Church Culture

​Prepping for Annual Reviews with Develop.Me

It’s that time of year when many HR leaders are preparing to begin their annual review season. But before we invite our staff and team leaders into Develop.Me to write reviews, we have a little prep work to ensure their user experience, and your administration, is set up for success.

1. Audit

Auditing your organizations Develop.Me is an important practice that keeps your records accurate and the review cycle smooth. We recommend auditing twice a year—once mid-year and again the month before you open up your annual review process. So, if you review at the beginning of the year, you’ll want to do a sweep in December or early January.

Here are some key items to audit:

  1. Employee Data
    1. Name
    2. Email
    3. Salary
    4. Date of hire
  2. Employee Assignments
    1. Team Assignment
    2. Location Assignment
  3. Goals
    1. Are all goals approved? In order for a goal to show on the annual review form, it must be approved by the leader. If any leaders have yet to approve a goal, make sure they do so before the review process opens.
    2. Do all Objective Goals (these are your measured goals), have goal numbers in place?
    3. Are all team and organization goals in the system?

Basically – make sure all your goals are ready for the review process to begin.

2. Open the next year's review and set phase dates for the current review

Some of your team members are already thinking about goals for 2017. Create your 2017 review so team members can start inputting goals.

You should also check your review phases for the 2016 performance review cycle. Here’s a sample of how Life.Church sets its review phases:

  1. Self-Review (Phase 1): January 16, 2017 – January 22, 2017
    Team member performs their self-review
  2. Leader Review (Phase 2): January 23, 2017 – February 12, 2017
    Team Leader and Dotted Line Leaders write formal reviews
  3. Response (Phase 3): March 2, 2017 – March 14, 2017
    The time gap between Phase 2 and 3 is a lock out time, during which Human Resources goes over reviews and follows up with team leaders as needed, sets salary increase based upon review scores and inputs salary review data into Develop.Me. We use this time to ready the Summary page for team leader review meetings.During this phase is when all team leaders should meet with their team member to go over their review score and start creating 2017 goals.

3. Train Leaders

Casting vision to your leaders about why a culture of development is important is, well, important. Make sure your team understands why performance reviews are so critical to the growth and the goals of your church staff.

Educate your leaders on things like how the development culture you’re creating fits in with your church mission statement and your organizational values. Help them guide their teams to ‘know, feel, and do’ healthy things throughout the goal-setting process.

Refresh your team on these important definitions:

Self-Review: This is opportunity for the team member to give their own perspective of their performance to their leader

Leader Review: This is the formal performance review

Dotted Line Leader: another leader besides the direct leader who has a voice in the team member’s review.

Review scale:

i. Needs Improvement

ii. Fully Functioning

iii. Exceeds Expectation

iv. Outstanding

If necessary, create a rubric of what each of these points on the scale means to you. It can create a weird perception to see ‘Fully Functioning’ on the bottom half of the scale, but it’s still a marker of solid performance.

4. Communicate to your staff early

Once you have audited, prepared Develop.Me for the review process, and equipped your leaders, you need to start communicating with your team. Below is the communication and resources you may consider providing to your team as you prepare to step into reviews.

  • Initial Email to all staff: In this email you should remind the staff that the year is ending and now is a great time to take a look at their goals and their information in Develop.Me. If they notice any errors, to notify you.
  • Provide guidance on what the review process looks like.
  • Remind them why you do reviews, what is it all really about? Not just evaluating past performance, but encouraging growth and development!

Here's a sample of an email we sent to the Life.Church staff to equip them for the upcoming review cycle. View that sample email to staff here.

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