- Apply to UW
- Programs & Majors
- Cost & Financial Aid
- Current Students
- UW Life
- About UW
Published January 12, 2023
A weekly look at issues facing Wyoming business owners and entrepreneurs from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By P.J. Burns, regional director (Campbell, Crook, Johnson, Sheridan and Weston counties), Wyoming SBDC Network
As business owners and managers prepare for year-end reports, employee annual reviews and goal setting also are on the horizon. How do you make your employees’ annual reviews and goal setting more effective? Here are some tips to help make these meetings more productive and increase accountability for your staff.
-- First, make your employees in charge of their annual review and goal setting. Give your employees the authority to set the meeting date and time with you or their manager. Provide them with your review worksheet or the areas where they are being reviewed.
Some examples include productivity, customer service and employee relations. Ask employees to not only rate themselves, but to include specific examples of where they met or surpassed expectations and areas for improvement under each of the review areas. Ask employees to include how employers or their organizations can help them to better meet expectations. Employers may discover that their employees need different equipment or become aware of an issue that they weren’t aware of previously.
-- Let your employees know what the company and department goals are for the upcoming year, and ask your employees to include goals that help their organizations or their departments reach those goals. Employers should communicate their expectations of employees and how they impact the organizations or departments as a whole. This will enable employees to see more clearly their specific roles in the companies they work for and their personal influence on meeting company goals. Each of an employee’s work goals should speak to what the company, as a whole, is working to accomplish in the upcoming year.
-- Provide a template for employees to use in setting goals. Use the SMART goal process to help them create specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals for themselves. Ask employees to include specific dates where goals, or milestones within the goals, will be met. Use those dates as check-in times throughout the upcoming year where the two of you will meet, or they will meet with their manager, to review what has been accomplished so far; what they are struggling with; and to celebrate meeting their milestones.
Setting up regular times to meet and assess progress on the annual goals will create greater accountability; the opportunity to change plans, if needed; and address any issues that may arise. It also provides a time to address changes in the economy, customer needs or other outside issues that impact the organization. Goals for your organization may change, and your employees need to know these changes so that they can work toward the success of the organization.
-- Ask your employees to include not only work goals, but also one or two personal goals. During your meetings, you will learn more about your employees and let them know that you not only care about what they do at work, but also what they are striving for personally. By doing so, you will create a positive work culture in the organization that will increase productivity and personal satisfaction for your employees.
-- Make time to sit down with your employees in a private location, and go over what they have written; review your assessment of them over the previous year; talk about how they can improve; and tell them what they have accomplished or shown in the previous year that you found exceptional. Go over the goals employees have set, and make any adjustments to better align the employees’ goals with the department or company goals.
-- For the new year, set up a plan for quarterly or semiannual meetings to review not only employees’ goals, but areas where they may be falling short of meeting expectations or where they are exceeding expectations. Be sure to communicate specific examples where employees have either met or not met your expectations so that they can make corrections, if needed, and/or understand how they can continue to excel. Be sure to ask employees how they are progressing on their personal goals. This will build your relationship with your employees and build a positive culture within your organization.
-- The annual review and goal-setting meetings with your employees should not be a time when you surprise employees with what they have done wrong in the previous year. It should be a time when you or their manager help them understand where they can improve; where they have excelled; what the organization is working toward; their role and influence within the organization; and create a positive, collaborative culture within your organization.
For employers who would like assistance in preparing for the annual review and goal-setting sessions with their employees, reach out to your Wyoming SBDC Network adviser. Your adviser can provide employers with templates and guidance on creating their own assessments and goal-building template documents that fit their businesses.
The Wyoming SBDC Network offers no-cost advising and technical assistance to help Wyoming entrepreneurs think about, launch, grow, reinvent or exit their business. In 2022, the Wyoming SBDC Network helped Wyoming entrepreneurs start 68 new businesses; support 2,411 jobs; and bring a capital impact of $5.3 million to the state. The Wyoming SBDC Network is hosted by UW with state funds from the Wyoming Business Council and funded, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email email@example.com, or write Dept. 3922, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071-3922.