Staff performance appraisal, evaluation, feedback, check-in… call it what you like, just as long as you’re doing it!
There are lots of different ways to give your staff feedback about their work and I recommend a mix of verbal check-ins and at least one written, formal evaluation.
I’ve always done a verbal semi-formal check-in at the end of staff development week or during the first camp session. This is usually a 5 minute chat, ask how they feel they’re doing, what their goals are, give them some praise and something to work on moving forward.
As the summer goes on, I would address things as they come up, have a quick (private) chat to either congratulate someone on a job well done or give advice on how to handle a situation differently in the future.
This step is important so that there are no surprises during the evaluations.
It’s unfair to basically say to someone “on week two of the summer, you could have done that differently, so I’m evaluating you on it now, even though I didn’t talk to you about it or give you the tools to improve”.
Then I give two formal, written evaluations during the summer.
This first is mid-season, it’s a great time to check in on any goals they’ve set for themselves and I recommend giving everyone something to work on for the second half of the summer.
The second is at the end of the season, this is a great time to review their entire body of work, it’s also when I let people know if I’ll be a reference for them moving forward and if I’d like them to return next season (I always send a formal invitation when hiring opens as well).
Your staff are looking to you for feedback, they want to know how they’re doing, don’t deprive them of that.
Make sure that you’re giving them opportunities to learn, and reflect. And take time to do that yourself as well, these check-in’s and performance appraisals are a great time for your staff to give you feedback too.
Do you have a great system for evaluating staff?
Why not check out some of the awesome resources we have available on Patchwork Marketplace.