How to Effectively Execute Year-End Evaluations


If you are a leader in ministry, then it’s that time . . . time to evaluate your staff and volunteers during their annual performance reviews. In order for me to ensure that my time with staff and key volunteers is as efficient and thorough as possible I will be doing the following this December:

Actually blocking out time on my schedule to think it through . . .

I know this sounds so simple, but the truth is most leaders put forth little effort planning out year-end evaluation sessions. Taking out the time to think through evaluations and documenting your thoughts takes . . . time and lots of it. It’s hard work! The worst thing a leader can do is show up for an annual performance review unprepared. Sometimes we think we can “wing it” because we’ve worked with the individual for the past year and expect that strengths and weaknesses will just roll off the tongue in the moment. Truth is, few things are more disrespectful to those you lead than to show up unprepared for a review . . . believe me, they will know whether you took the time to think through and plan out what you wanted to say.

Giving each person a heads up . . .

Before your scheduled review, email everything you plan on talking about to each of your staff and volunteers. The earlier you email this out the better. For most folks, this action will be much appreciated. No one likes going into a meeting not knowing what to expect . . . especially an annual performance review. Your staff will have the chance to process your thoughts and will be prepared to respond, thus ensuring a more productive session.

Playing by the same rules . . .

Ask your staff and volunteers to evaluate you. Ask about your strengths, your weaknesses, and how you can better support them in 2013. You need to improve as well . . . and allowing yourself to be evaluated shows respect to those you lead, letting them know that you care about being the best leader you can possibly be.

But my team has to play by the same rules as me and answer these questions ahead of time. Failure to do so means that I will not allow them the chance to evaluate me during our session.

Main points of discussion in my annual performance reviews:

1. How have you improved in 2012? What strengths stand out?

2. Celebrate accomplishments . . .

3. Identify weaknesses and allow the staff member or volunteer to participate in the process of constructing a clear improvement plan . . .


About Adam Bayne

I'm the Children's Pastor at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, TN, a heavyweight Disney nerd, a lightweight sports fan, and an all-out fan of my wife and two daughters.
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