Employee reviews track goals in addition to performance

by Kacey Larsen

The “newest” employee at A&C Kitchens and Baths in Chester, Pa. has been with the company for nine years and the employee with the most tenure has been there 32 years. So arguments could be made that the company knows a little something about keeping its employees happy.
“We’re a little bit of an enigma, I guess, because we are a small distributor. We really cater to the contractor trade, but our employees are salaried; we don’t have commissioned sales people,” explains George Edwards, CRA, CKBR, GCP, COO of A&C Kitchens and Baths. “Instead of having individual goals, we have team goals, and we do have annual reviews.”
The company has two types of reviews, though they don’t happen simultaneously. A personal review takes place in a one-on-one setting over the course of approximately three days, as Edwards doesn’t like to meet for more than an hour and a half at a time to keep the employee focused. He views the personal review as a chance for a conversation. “I prefer the employee to be open and honest than have them be harboring something, so when we talk it’s a great dialogue.” Employees are asked to answer the following seven questions:
-Discuss and review the key elements of your job description in priority order.
-Evaluate your strengths in performing your job function in priority order.
-Evaluate your performance and your job during the last year, and list the areas you believe you require improvement in priority order.
-How do I [Edwards] help or hinder you, and what recommendations do you have to make our association more effective?
-State your business goals and plans in priority order for the next 12 months and then long term.
-State your personal goals and plans in priority order for the short term and long term.
-State your income requirements.
The intention of the personal review is to help employees meet their goals when feasible, Edwards explains. “If an employee has loft goals, it’s really my job to help them see they get to their goals, and if they’re totally unrealistic then I have to be perfectly honest with them and risk the chance of them moving on for somewhere else. But my job is to keep happy campers,” he says.
He also keeps a close eye on market conditions and what people are being paid in the marketplace to make sure the company isn’t losing employees over a few dollars an hour. The company’s second review – a recommended compensation adjustment – also provides employees a way to increase their annual salary. Edwards is quick to note that this isn’t a bonus, but instead is something an employee has to work towards all year and is reviewed by department managers and him. Company employees are given criteria to work on, which includes: dependability, punctuality, team participation, productivity, knowledge of job, compliance with company policies, representation of the company and initiative for self-growth. A&C Kitchens and Baths strives for a team atmosphere, so coworkers keep each other on track in terms of productivity and working towards goals.
With a company of 14 long-term employees, Edwards does acknowledge that parts of the personal annual review can be repetitious, but value is definitely there. “My life changes every year, so do theirs. When you look at what your job description is, unless you’re taking on additional duties somewhere, it doesn’t change that much, but it’s nice to talk about it,” he says. “What changes are your business goals, your personal goals. I have six designers; two of them were hired outside the company and the other four worked their way up from either the office or in from the warehouse. That’s what I’m really thrilled about.”

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