I have a secret to tell. Yup. It’s not particularly a secret that’s juicy or exciting. In fact, it’s quite boring. But, it might raise your eyebrows. What’s my secret?
I enjoy performance evaluations!
Okay, I said it. That cat is out of the bag. In today’s culture, it seems like performance evaluations are something to be avoided and feared. As ministry leaders, we need to embrace performance evaluations as something of value.
Here are some shocking truths about performance evaluations:
- Performance evaluations are not about determining whether you get a raise or not. They are about professional growth. They are about helping you and your team grow and become better ministers.
- Most ministry staff members don’t receive a performance evaluation. Okay, maybe that is not a shocking truth to you, but it should be. I truly believe it is unjust for ministry leaders to not receive a performance evaluation.
- Volunteers need performance evaluations, too. The way the process looks might be different for a volunteer versus a ministry staff member. However, we should be assessing our volunteers for the same reason that we get assessed ourselves: to help our volunteers grow and became better ministers!
- The best practice is to write your own performance evaluation. Let’s be fair. If you are a pastor supervising more than five team members, it becomes very difficult to do a great performance evaluation process. The recommendation is that you have your team do a self-evaluation and submit it to you for a review and edits. Then, the two of you can meet to discuss the evaluation in person.
- Do not wait until performance evaluation time to bring up all the concerns you have with your team member. To be a good ministry leader, we must provide constant evaluation and feedback. If one of your team members makes a misstep, the best formula is to correct it right away. Don’t wait until the once-a-year performance evaluation. There’s nothing worse then getting dumped on by your leader at the end of the year. It’s not particularly helpful or uplifting.
- The same goes for affirmations. Don’t wait! Affirm right away!
- Performance evaluations are a time to re-write your job description. Part of the performance evaluation process should include reviewing the job description and making sure it is still accurate. If it is not accurate anymore, it’s time to re-write it. Reviewing the job description once a year should be done during performance evaluation time.
- Performance evaluations are a time to write new SMART goals for the following year. Each year, we need to define new goals for each team member and their ministry. Write new goals each year. Sometimes the goals just need to be tweaked if they are long-term goals. Other times, we need to write all new goals.
If you’re interested in reading a great book about performance evaluations (and other great leadership stuff), I highly recommend you check out Marcus Buckingham’s great book, First, Break All The Rules.
Do you receive a performance evaluation? What does the process look like for you?