How do we evaluate staff and executive director performance?

Performance evaluations are key to keeping communication lines open, effectively managing people and getting their best, everyday. Evaluations boost employee confidence, encourage individuals to achieve, and correct performance issues. They also help employers provide employees with necessary support and may protect employers from false claims of wrongful termination.

In the case of employees, evaluations are generally conducted by an immediate supervisor. In the case of the executive director, a board member should lead the effort.

Following are some key factors to consider:

Develop a regular schedule for evaluations.

Depending on your organizational needs, consider conducting employee evaluations annually, semi-annually or quarterly. They should be conducted either on the same date for all employees or on the anniversary of an employee’s hire.

Be clear, objective and consistent about performance standards.

Develop a standard evaluation form for use organization-wide, to ensure balanced, fair results.

Keep the discussion positive, but don’t be afraid to accurately reflect performance. Discuss both strengths and weaknesses using specific examples where expectations have been met, exceeded or fallen short. If performance is low, set a date to meet again soon and review progress.

Once the form has been completed and discussed with the employee, be sure it is understood. Leave space for employee comments and a signature.

Board evaluations of the executive director should not be missed.

Executive director evaluations are a significant component of a board’s responsibilities. They are critical to ensuring an executive director is in sync with a board, and driving the organization forward toward its mission. Evaluations also help to clarify expectations and set goals for the future.

As with employees, it’s important to establish clear, consistent criteria and processes for executive director evaluations. You’ll also want to set regular reviews, at least annually.

Questions to consider before evaluating an executive director:

• Who will be involved in the evaluation?
• What form will the evaluation take – 360°, feedback, meeting of performance goals, or …?
• How will future goals be established?
• How is the evaluation and review tied to compensation?

Managing People FAQ

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