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HireMyVA Podcast 50- How often should I do a performance review and give raises?

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Dave Braun
00:00:00
Hello, again, everyone. Welcome to the HireMyVA Team and Business Building Podcast, where we help you to reclaim your freedom through hiring and thriving with Virtual Assistants without breaking the bank, without breaking your bank. I’m Dave Braun, I’m here with my partner and great friend, Larry Broughton. Larry, how are you doing?

Larry Broughton
00:00:20
The crowd goes wild. Hello, David.

Dave Braun
00:00:22
Yeah, I’m good. I can’t hear you. The crowd is just so noisy. What did you say?

Larry Broughton
00:00:28
I am doing well, Dave, how are you doing?

Dave Braun
00:00:30
I’m doing fantastic. All right. Are you ready to get into another question/topic?

Larry Broughton
00:00:36
Let’s do it.

Dave Braun
00:00:37
All right. So here’s a question. How often should I do a performance review for my team members and potentially give them raises?

Larry Broughton
00:00:50
I like that potentially give them raises.

Dave Braun
00:00:52
Yeah.

Larry Broughton
00:00:53
That’s good. Well, do you want me to start on this? Okay. Here’s the thing, I think we should be giving impromptu add talk performance reviews all the time. The mantra ought to be in any organization is to catch your team doing something right.

Dave Braun
00:01:10
Yeah.

Larry Broughton
00:01:11
Catch ’em doing things right. Sadly, most managers are way too quick to catch people doing things wrong. And then they beat the crap out of people. My statement of catching people doing things doesn’t mean that you let things slide when you see people do things wrong. That’s an opportunity to do what I call spotlight coaching.

Dave Braun
00:01:34
Right?

Larry Broughton
00:01:35
You step in, in a positive manner, just like good coaches do, and correct them not in front of anybody. You don’t critique people. You don’t criticize people publicly. You certainly don’t do it in front of a guest, unless you’re really savvy enough to know how to turn things around a guest or client, whatever you call them in your organization. So let me start with that. You should always be doing performance appraisals. But let me back up. I know what we’re talking about here. You know, most organizations don’t do any kind of performance appraisals.

Dave Braun
00:02:15
Oh my gosh. Yeah. And why do you think that is? Because most managers just hate them.

Larry Broughton
00:02:21
Yeah. So most don’t. So let me tell you what we try to do in our organization. Let’s say, you hire somebody that generally what people do is they put new hires on a 90-day probationary period is what they call it. We try to call it an introductory period because right out of the gate when you say probationary period, who goes on probation.

Dave Braun
00:02:46
People who don’t do—

Larry Broughton
00:02:48
Criminals?

Dave Braun
00:02:48
Well, they’re about to get fired. Yeah.

Larry Broughton
00:02:51
If you work in an at-will state, you don’t need to give someone lots of reason to let them go, but they could be judging you as well. So we call it an introductory period. We get to know you, you get to know us during that first, generally 90 days. Dave, you’ve hired plenty of people in your career. I’ve hired plenty of people. You generally know within the first couple of days, whether the person is gonna work out or not if you are really monitoring them. And you’ve trained them properly, you know pretty quickly how they’re gonna do it. So what we try to do in our organization is a 30-day review. And it’s very short. It might be 15 minutes. Do you like us? Do we like you? Here’s an area you need to focus on a little bit more.

Larry Broughton
00:03:41
Here’s an area you’re doing really well at. Just so you start the process. Then clearly before the end of the introductory period, you need to sit down and do more of a formal review. This is like, you’ve made it or you haven’t. But I don’t think you should ever let someone get to day 89 and then let them go. That’s just lazy. What ends up happening is, and most people know this. And so it gets to day-89, they’ve not prepared the performance review. And so the next thing you know that they’re five years later and they never should have made it past the introductory period. I mean, you see it all the time, right? So I think you gotta do a 30-day view. You gotta do a 90-day review, six months, once they’ve been there six months and then annually thereafter, or as needed.

Dave Braun
00:04:36
If you’re sensing there are some issues coming up, then—

Larry Broughton
00:04:40
All right. The spotlight coaching. Yeah. Let’s say that you’ve given a review six months ago or eight months ago, or it’s ten months since the last one and they’ve had great reviews and all of a sudden performance starts to go down. It’s time to sit down with them, just inform and say, Hey, like what’s going on? Is there anything that we need to be aware of? Because who knows, there might be health issues. There might be family issues. There might be, maybe a change in the culture and the environment. Maybe there’s a new team member or an old team member and things aren’t going so well, you don’t know unless you ask. It’s one of the things. So I would say that is probably a pretty good approach. 30 days, end of the introductory period, six months after that annual review, then annual thereafter. There are some organizations, I’m gonna leave this up to you folks. I’m not a big believer in guaranteed wage increases.

