Performance Reviews on the Farm

Managing Talent

Performance reviews: simplified and impactful!

Published on: February 6, 2013

Have you ever received a performance review? If you are an owner chances are you haven't had the pleasure. It is hard to fully appreciate them if you have not been on the receiving end.

I actually remember almost all of the evaluations I have ever been given and no, they weren't bad.  Why was the event so impactful?  Part of it is just human nature and the fact that I had to stop to analyze if what I was doing was just good performance or was it performance that was leading to the overall success of the business. I also knew at the end of the exercise my manager was going to freely give me their opinion on how I measured up. 

What is the purpose of a review? It is not only a tool for the manager and their employee to have a scheduled, frank conversation on what is and isn't working. It is a tool to remind and reinforce to the employees what is important to the business by having them self-evaluate against key indicators.  

For managers who may struggle to give feedback, the review is a useful way for them to have a starting point and a reference to assist in conveying their message. 

There are all types of performance reviews and various ways to go about executing and rating. For farms, as many of our employees are operators, mechanics, etc. who may not be used to structured reviews, I am a fan of a simple performance review. Develop a review that lists key behaviors important to driving business results, and requires employees to analyze and rate themselves on how they are doing against those behaviors. 

Always have employees give feedback on themselves first, before the manager does. Employees are most often very well aware of their flaws and it makes the employee less defensive during the conversation as they have already thought through some of their weaker areas.   

How often should you do performance reviews? Twice a year. If done right, the activity should not take more than a week and a half.  Give the employees a few days to evaluate, give the manager a few days to add comments and schedule the time to hold the conversation.

Need help getting started?  Reach out to me and we can discuss the best approach.