The Rundown on Employee Evaluation

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The Rundown on Employee Evaluation

The Rundown on Employee Evaluation With Sean Si

Sean: Another question: How many times would you suggest we evaluate in a year?

We have what we call a reverse annual evaluation, so we don’t evaluate employees in a year. They evaluate themselves and they submit a document or an email to me and the rest of the execom. And then they list down all the things that they believe have shown them exemplifying the core values.

So we read that reverse annual evaluation and we would then negotiate on the amount that they want if they want a raise based on that. So we don’t do annual evaluations. We don’t do evaluation in general. For us, we give that authority and decision to our people, to our team members. They evaluate themselves and then they allow us to be part of that journey. That’s how we do it.

And the reason why I want it that way is it makes for a more mature team. They become mature enough because we’re a very young team. I’m turning 33 y/o this year. Everyone’s younger than me. We’re a very young team. This way, they become more mature.

Now I know other entrepreneurs are scratching their heads and saying, but that would open them up to having a raise every year. Yeah, actually it does. They could actually have a raise every year if they merit it. Instead of me having to be the one to tap their shoulder and say, “Hey, it’s time for a raise or it’s time for your annual evaluation.”

But it just doesn’t make sense for me to always be evaluating them for nothing. And we used to do it that way, where we evaluate a lot of people like 30 people. You know, we used to be 30. I evaluate all 30 every year and they don’t even want to raise. They don’t even want to be evaluated. It just doesn’t make sense. So it saves me a lot of time doing it this way.

We have questions as well from Erika. How can we better evaluate our employees?

I would say, evaluate based on your core values. That’s one that for me is very, very important. You don’t have to copy our core values, right? I mean it would depend on your founder’s DNA. I know a lot of companies here in the Philippines have malasakit. That’s one of their core values and that’s really great by the way. I’m thinking about incorporating that to our core values as well, because that’s a really good Filipino trait and word to have. Malasakit.

And if you have people who have malasakit for your company, for your team, I think that’s amazing. We don’t have that yet in our core values, but we do have grit, respect for work, unity, being a challenger, clarity, and experimentation. Just six stuff, and we evaluate based on that.

How well do you stand up when you make mistakes? That’s grit.

How early are you in terms of meetings? Are you on time? Do you log in on time? Do you really complete work on time? That’s respect for work.

Unity is about: Do you gossip? Do you confront people who need to be confronted? Do you allow incompetence to run a muck in your team? That’s unity.

Challenger is: Do you go the extra mile? If this is what’s asked of you, do you do more? Do you work harder?

Clarity is about making sure that when you say something, the other party understands what you mean. The biggest mistake in communication is the assumption that it already happened. So clarity is super important.

And experimentation is all about trying out new things in the spirit of having a positive outcome, and not being afraid to make mistakes.

We evaluate based on those values. For every person who asks me in my team, for example, for a raise or for feedback, we check how well they have done in terms of those six core values that we have. So I’d say always evaluate based on your core values and on what they bring to the table. At the end of the day, it’s what they bring to the table.

Of course, maybe you’re wondering, where is competence in all that? If they’re not competent, then they’re bringing the company down. That’s not a core value. It should be their permission to play for your team, right? If they’re not competent, they really should not be in your team.

Maybe you’re wondering why is integrity not a core value.? Well, integrity, if people don’t have integrity, they shouldn’t be working for you, right? Because they’re going to steal, they’re going to steal time, they’re going to lie, it just doesn’t make sense. So it’s a permission to play value.

You have to identify core values of your company based on what you really value, but you also have some values that are permission to play. That’s the minimum thing that your people have to have, otherwise they shouldn’t be part of the team. Integrity is one of them and competence, of course, is another one. So I hope that helps, Erika.

What are the factors that you would recommend that we evaluate our employees on?

I would say, core values. That’s major. So other than that, it’s going to be the KPIs of the job and you could check that in your job description. So if your job descriptions when you hire people are really well-written and you could check at SEO Hacker how we write our job descriptions. Just search for SEO Hacker job openings on Google, you’ll be able to find it.

