working with your teams to help them grow. However, it is naive to think that at the end of the day all of your employees perform equally. I've heard managers say all their employees are rock stars, maybe so. But are they Mick Jagger rock stars or GarageBand rock stars come that magical time of year for salary views, you face a conundrum of who gets how much. Most companies I've worked for have a set pool based on a percentage of the overall salaries of the company. Let's say it's 5%. So everybody gets 5% of their salary thrown into the magical pool of money. Now, we really live in the world where everyone is Mick Jagger, the easy thing to do is just give everyone 5% call it a day. This also assumes that you hired everyone at market value, and that all roles in the company are paid equally amongst similar roles. So there's no need for market adjustments or discrepancy correction. If this is the case, you can stop reading now. You get a high five and you can get the hell out of here, send me a message for hiring. Going back to the magical pool of finite money, you have to divvy it up some way. You could use performance reviews and take some calculation from that overall score to determine the magical stacking career. That can be dangerous. However, if you didn't double check to make sure that it was fairly appraised. Everyone is a rock star. They have different strengths and weaknesses. They're all equal though. So again, give everyone 5% call it a day. When I tell managers to build a leaderboard of sorts for their employees. If they are really honest, they will say okay, this person is more Mick Jagger than this person. Managers often complete their assessment separate from a leaderboard. That is okay at first, but it's important to have a reference to reel you back to reality. You don't need a team of Olympic unicorns. You have a team of high performing human beings are maybe just a good team. Imagine you're working on individual assessments and see Raul makes okay money when you look at the market and gets good feedback from peers so you give them the 5% but Raul isn't as good as Cindy, who makes less money than the market and gets great feedback from her peers and so you give them 7%. Remember, though, you're working with percentages which translates the money, but someone who's already making less needs a higher percentage than someone making more money to get a sizable raise. When you compare Cindy and roll. You see that Cindy is significantly better than Ravel. But even at 2% higher increase, she's making less. You can always try to make a business case to separate out Cindy from the pool, losing that 5% to bring her to market value. Give me your best shot but if that isn't allowed or rejected. What do you do? Then? You create your leaderboards and want to get a more fair salary for Cindy, you have to steal from Peter to pay Paul, maybe reduce roll down the 4% and give Sydney 10% I hope you're never in that situation. In my experience, though, the reality is that you have to make challenging choices. Knowing how your team stacks up amongst themselves on a leaderboard is the easiest way in Ferris to work through this challenge. Is stacking the fairest way to distribute review money? Let me know in the comments. All right, for starters, that's this week's episode of press Start leadership podcast. Thanks for tuning in. And as always, thanks for being awesome. Give us a follow, like, share, and even review if you feel like it. We'd really appreciate it. Cheers. If you haven't downloaded my free ebook, five heroic leadership skills, click on the link in the description. Tune in next week for your next episode of press star leadership podcast. Thank you. Oh, hi. And the episodes over but thanks for sticking around till the end. Be sure to check out more episodes in the playlist and new episodes every week on Monday. Follow subscribe so you never miss an episode. Don't forget to leave a review. Thanks again for being awesome.