Human Resources |
Article by Kelly A. Garnes, Gill St. Bernard’s School
From the September/October 2021 Net Assets magazine
Picture this. Your evaluation process with a longtime member of your team has become spotty, especially with the many challenges brought on by the pandemic. You haven’t had a chance to check in recently. Unfortunately, the person begins to display behaviors not aligned with your school’s values. You address them several times, either verbally or perhaps with an indirect email. The behavior continues. The employee does not understand that you are concerned. Mission alignment has gone off course.
The behavior continues until it’s untenable to have them on the team, and you discuss it with the person. They’re blindsided. They’re hurt. It’s a mess. You feel you’ve communicated with them and provided plenty of opportunities to correct course. They hastily threaten legal action, and your simple conversation is now more complicated.
Next, you must dig through paperwork to see when, where and how you informed the team member that their work needs improvement. Now the situation is urgent. If you had a framework and timeline, you would have been compelled to memorialize the conversations and would have them to reference.
I am fortunate to currently work in an environment where we avoid these difficult situations. How? We prepare. It’s considerable work. However, we all appreciate the performance management framework and its implementation. It communicates a message — it informs the community and the staff of the organization’s core values, which become actionable behaviors. It gives leaders the opportunity to model these behaviors and gives space to realign and reset if the team or an individual falls off track. It encourages a growth mindset, that nothing is perfect and mistakes will be made, but iterative learning is possible over the long term.
Setting up this framework feels daunting. It can be a big fight, and you may be tempted to push it off, telling yourself you can work on it tomorrow and that it’s not as urgent as a student issue or parent complaint. I suggest that having a framework that communicates your school’s core values and behaviors is at least as urgent, if not more urgent, than most parent concerns. By creating a strong performance framework, accompanying evaluation, management evaluation trainings and a well-communicated timeline, you keep your school on the path to success and proactively manage employee issues and concerns.
Here are five key tenets when considering why you should create or update your performance management framework.
The benefits of having a performance management process far outweigh the sticky, sometimes messy work of establishing and aligning behaviors into a codified system that becomes established in our community. All of our work is centered on the wellbeing of the students in our charge. Having a clear rubric for what behaviors adults on campus are to emulate will eventually help our students reach their full potential. It’s certainly not an easy endeavor but one that is fully worth the effort.
Mission & Motivation: Recreating the Performance Measuring Stick (Sep/Oct 2018)
Does Feedback Do More Harm Than Good? (Dec 2020)
3 More Growing HR Challenges: Performance Management, Risk Management, Compensation Models (Jan/Feb 2018)
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