3 Steps to Building Performance and Accountability in your Business

What role does your team play in the overall success of your business?

Most small to medium sized businesses operate with a small number of team members (who all tend to wear a number of different ‘hats’) which means that having a high performing team is essential – if one link weakens, the whole chain can fall down around us.

So as managers and business owners, how do we keep performance and accountability high on the agenda?

And how do we ensure that our team members understand their impact on the business?

One way of approaching this is to look at your Performance Review process.

We often have clients asking us ‘how do I keep my staff accountable?’. Whilst regular performance reviews aren’t the silver bullet, they’ll set you up for the foundation of strong performance and accountability across your team.

Now this may sound like another time-consuming HR Process, but I promise if you read on, you’ll see how very simple and very effective a Performance Review can be in helping you on the road to business success.


Why manage performance?

It’s simple really – businesses who actively provide goals and feedback to their team members are more likely to have:

  • Higher productivity
  • Lower staff turnover and
  • More engaged team members

I don’t know of many businesses that wouldn’t like to see those results!


What are Performance Reviews?

Just as you most likely spend time reviewing your P&L from an operational review perspective, performance reviews provide a structure for reviewing team performance on a regular basis. These reviews do not need to be incredibly detailed or time consuming but will provide you with an opportunity to take stock of how things are running, provide valuable feedback to your people, and to improve efficiencies where required.

And the more regularly you do it (eg. monthly, quarterly etc), the more natural it becomes, the less formal it becomes and the more effective it is.


How do I review Performance?

We recommend looking at the following topics when approaching performance reviews for your team:

  1. Goals: The easiest way to review performance is to review performance against business goals. If you’ve not done this before, use the commencement of the 2018/2019 financial year to begin. Depending on the nature of your business, you might like to set not only performance or target based goals, but also behavioural goals to ensure employees meet the cultural expectations of the business.
  2. Check-in Reviews: Annual goals are great, but not if you only talk about them once a year! Try to schedule at least 3-4 short meetings throughout the 12 months to gather and deliver feedback on your team members performance. During these catch ups, it’s a great opportunity to both thank employees formally, for work well done, and/or provide clear and constructive feedback on how you need to see their performance improve.
  3. Year-end Review: At least once a year, spend some more in-depth time with each of your employees to see how they’ve tracked against their targets. Similar to your check-ins, this is again a more formal opportunity to thank or reward an employee for a job well done and/or feedback to ensure any concerns around performance are not carried through into the following year.


3 Simple Steps on the road to success

However you measure business results, ensuring the involvement and buy-in of your employees in the business goals and strategy, is critical to your success.

Spend some time thinking about how you currently approach performance goals and reviews in your business – if you think some improvements could be made, perhaps this financial new year is a great opportunity to start.


The Seed HR Hub has a number of supporting documents regarding employee performance including templates for goal setting and performance reviews.

Should you like to gather more information on this topic or discuss employee performance in more detail, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your friendly HR Consultants at Seed People Consulting – we look forward to hearing from you!

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