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Employee Performance Management.

Employee Performance Management for small business owners with Henry Lopez and David Begin.

David and Henry share their thoughts, opinions, experiences, and tools to help you with Employee Performance Management for your small business.

Free tools downloads mentioned on this episode:

Employee Performance Management:

  • Why is Employee Performance Management important for small business owners?
  • Discussion of best practices for managing employee performance:
    • Clearly Define Expectations: Develop clear and specific job descriptions for each role, outlining the responsibilities, tasks, and performance expectations. This will provide employees with a clear understanding of their roles and what is expected of them in terms of customer service.
    • Establish Performance Goals: In addition to high-level goals for the business, set individual and team performance goals that are aligned with your customer service objectives. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Regularly communicate these goals to employees and track progress throughout the year.
    • Implement Regular Feedback Sessions: Establish a system for regular feedback sessions with employees. Schedule one-on-one meetings to discuss their performance, provide constructive feedback, and address any concerns they may have. This allows you to acknowledge their strengths, identify areas for improvement, and offer support and guidance.
    • Introduce Performance Reviews: Consider implementing a formal performance review process to provide a more structured evaluation of employees’ performance. Conduct these reviews annually or semi-annually, depending on your business needs. During the review, discuss achievements, challenges, and areas for growth. Use this opportunity to set new performance goals and address any development needs.
    • Provide Training and Development Opportunities: Invest in training programs and professional development opportunities to enhance the skills and knowledge of your employees. This can include customer service training, leadership development programs, technical skills workshops, or industry-specific certifications. Encourage employees to take ownership of their development and provide resources to support their growth.
    • Recognize and Reward Outstanding Performance: Implement a recognition and rewards system to acknowledge exceptional performance and motivate employees. This can include verbal recognition, employee of the month programs, performance-based bonuses, or non-monetary incentives. Celebrate individual and team achievements to foster a positive and motivating work environment.
    • Foster Open Communication: Create a culture of open communication where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas, concerns, and feedback. Encourage regular communication and collaboration between blue-collar workers, white-collar professionals, and management. This can be facilitated through team meetings, suggestion boxes, or anonymous feedback channels.
    • Provide Continuous Training on Customer Service: As customer service is a key focus for your business, ensure that all employees receive ongoing training on customer service best practices. This will help them develop and refine their customer service skills, ensuring a consistent and exceptional experience for your customers.
    • Remember, even without a dedicated HR staff, you can still implement these practices by designating a point person or manager to oversee performance management and create a system that works for your small business.
    • What should the frequency of employee reviews be? Is there a difference between formal and informal reviews?

Episode Hosts: Henry Lopez is a serial entrepreneur, small business coach, and the host of this episode of The How of Business podcast show – dedicated to helping you start, run and grow your small business. David Begin is a serial entrepreneur and Car Wash Industry consultant.


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More about Employee Performance Management:

The Importance of Employee Performance Management for Small Businesses

Small businesses often operate with limited resources, which makes employee performance management crucial to their success. By ensuring that staff members understand their responsibilities and have the necessary skills and support to perform their jobs well, small businesses can drive productivity and increase profitability. This blog post will explore the importance of clearly defining expectations and standards, providing early feedback and performance evaluation, recognizing outstanding performance, promoting employee engagement in customer service, and investing in employee training.

Why Employee Performance Management is Important in Small Businesses’

Employee performance management is essential in small businesses for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to ensure that your staff understands their responsibilities and how they fit into the overall goals of your business. When employees have a clear understanding of what is expected from them, they are more likely to contribute to the success of your business.

Furthermore, employee performance management allows you to identify areas where employees may need additional training or support. This can help to improve their productivity and overall performance, which can lead to increased profits for your business. Ultimately, effective employee performance management is essential for small business owners who want to build a productive and motivated team.

The Importance of Clearly Defined Expectations and Standards for Employees

Defining Job Characteristics and Standards

It’s crucial to communicate clear expectations and job characteristics to potential employees before they sign on. It could be as simple as outlining that it’s an outdoor job, and you’ll be on your feet quite a bit. By doing this, you’ll ensure that the employee has a clear understanding of what the job entails and what they need to achieve. The word “standards” is a better way to approach this communication because it’s a collective goal for the entire organization to strive for. Downloading a sample job description and posting can be an excellent tool to help you align your job requirements and create clear guidelines and standards for your employees.

Regular Feedback Sessions and Employee Reviews

Regular feedback sessions are necessary to ensure a healthy work culture, and they make formal reviews less stressful. They should be more informal and ongoing to ensure that employees receive feedback throughout the year. Giving feedback early on in the process will help employees understand what they need to work on and what they’re doing well. Ongoing coaching and performance evaluation programs are a great way to provide regular feedback. When employees aren’t meeting expectations, it’s important to hold them accountable and communicate clearly how they can improve. By doing this, you’ll create a constructive environment and foster employee growth towards achieving higher standards. It’s also important to use an Employee Performance Review form to guide and document the conversation.

Importance of Early Feedback and Performance Evaluation

Setting clear expectations and providing early feedback is crucial in ensuring employee success within an organization. As a manager, it’s important to establish gates early on to gauge employee progress and identify any potential red flags. By doing so, you can provide the necessary support and resources to help employees develop the skill set required for their job.

An effective way to do this is by providing informal feedback within the first seven days of an employee’s hire date and then at 14, 21, 30, 60, 90, and 180 days. This consistent feedback helps employees course-correct early on and helps them understand how they can meet the organizational standards. Think of it as guiding a rocket to its intended destination through small navigational corrections. By providing frequent and specific feedback, employees are better equipped to meet expectations and achieve success.

