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How to Give Employee Feedback

Building Teams, Grow Your Business

Ideally, you’re conducting your Annual Performance Reviews in November or December, so that the entire organization is headed into the new year knowing exactly where they stand. Expectations for each individual, team, and department have been set in direct alignment with the organization’s overarching goals and core values. 

As an example, here are Cardone Venture’s core values:

  • We are inspirational
  • We are disciplined
  • We are accountable
  • We are transparent
  • We are aligned
  • We are results oriented

Your core values, which every company should have, in my opinion, are clear reminders to all of us in every action we take on the organization’s behalf. “Does this decision align with our values?” If the answer is yes, then move forward. If it is no, then adjust until it is. 

How Cardone Ventures uses core values to improve performance

How we use core values in the annual review process at Cardone Ventures is, one, we’re making a concerted effort to be transparent, both in terms of our expectations and feedback on an individual’s performance, but also in how the process works and how it will affect them.

Ideally, you send out a document to the entire team that describes the annual review process. The goal is to mitigate the element of surprise. If your annual reviews are full of surprises, then your organization is in danger. 

Give your team the criteria their performance is being based on so that they can either meet and exceed expectations and be rewarded for it, or in the instance that they do not meet those expectations, you can have documented conversations about how to fix the issue or transition them out of the organization.

Your goal is to create a process that is equitable and duplicable

And all of this is based on a framework that you can duplicate, so that everyone’s performance is being measured equally in proportion to their role and responsibilities. Again, it’s a process that emphasizes transparency, consistency, and, if done correctly, breathes life into your business’s core values. 

At Cardone Ventures, we use what’s called a Core Values Assessment in our annual review process. It consists of two parts: the self-assessment and the managerial assessment. This gives our employees the opportunity to assess their perceived alignment with our core values. 

Ideally, our managers do not look at the team member’s self-assessment before filling the managerial assessment out. Why is this act valuable? Because it shows whether or not perceptions are aligned, because, again, if they’re not, that needs to be examined. 

Self-assessment is good, but it’s great when it’s actionable

We take self-assessment a step further than most. We ask our team members to provide specific examples of where they showed strength in each core value, as well as where they had areas of opportunity for each. 

If there’s no areas of opportunity, then that’s a red flag. I don’t care if they’re a top performer or not. There’s always room to improve. Always an opportunity to create greater alignment between an individual and a team and each respective core value. 

For our managers, we ask that when identifying areas of opportunity with each core value, that we provide specific examples of where performance fell short, as well as what the ideal performance and outcome could have been.

This part is central to our process, and we believe makes it not only unique, but more importantly, effective for our organization. 

Our process is unique, but there are universal elements in it

We also include more standard job performance metrics, like work quality, attendance, punctuality, productivity, communication and listening skills, and dependability, all of which helps us arrive at an overall rating that we can provide our team members. 

Our managers need to keep in mind all throughout the year that any opportunities for an employee is an opportunity for them, as well. Again, annual performance reviews are not the time or place for surprises. In your regular one on ones, you should be discussing these issues and documenting these conversations so you can, together, track progress. 

Your team, the entire organization, and your customers, really, deserve getting constructive critical feedback in real-time. A person’s ability to be or not be promoted hinges on them receiving feedback with clear expectations when those issues are fresh. Hearing about what could have been six months later benefits no one and will only create animosity (not to mention show poor managerial skills on your part).

Don’t forget about the Development Plan (you have one, right?)

Once you’ve completed the Annual Review Process, it’s time to revisit their individual Development Plan. The Development Plan is then sent to the team member for them to fill out in specific. They’ll have about a week to take your feedback coupled with their own to create this. In their next one-on-one, confirm with them whether or not things look good. 

It should be in alignment with their Annual Review outcomes, but it might not be. If it isn’t, it’s time for another conversation where you can get things back on track. Luckily, you’ve been documenting your conversations, right? This documentation obviously helps you in terms of keeping your conversations organized, but they also help you maintain HR compliance. 

This process works like magic. It really does. It sets the whole year up for success. It empowers your managers. It helps them be better coaches to their team members and hold everyone accountable.

If you want to learn more about building great teams, growing great team members into future leaders, and elevating your entire business while you’re at it, then you need to attend a Cardone Ventures event! Go to right now to register.