Give Your Business a Performance Review — Here’s How!
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You probably give your employees’ performance reviews on a quarterly or annual basis. Perhaps you have a proprietary review method, or maybe you use an open-source template that you then customize to your company’s needs. However you do it, you probably find your periodic employee reviews to be illuminating and valuable. You likely use them to make key personnel decisions: who to promote, who to reassign, who to terminate.
It’s less likely that you extend the same courtesy to your business itself — the entity that employs the people you subject to these regular reviews. While you can’t promote or fire your company, you can use the results of periodic reviews to change and improve your business strategy.
Use these questions, adapted from a standard 360-degree employee review, to guide your internal review. Follow up with more specific questions attuned to your company’s specific situation.
Does Your Business Attract and Retain Quality Employees?
Prospective employees know how to spot a good company. High-performing companies are known as fun, dynamic workplaces that offer ample opportunity for advancement and professional growth. Unsurprisingly, they attract and retain top-flight employees. Use applicant-opening ratios and retention rates to evaluate your performance at this point.
Does Your Business Meet or Exceed Metric-Based Performance Goals?
High-performing businesses consistently exceed realistic metrics-based goals across the board. While it’s important to recognize that the occasional miss may occur due to factors outside the team’s control, consistent misses or inaccurate forecasting may indicate underlying weakness.
How Well Does Leadership Delegate?
Does top leadership feel comfortable synthesizing input and delegating important tasks to subordinates?
“One of the hallmarks of a successful business is a clear chain of command through which tasks are effectively communicated and delegated,” says George Otte, Miami-based chairman of Otte Polo Group.
The sooner your leadership team lets go and allows subordinates to make action-oriented decisions, the faster your company’s performance will improve.
How Well Does Leadership Innovate?
Great leaders have an overabundance of ambition, says Hindustan Unilever CEO Nitin Paranjpe. “In an entrepreneur, ambition outstrips resources and that inequality forces the entrepreneur to think differently,” he explains.
If your leadership team is resting on its laurels, it might be time to make a change.
Is Leadership Effective at Addressing and Resolving Business Threats?
When it comes to recognizing and resolving competitive threats, leadership needs to be fearless and decisive. Watch out for top lieutenants that ignore looming challenges or fail to take concrete action to stifle them.
Don’t Fear Feedback
After completing your business’s first performance review, you’ll likely feel a wash of relief. You put your company through a rigorous, unflinching analysis, you’ll think, and came out no worse for the wear.
This is surely worthy of celebration. But it’s not the end of the story. If you’re willing to subject your business to a performance review, you should be willing to do the same for yourself. After all, you’re the company’s principal — its most important employee.
Don’t flinch from this responsibility. If you have an internal HR team member, task them with developing a performance review for the boss. (And assure them that they’ll have free reign to report its results accurately and without fear of retribution.)
Is it time to give your business a performance review? How do you think it will do?
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