Evaluate regularly and affirm consistentlyWhen I asked my staff for tips to give senior leaders on working with their staff, they came up with five.  Here’s number five:

Excellent team leaders evaluate regularly and affirm consistently.

Every six months, I’d sit down with each staff person and we’d have a review. They would have a worksheet they’d fill out beforehand and I would have a worksheet I’d fill out beforehand. Then we’d complete a third one together at the meeting.  The staff review time was never scary or threatening for people, because it was development-based, not performance-based. The purpose was largely for affirmation and growth. Whenever they listed their strengths, I’d affirm them by adding two or three additional strengths.

I would also ask the question, “How could your level of satisfaction with your role be higher?” I’d ask that even if they had already rated their satisfaction highly. That question gave them an opportunity to speak into their situation. They might ask me to give them more advance notice on initatives or to not hold up their work by not responding on something promptly.

Out of this conversation, after affirming strengths and looking for ways to improve job satisfaction, we’d then look at how we could develop them further. Where did they want to grow? What new skills did they want to develop? I found that with this approach, no one feared the job reviews.  It was an affirming environment focused on developing them to their fullest potential. In some cases, these reviews even moved them into new areas of responsibility that were more in line with how God had wired them.

Excellent team leaders evaluate regularly and affirm consistently.

  • serve as an encourager and maintain morale
  • publicly support staff when criticized
  • provide honest feedback
  • use teachable moments
  • be willing to revise job description
  • create a job review process
  • never reprimand in front of others

Action point: Establish a regular time to engage in evaluation and affirmation with each of your team members.