Evaluating your performance after completing a project is crucial to improving your professional skills. But, it's not always easy to take a step back and look at the successes and the failures objectively. How can you know what needs improvement without a proper system of assessment? And employers, how can you groom a lean, mean, productive machine without your team knowing what's working and what isn't?

Our best suggestion? Build a project cycle that includes feedback and analytics. You have brainstorm/kickoff meetings, right? Consider adding in conversations to wrap up the project, including employee reviews as well as project analytics. Having a system that includes feedback makes open and honest communication much easier, and gives both parties an opportunity to comment on the process and final product.

Use specifics
No vague mentions of "doing better" are going to prompt any changes. Just like your meetings should end with actionable items for each person, these conversations demand takeaway points for improvement, if there are any. If you can provide numbers of any kind, even better. This makes the feedback less subjective, and gives evidence that improvement can be measured.

Don't compare
In a performance evaluation, avoid pitting employees against each other. A team should be supportive of each other, and, as they say "comparison is the thief of joy." Keep your team happy and collaborative by steering the feedback towards their individual work, mentioning specific points relevant to their performance, rather than pointing out a fellow team member's successes or failures.

Welcome critique
Being open to employee comments will make your team immensely more available to receive your feedback. Communication is a two way street, and there's no reason to target employees as the sole owners of the success of a process. Besides soliciting comments, regularly request specific points for improvement from everyone on your team after every project, whether it applies to you as an individual or the company as a whole.

Remove their personality from the equation
Try to address the behavior that needs changing rather than judging a personality. It's challenging, for example, to avoid mentioning someone's ego when discussing their tendency to interrupt, but “Your frequent interruptions stifle candid conversation,” is a more constructive comment than “Check your ego at the door.”

Your team will greatly benefit from an established system of evaluation as well as an environment that is collaborative in its efforts to improve. Be open to suggestions, and be sure to effectively provide the feedback your team is looking for. Let us know how it goes!

Posted: 6/3/2021 4:25:04 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments

There's a reason a show like "The Office" was such a hit – cubicle dwellers and open space innovators alike can relate to working in an environment run by a boss like the clueless Michael Scott. In real life, though, bosses can be more cringe-y than lovable.

Most bosses are without proper training, having been acknowledged as a standout employee and promoted to a position of management from within. There is a lot of power in the position – a boss can make or break a successful business. The team itself can be plowing away on a path to performing but without the right leadership, falling flat is inevitable.


We walk through some of the most common issues with a manager below, but will send you off with some solutions for bettering your position as a leader. Direct your team towards efficiency and productivity, by establishing your trust, respect, and confidence in them.

Issue 1: Micromanaging

Spending time checking in with employees, monitoring their progress on projects and investigating their every move doesn't make you a good boss. It makes you a dreaded presence in your team's space, and a gripe among your subordinates. Yes, it's important to know the status of a project, but trust your employees to get the work done by deadlines and believe in their abilities to manage their time and process.

The next time you find yourself getting a little too involved in the day-to-day of your employees, it's time to ask yourself the real question. Are you afraid of losing control? Do you feel like you're an expert in your industry and are just looking for an opportunity to give input (where it may not be needed)? Think about it this way - if you were your boss, and the work was getting done, does there need to be someone checking in every minute? Probably not.

Issue 2: Not seeking input

The easiest way to convey your trust and respect in your team? Ask them for input! All too common is the manager with an ego, abusing their power by making all decisions without any input from the people doing the work. You aren't the only one knowledgeable in your field – consulting with your team brings additional perspectives and new ideas to the decision. Also, it shows one of the most important qualities for happy employees: you value their opinions.

Issue 3: Encouraging agreement

You didn't hire sheep. You hired people with proven skills in their field, and over time they've developed a dedication to your company. When you meet about projects, it's important that your employees are encouraged to offer dissenting points if they have them.

It can be challenging to acknowledge that your status may push team members to a place of complacency in speaking up, but it's very often the case. 'Approval from the boss' is something our authority-pleasing selves desire, and being agreeable is an accessible route to achievement.

So, not only is it crucial to discourage blanket agreement, but to also openly welcome disagreement.

Issue 4: Not advocating for your team

A bad boss doesn't provide resources for their employees, either to help them learn, to grow professionally, or to achieve smaller personal goals. They often adopt an attitude of "I didn't receive any help, so neither should you." Fair isn't always fair in the business world, so give your team a chance to thrive, even if you weren't offered the same opportunity.

Clearing the path for employee success is the surest way to ensure job satisfaction and employee retention. But, without also clearing obstacles from that path, a manager is just as problematic. Your employees count on you to advocate for their time, creativity, and expertise. You're their spokesman, their cheerleader, and a trusted ally in your workplace, and it's your responsibility to push for the projects they want, turn away tasks for which they lack the bandwidth, and promise deadlines that are achievable.

A straightforward solution: the Stay Interview

You have likely heard of an exit interview, a discussion on an employee's way out the door about their experience at the company. It's a reactive approach to employee feedback that allows for complete honesty, but also leaves no opportunity to salvage the employee.

Being conducted during employment rather than at it's termination, a stay interview is a proactive approach to understanding employee satisfaction. To get you started, here's the important question to ask your employees: what makes you come to work everyday?

Their answers will give you a glimpse at their motivation, and a peek at where the core of their loyalty lies. It also shows, once again, that you respect them, value their presence on the team, and trust them with the responsibility of the business's success.


Reducing employee turnover is much easier than recruiting, so retaining satisfied and thriving employees should be the goal of all managers. Efforts can be made to keep your team thriving, and it starts with a manager. Give these tips and try, and let us know how it goes!

Posted: 2/28/2020 10:44:00 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments