“Don’t mistake activity with achievement.”

John Wooden

It is certainly easy to fall into the mistake of confusing busy work for actual results.  On the hardwood floor, Coach Wooden could easily measure achievement in statistics and scores.  As a financial advisor and business owner, this should be easy for you to measure.  However, many business owners have difficulty in effectively measuring the effectiveness of their team members, which is where performance management and evaluations play a role.

I was speaking with a client the other day, a financial advisor that employs 5 full time support staff.  He had concerns about one member of his team.  As he put it, “I just don’t think it’s working out and I need to let him go.”  You may have been there before yourself, and sometimes it is appropriate to separate for the sake of all parties.  However, any business owner making this decision may want to ask themselves and few questions:

  • Have I given my employee the right training, development and support to thrive?
  • Have I communicated what is expected?
  • Do they understand their role and take accountability?

Without seriously answering these questions, letting go of an employee could result in the loss of a potentially valuable member of your team and may expose you to liability as a business owner.

Having an effective Performance Management and Evaluation cycle in your business not only helps to protect you from liability, but more importantly, is the backbone of assessing and developing key talent within your organization.

You can structure performance evaluations in many ways, but an effective system should have four components:

  • Set Expectations
    • What is expected from everyone within your organization
    • Measurable/Reasonable
  • Feedback Loop
    • Process in place for two-way communication
  • Performance Evaluation
    • This is the actual “evaluation” step where performance is measured over a specific timeframe and subsequent goals are set
  • Refine
    • Allow yourself to adjust your performance management cycle to fit the needs of your unique organization

The devil, as they say, is in the details.  By starting with these four components, you can put in place a performance evaluation system that drives growth, enhances accountability and limits liability within your organization.  Not sure where to start?  Reach out to us and we’d be honored to help.

Categories: Insights

by Ben Mossman


by Ben Mossman