I personally wrote a lot of the job descriptions that are there. And I wrote what winning looks like. I wrote what the rows and responsibilities are and what we expect from you. It’s super clear that if we use that, that job description for hiring, if we use that to evaluate people in the team, it’s actually going to hold up.

Because these are super clear KPIs and what winning looks like. And if you’re not hitting them then you’re not doing a good job. So my suggestion when you hire, make sure the job description is crystal clear and you put in the effort and time to write really good job descriptions.

Should I gather the opinions of leaders in the company when evaluating employees?

Sure. I’d say yeah. I mean whenever you ask someone for their opinion, that’s showing them respect, and that’s showing them that you value their opinion. So what your leaders are for is to actually help you make better decisions, because your leaders should be experts where they are, and where you put them.

The Bible says, the more opinions you have, the better your decisions will be. It’s not verbatim. So don’t go ahead and look for that in the Bible, but I’m sure that’s somewhere in Proverbs and I truly, sincerely believe that. So the more opinions you have of trusted leaders in your team, the better.

How can I ensure that the basis of my evaluation is more objective than subjective?

Base it on a set of guidelines. Like I said, we have the core values. So that is very objective. It’s crystal clear what our values are, it’s crystal clear what those core values stand for, and it’s also crystal clear why we have those core values and why they’re important. So if you have very clear core values that it can be practiced, it is something that you truly believe in, it makes it super easy for you to now make sure that when you side them up. The evaluation and the core value makes it so easy for you to be objective rather than subjective.

In fact, I would say in our evaluations, the evaluations that we go along with with our people in the team, it is very, very objective how we do it. They write the evaluations themselves, the reverse annual evaluation, and we’re just there to go along with them and review it and approve it. So it is in a way subjective to them, but it is for us, very objective, because we have these mechanics in place.

How can we inspire our employees after evaluation?

For me they have to be, because again, how we do it, is the reverse annual evaluation. So they evaluate themselves and bring us along in the journey. My people, they just send the reverse annual evaluation if they think that they merit it already or if they think they did a really good job. They don’t send the reverse animal evaluation when they think that it’s going to fail and that they haven’t done something significant yet.

So actually they’re pretty inspired every time they send it to us. That’s what happens, because we’re happy that they’re mature enough to gauge themselves against the core values, against their KPIs, and we see the extra mile work that they’ve done in that evaluation report that they send us, and usually we find them inspiring themselves as well. So that’s a lot of good things culminating in that reverse annual evaluation.

How can we encourage employees to create an action plan after an evaluation?

Actually, wou require that. So, after they send the reverse annual evaluation, we tell them to send over a growth plan. And I outline the contents of the growth plan. It’s super clear what I expect and what I want to see, and I personally wrote the questions they have to answer in the growth plan. So it’s not really hard for them to draft up a growth plan from nothing at the get go.

It’s a requirement for us, so we don’t really, I’m not going to use the word encourage, I require it. Because if I’m going to give you a raise, then there has to be something new on the table as well. And the one thing that we promise team members in SEO Hacker is growth.

And if you don’t have a growth plan for yourself, then no one’s going to do it for you because you have to be dictating your own growth. What do you want to grow into? Or you have to be asking me questions about it if you have really no idea on where you can grow into and what you can become.

How can I get employees to evaluate themselves better?

Have a guideline. That’s the best way. A lot of employees, the problem is they don’t have a guideline, they don’t have guidance, and they don’t have directions. That’s the problem. And if they don’t have it, they’re thinking that they’re not going to be submitting a good report.

A lot of employees are insecure that way, and you, as the leader, have to be the one to fill the gap to make them more secure that, “Hey, you know what you’re going to be sending is something that’s sure, is something that I’m going to read, because here’s the guidelines. Here’s the template. Just follow these and you’re okay.”

So yeah, have a guideline and have a template that’s going to help them a lot. That’s going to, of course, encourage them to evaluate themselves and send that over to you.

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