This week we focused on Performance Appraisals. I really hope I never have to do these or next week’s topics. However, I did learn a lot from Ron Porter who is the CEO of Lodgable. It is a website where you can go to and see all the different vacation lodging rental website offerings such as VRBO, HomeAway, Airbnb, etc. He also runs a fitness drink company. His answers were much more inclusive than last week’s interview and I learned much from them. As last week, I wanted to post his interview answers so I can remember them in the future. Some of the key things I noticed in Ron’s interview were that communication is key and making sure everyone is on the same page and has a good understanding of what is expected of them before they are even hired. Also that, at least for Mr. Porter’s company, the evals are not as important as touching base with the employee and having that line of communication open. Ron Porter’s Interview – Week 5:
Performance Appraisal Interview Questions
How often do you conduct performance evaluations? Would more frequent mini evaluations to check on the progress of the employee in accomplishing their annual goals be helpful?
a. This has varied throughout my career. Large corporate environments we conducted Performance Evals quarterly. In the small business we have annual performance evals with weekly KPI reviews.
b. Yes, mini or informal, focused KPI reviews are essential to accomplishing the “Real Work” required to achieve objectives.
What information do you base your evaluations on? What or who is the source of information to determine whether the employee is performing effectively or not?
a. In my current environment, the evals are based on KPIs (Key performance indicators).
b. The individual responsible for the KPI and relevant co-workers (is the reviewee accomplishing what we all agreed to?)
What are the top indicators you look for to determine whether someone is a problem employee or an exemplary employee?
a. Performance against KPIs
b. Alignment with company objectives
c. Contribution to culture (it’s more than just work)
How do you assess if employees are unhappy or unable to do their job? Is there a resource for them to voice concerns if they have them?
a. Pre-hire assessments are critical. In addition to reference checks, when interviewing a potential hire, we request they take a day to participate in a “This is the kind of work you will be doing…” We observe how they perform if they really know how to do what they say they can do & what we need to be done. Weekly team face-to-face performance reports are conducted in an open & honest forum. The “reviewee” knows & so does everyone on the team if someone is unhappy or inept.
b. Yes, Human Resource Director & Owners all lend a listening ear.
What kind of support opportunities do you give employees after they receive a bad evaluation? What is the timeline/expectation for improvement after a bad eval?
a. One-on-one training. If relevant, training course (online or in class), assigned mentor, review of KPIs for clarification & expectation. Emphasis on personal accountability.
b. Timeline depends but in small/lean business environments everything is critical so we don’t have the luxury of letting “Fake Work” linger on. Typically 30 days.
Do you set company goals? How often? Do you encourage employees to set goals within their department or individual goals?
a. Yes. At least annually. Market changes may dictate we do this more often. A certain amount of flexibility is required but moving targets can kill performance & culture. Skill & art required here.
b. Company goals dictate department goals. Department goals dictate individual goals. Everyone better be aligned and that alignment is an ongoing exercise. Real Work becomes Fake Work without continual assurance of alignment across the company.
What systems are in place to motivate employees to perform well as far as incentives or repercussions based on the outcome of their evaluation?
a. Pay for performance (Profit sharing)
b. Owners understanding of what motivates each individual and crafting incentive to that end.
How much does a potential pay raise for employees factor into how you conduct performance appraisals?
a. If I’m understanding this question correctly, potential pay raises don’t factor into how a performance appraisal is conducted.
After you conduct a performance evaluation, who else sees this information in your company? Where is it kept?
a. HR Director. Other Owners.
b. HR office, personnel files in locked cabinet.
Do you feel that formal yearly evals are helpful, or is there something you think would be better for giving employees feedback?
a. In & of themselves, annual evals are zero to marginally successful when it comes to ensuring the effective & efficient performance of work to required objectives. In our environment, a year can be a LIFETIME. 🙂 The project-by-project, day-by-day, week-by-week KPI reviews & alignment checks are most effective.