Larry Broughton
00:05:42
Their performance increases, right? If they’re performing well, if they’re exceeding expectations, they ought to be able to get a raise if the organization can afford it. So that’s what I would encourage people to do. I do know plenty of organizations who do a performance review and an annual wage review. That’s one way to do it as well. I can tell you like, I’ve been, I guess lazy might be the right word. But in the last year, I’ve not done a lot of performance reviews, you know, but have done a lot of spotlight coaching. Everyone on the team knows where they stand. Everyone. So probably even more feedback nowadays than I ever did before, because we’re working remotely. This is being recorded in March of 2021. We’ve been in the pandemic for a year now. Most of us are working remotely. And so we’re being a little bit more intentional about this. So that’s kind of my take on it. I’d love to hear your take, Dave and how were you guys doing it when you were working at your big corporate gig?

Dave Braun
00:06:51
Yeah, generally I don’t think there was a lot done. There was no formal process us for like the 30-day, 60-day or 1-month, 3-month, 6-month, there really wasn’t anything formal there. What they did was, they just, and this is what may make sense for most people is just put it on your calendar. You’re gonna do the annual review at, you know, July 1st or that week, just put it on your calendar. If somebody’s there three months, well then they get their annual review then, because you don’t want to have to keep track of, oh, it’s this week is a year after this person’s performance started. So then it’s nice to just say at a minimum, you know, I’m gonna dedicate a couple of days during this time of year to do it. Create the system that works for you. The important thing Larry, I think we’re getting at is regular feedback. If it’s—

Larry Broughton
00:07:48
Yes, that’s a good point.

Dave Braun
00:07:49
It’s not like filling out a form. Well, as long as you’re giving regular feedback, like what you’re doing with a spotlight coaching, then that’s what’s most important because you want your organization productive and you want folks to be able to feel like they’ve been heard. But, you know, I think for most managers and stuff, most people, like doing performance reviews is, for some people it’s enjoyable. Those are probably very, very few people. Other managers, it’s like pulling teeth and they’d rather go to the dentist than do a performance review and take the time. They’re so busy.

Larry Broughton
00:08:22
Yeah, I don’t understand that.

Dave Braun
00:08:22
Right? They don’t realize how important it is. If you as a manager or the boss, but if you’re a manager, you’re taking the time to think about your team member and how they’re doing and talk to them about their growth and all that kind of stuff. That shows that they’re valuable to you. You’re ascribing worth to them just because of your time. And when you don’t take the time for that, what kind of message is that sending them? I remember Larry, I’ll never forget getting a performance review for my boss, a guy I really, really respected, he’s doing some great things in the industry, but he’s just not like a verbal, he’s not like a written guy. My performance said something like, Dave did a very good job. He’s an asset to the company. That’s basically it.

Larry Broughton
00:09:22
Yeah. Well, this is why I think it’s important to have performance review templates. You know, you and I are big on templates. We ask probing questions about specific areas of responsibility for each of the players that are on the team. One of the things I’m a fan of when it comes down to a formal performance appraisal, let’s say it’s an annual one, is that a couple of weeks prior to the performance appraisal, the team member that you’re giving the performance appraisal on gets the same review that I’m doing on them. So they do it on themself and I do one on them. So if there’s a rating system, let’s say it’s one to five. If they’re giving themselves all fives and I’m giving them all twos, there’s a problem and expectations. But if I’m giving a four and they’re giving a five and I give a three and they give a four, you know, we’re in range. But if there’s a dramatic view between, I think I’m a rockstar and I’m giving myself fives on everything.

Dave Braun
01:10:25
Yeah.

Larry Broughton
01:10:26
What that tells you is you’re not giving the team member enough feedback.

Dave Braun
01:10:31
Yeah. That’s right. Or your view may be incorrect for whatever reason. And that’s one of the things is two, is that you wanna see if you can, when you do these performance reviews, you gotta have a way to go back. So Larry, let’s play this out. So say you’re doing a formal performance review once a year. All right.

Larry Broughton
01:10:54
Okay. All right.

Dave Braun
01:10:55
Are you really gonna—this is for me, it’s like, I can’t remember what the heck did I have them do 11 months ago? I can’t remember that. So it’s important to have some kind of methodology within your company where you can look back, maybe it’s your quarterly goals that you said. You can see how they did, or it could be a bunch of tasks that they checked off or something where you can kind of quickly scroll through and see, all right, here’s what was going on, oh yeah, I remember that. Oh my gosh, I totally forgot. They did this amazing thing nine months ago. Hopefully, you’ve given that good feedback nine months ago. But anyway—