Encouraging employees to become better at their job requires a series of small confrontations. By addressing concerns early, managers can avoid the bigger confrontation that can arise when issues are left unaddressed. Adopting a mindset that views employees as allies rather than adversaries is also crucial in this process. Assume that every employee wants to be successful and work towards that goal together. With early feedback and clear performance expectations, managers can set employees up for success and foster a positive work environment.

Performance Review Tool:

Unable vs. Unwilling

Determining whether an employee is unable or unwilling to perform tasks up to standard is an important differentiation to make during performance reviews. This way employers can make the necessary changes to fix the root of the problem, which could be anything from a lack of training to cultural fit. The first question to ask is why the employee is not performing to standards. Are they unable or unwilling?

Unable: If the employee is unable to perform their duties, it is crucial to examine why. Often, it is a lack of training or faulty systems within the company. Therefore, it is important to give the employee the benefit of the doubt and examine how to better train and support them. By identifying where your company is failing its employees, managers can make the necessary changes to create a more supportive work environment.

Unwilling: If an employee is determined to be unwilling to perform their duties, the next step is to examine whether they are a fit for the company culture and environment. It is important to look at whether they were properly trained and whether there is structural support in place before jumping to the conclusion that the employee is unwilling to perform. By doing this, you can examine how the employee fits into the company culture and whether it is worth the investment to continue supporting them.

In conclusion, performance reviews should be used as an opportunity to identify the root of the problem rather than pointing a finger at the employee. By doing so, managers can improve their systems and support employees and create a more productive and supportive work environment.

Recognizing and Rewarding Outstanding Performance in the Workplace

Focusing on Positivity

Many of us are always trying to fix things and get better at them, but we often forget to highlight what is going well. Our brains tend to focus more on the negative aspects, which can be detrimental to recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance in the workplace. As entrepreneurs, we are always looking for ways to move forward and make things work, but we need to consciously train ourselves to focus on the positive. When starting a workshop, it’s important to encourage attendees to share positive experiences from the last quarter or any recent period. This could be a simple yet effective way to shift the focus to recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance.

Implementing Reward Systems

A tried and tested method to reward and recognize outstanding performance is by implementing a rewards system. For instance, one approach is to give gift cards to those employees who are mentioned by name in a positive review. Another is to reward everyone who works a shift on the day of a positive review. These work well in a retail setting, but how do we implement similar strategies in other environments? One way is to identify examples of employees who demonstrate the company’s standards and culture. This helps to reinforce company values and highlight what is expected of employees. Many businesses also use storytelling to recognize employees who have gone above and beyond their duties. At monthly operational meetings, managers can share stories of employees who have exemplified the company’s culture. Recognizing employees’ positive actions reinforces the desired behaviors and improves overall job satisfaction, leading to better customer service.

The Importance of Employee Engagement in Customer Service

Customer service is all about creating a positive experience for the customer, but did you know that it all starts with the employees? Employee engagement and feedback are vital in creating a culture that promotes excellent customer service. Employees who are engaged in their work are more likely to deliver exceptional service, and receiving feedback helps them improve their skills and work towards their goals.

Creating a positive environment starts with the management. Managers should be open to feedback and provide opportunities for their employees to voice their opinions. It is essential to understand that employees are the ones who interact with the customers and know what customers want. Therefore, managers should seek their input when creating policies that affect customer service. Regular meetings that allow employees to share their concerns and ideas about how to improve customer service can be helpful in creating a positive environment.

Employee feedback can also help managers identify shortcomings in their systems. When employees encounter difficulties while working, it is vital to investigate the issue and take action to resolve it. This approach fosters a culture of continuous improvement where employees feel like they are part of the solution and enables the company to maintain exceptional customer service standards.

The Four Pillars of Operations

To achieve successful employee development, it’s essential to have a plan in place. This is where the Four Pillars of Operations come in. The first pillar is identifying what kind of business you want to be. Ask yourself questions like, what kind of experience do you want to give your customers? How do you want to interact with them? What sets you apart from the competition? Once you’ve made a decision, move on to the second pillar, which is documentation. You’ll need to write down your plan, so your employees don’t have to read your mind. Make it clear and concise, so there’s no room for confusion.

The third pillar is training. This is where you start teaching your employees about your vision and what you expect from them. There are many ways to do this, like online reading, videos, practice, and examples. Make sure to give your employees constructive feedback, so they know where they can improve, and reinforce what they’re doing well. This step is crucial because there can be written standards and actual standards, and you want your employees to understand the real standard. If you’re doing these three pillars correctly, the fourth step of reinforcing and executing becomes much more manageable. It’s about doing a little bit every day rather than dumping everything at once. Remember, the key is to make sure everybody understands what the standard is, and training is the best way to do it., Importance of Investing in Employee Training

Clear Path for the Employees

When an employee joins a company, they’re also interviewing the company at the same time. By offering a clear path on what the training process looks like, it helps employees know that they made the right choice. Many companies do not have an operational manual, which is why investing in employee training is critical. By giving your employees a clear roadmap on what their training and development opportunities look like, it reduces the risk of them quitting.

Operational Manuals

Operational manuals are essential for small business owners, especially in the car wash business.

By documenting operational processes, it allows employees to learn more efficiently and effectively. Investing in employee training shows that you value your employees and that you are committed to their success. When employees feel valued, it leads to better productivity, increased employee retention, and most importantly, enhanced customer satisfaction. So invest in your employees, develop operational manuals, and watch your business grow.

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