This year is speeding by – we can’t believe it’s almost June and the summertime! We’re excited about the nicer weather and are looking forward to more outdoor activities. In April’s blog, we talked about leveraging your employees’ interests when coming up with events. This month, we’re going to shift gears a little bit and look at an important part of organizational culture and employee development which are the touchpoints throughout the year to discuss how things are going. One of the most important ways we do this is through our Annual Review between managers and their team members.

Annual reviews help improve communication, facilitate better working relationships, and create an environment for open discussion and feedback. We set them up to occur every year on what we call a “Breathe-aversary” (work anniversary) of an employee – the first day they started with us. It’s not a complicated or intensive process, but it’s quite important to how we navigate growing and developing our team.

One of the biggest aspects of our review process is evaluating our team members using our 5 core values; We are one team, We are accountable, We push the limits, We are proactive, and We like to have fun. We use these values as a guide in how we expect all of our team members to conduct themselves and approach their roles. Our core values are part of the promise we make to each other as a team and we expect everyone to exhibit them day to day. For example, we ask reviewers which values the team member brings to life, and one we would like to see them focus on more.

When it comes to our team, we want our employees to be performing well and utilizing their skills and knowledge, but at the same time value and culture fit is important. This is why our review features our core values as the key aspect of evaluation. When someone isn’t performing well or productivity isn’t where it needs to be, it’s not too complicated to come up with a game plan to get things back on track. What is difficult, is when an employee is not someone exhibiting our core values or embracing the company culture. We truly see more value in someone who maybe doesn’t have as many skills, but works with the right mindset and attitude to fit with our team!

The annual review process includes other questions which highlight things that an employee has done exceptionally well and areas where there is room for improvement. There is a three-step process to the Annual Review:

  • Self Review
    • Every team member is asked a simple set of questions that help them reflect on their year. This step is quite important as it can open up the conversation on how things have been going, areas that need more support, as well as celebrate wins!
  • Peer Review
    • The Manager asks 2-3 peers to provide feedback about the employee as this can lead to a 360-degree review. These peers remain completely anonymous to the employee so as to not influence the review in any way.
  • Manager Review
    • Managers answer a number of questions that take a deep dive into all aspects of the employee’s job performance including results, whether they met expectations, their attitude and comportment, and how well they work with others.

The end goal of our Annual Review is to ensure that employees are always growing and developing, but also that they get recognition in areas where they have excelled. We want everyone at Breathe Life to feel like they know how to move forward with their job, have open lines of communication with their managers, and dedicated time to celebrate all of their wins. This helps create a psychologically safe environment and is instrumental to a strong and healthy company culture.