Donna & Lorie working on employee review process

A good employee performance review process can be a challenge to perfect. Most employees – on either side of the review – don’t relish the thought of trying to remember everything they did over the last year while filling out a form that may or may not have the most relevant questions, and can sometimes create power imbalances between employees and their managers. Reflecting on the work done in a mutually beneficial environment, and setting up realistic and achievable goals, are an important part of growing – as an employee, and as an organization.

When the West Central Women’s Resource Centre (WCWRC) took a look at their review process, they quickly realized that it needed to change. The form was long, the language outdated and sometimes hard to understand, and it didn’t match the Centre’s strengths-based, empowering employment model. And so, Lorie English, WCWRC’s Executive Director, got in touch with Spark.

We were recruiting for a couple of HR-related matches at the time, and so we reached out to Donna Hall, an old Spark employee who left to pursue a career in HR (and we couldn’t be happier for her – way to follow your passion, Donna!). However, once a Sparkie, always a Sparkie, and when we emailed to see if she knew of anyone for either match, Donna stepped up to the plate and claimed the WCWRC match for herself.

When the three of us met, it was clear that Donna had done some homework. She came prepared with a few suggestions, including a process inspired by Adobe’s employee Check In process, in which goals are set at the beginning of the year, and followed up with regular check ins. This involves more time on everyone’s part, but has resulted in increased employee happiness for the software giant. Lorie was intrigued by this approach, and was interested in how it and other models might be applied to the Centre.

There was some good, excited energy by the time the three of us had hashed out a work plan for their match, in which Donna will provide two or three performance review models, and WCWRC will pick one which will then be fleshed out by Donna and Lorie. By now, Lorie and her team are testing the new process, while Donna waits in the wings to hear how it goes, and if there are any final tweaks needed to make it the best fit possible for the Centre and its employees.

If you work for a community development organization in Winnipeg and are looking for short-term, project-specific help, or if you’d like to volunteer your expertise, start here. Our matches make it possible for organizations to achieve what they can’t do on their own – be part of that change today!