Larry Broughton
01:11:35
Yeah. I’m at a point in my organization where I don’t have lots of interaction with our—I’m gonna use this term. I’m not a fan of this term, but you’ll understand line-level team members. So I don’t have a lot of direct contact with our guest service talks. I don’t have a lot of direct contact with our room attendants. Now I see them when I’m at the hotels, I say hi to them. I’ll walk through with them. But I don’t know their specific performance. I deal more with Supervisors, Managers, Directors, VP levels. All of those people that I just listed, managers and supervisors. They do weekly reports. Every Thursday, they say, here’s what I got accomplished. Here’s what we talked about last week. Here’s what I’m gonna be doing in the following week. And so I look at those and so we keep those. And so that’s where I go back and look at then say, okay, you said that you’re gonna get this done, and here’s how you performed on it. So that’s the way we do it in our organization as a weekly report that gets done. And by the way, they do it on a Friday, we talk about it on—I mean, they submit it on Thursday, we talk about it on a Friday.

Dave Braun
01:12:42
Okay. Yeah. That’s perfect.

Larry Broughton
01:12:43
Just come up with a system that works for you to track this stuff. What I used to do in my old organization is we used to have actual physical personnel jackets. And so for every person on my team, on my desk was a folder, their personnel jacket, and I would just write notes and I would just drop it in there. It was just something I wanted to keep in mind for their next review. I didn’t write out a big formal thing about it unless it needed to be, but it was just a quick note to jog my memory about a great victory or a terrible failure or just something I wanted to bring up later on. So that’s another way to do it.

Dave Braun
01:13:24
That’s perfect. One of the things about our program is we’ve got a performance review template and—

Larry Broughton
01:13:29
We sure do.

Dave Braun
01:13:31
And it’s not necessarily meant for you to follow it to the letter of the law. You can, you want, but it’s a great starting point, and adopt it and adjust it as your own. I think the last thing if we go to the raises part, the only thing that I would say is—

Larry Broughton
01:13:46
Oh, yeah, right.

Dave Braun
01:13:48
In the corporate world, I remember a company and I think typically companies do this. They’ll allocate the budget, a certain amount of money as a pool of money, and say, Hey, this is the amount of money available for salary increases. A lot of companies do that. And then it’s up to the managers to say, well, and based on salaries and all that, you get a 6% increase, but you over here, only get a 1% or zero, but that’s based on the performance. So that is a way to do that. But if you’re gonna do— normally, if you want do raises like that for your folks, try to budget it in, plan for it.

Larry Broughton
01:14:28
Definitely. And I’m gonna assume, as you do have the money to do it, here are other organizations that do cost of living increases on top of performance reviews. I’m not a huge fan of that. It’s just me personally. But I think there are ways to do—make sure that your compensation is fair. Some industries have, they do wage surveys that you can look at, say, well, gosh, if this person is in this position, in this geographic region, this is about what they ought to be paid. It’s really good to look at that from time to time as well. But I would encourage folks to look— that people aren’t just looking for raises. There are ways to improve people’s compensation by other benefits. Maybe it’s more time off, more vacation time. Maybe it’s picking up more of their insurance if you do pay insurance. So that’s—

Dave Braun
01:15:36
Flexible schedule or yeah.

Larry Broughton
01:15:38
Flexible schedule or work at home. Auto expense. A lot of ways to skin cat.

Dave Braun
01:15:45
Yeah. That’s right. Okay.

Larry Broughton
01:15:47
Good thoughts, sir.

Dave Braun
01:15:48
Anything else that we wanna bring up?

Larry Broughton
01:15:51
I think that’s it.

Dave Braun
01:15:52
All right. Awesome. So thank you, folks. We’re gonna bring this one to a wrap. So thanks. As they say in the restaurant business, we’re gonna bring it to a wrap. Did they say that? I dunno what they said.

Larry Broughton
01:16:03
I’ve never heard it before, Dave.

Dave Braun
01:16:04
There are wraps in there right? Anyway. Forget that. Anyway, thanks for joining us today. We’re trying to have some fun here. Anyway, remember building a team is the way to reclaim your freedom and we’re here to help you do that. So folks, three things we’d love for you to do, and we’d really, really appreciate it. Number one, subscribe to this podcast if you haven’t already done so. Number two, give us a rating, five stars, please. And number or three, go to Hiremyva.com for more information on our course, community, and the programs, and everything that we are continuing to roll out. So remember though, even without experience, you’ll learn how to prepare for hire and thrive with Virtual assistants. And Larry and I love to be helping folks in our community. We’re making a difference in their lives and we’d love to help make a difference in your life too. So just go to Hiremyva.com for more information.

Larry Broughton
01:16:58
That’s right. Hey, do yourself a favor. Do the world a favor. Go do something significant today. All right. God bless you. God hold you. God keep you. All right, my friends. Go get ’em. We’ll see you later.

Dave Braun
01:17:09
Take care. Bye.

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