Sustaining Success
November 2011
Envision, Evolve, Achieve

Laurie Mrva

Happy Thanksgiving!  I encourage you to take this time to reflect on the year and despite any challenges you've faced, take note of those who have supported you and the positive things you have experienced.  Say "Thank you" and show your appreciation to your family, staff, and clients who remain loyal.
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I believe that success is about the journey, not the destination.  Choose to make memories along your journey that you can carry with you always and live each day with passion and purpose.  


Wishing you Much Success!!!

Laurie Mrva
Success Facilitator
Achieve Success LLC
The Art Of Performance Evaluations

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Most managers and employees view performance evaluations as necessary but difficult to do. Managers do not look forward to the process and most employees see it as a time when unfair demands or criticisms are made of them.  They also see it as a one-sided (biased) view of their performance.

Reflecting on the performance evaluations many employees have experienced, there is good reason for the apprehension they feel about the process, which is the primary reason why evaluations are not done on time if at all.  When an employee's performance deteriorates to a level that makes him or her expendable, it is often too late for performance evaluation.  Yet if an evaluation is conducted, there is a good chance the employee could be saved. A retained employee increases company moral, reduces costs and increases productivity and profits.  

Like many tasks in business, there is need for processes. Accounting needs them, customer service cannot operate without them, inventory management needs them, and so it is with performance evaluations.  

Processes minimize the influence of personal bias so the focus can be on the task and the outcome of it.  One might ask, what measurable results can a manager and employee expect from a performance evaluation session. Below is a partial list of objectives that managers and employees are experiencing.

Performance Evaluation Expectations

   A bias free appraisal of the job related performance of the employee

   Review of the employee's performance of specific job related tasks

   Review of the employee's job related relations with internal and external customers

   Review of the most effective way for the employee to communicate with his/her manager

   Review of the employee's communication style, and how it affects those he/she works with

   Review of comments made about the employee by internal and external customers

   Review of the best way for the manager to communicate with the employee

   Review of the employee's perception of his/her work environment

   Establish clear job related objectives for enhancing the performance of the employee

   Establish a clearly stated and agreed upon dateline for meeting enhancement objectives

   And, other expectations specific to the position and company culture. 

When companies benchmark positions to identify the personal talents and technical skills needed for the position, they create a set of key accountabilities the employee needs to adhere to and the manager must use to evaluate the performance of the employee.  Evaluations conducted after an employee has performed badly for a long time (a year or more) will produce a highly biased evaluation.  

The greatest benefit for a performance evaluation is to provide employees with clear, unbiased directions and expectations for them to be successful. Managers may gain information about the employee's perception of the expectations that are not correct, and how to correct them, during an evaluation review.  The need for better listening and communication skills between all parties going forward can be identified as well. 

Identifying the key accountabilities of any position and holding the employee accountable for them is vital for building a company's ongoing success.  Poor performing employees have impeded the progress of companies in all industries for a long time, which has contributed in no small measure to the current economic condition of our country. 

When employees consistently receive accurate information about what is expected of them they perform better, with less stress on them and those they work with.

Performance Evaluations work - they build teams that build successful companies. t

Source: John Mathis, owner/president Keyline Company, Inc.  All rights reserved worldwide.  Copyright protected

How To Hire Top Talent

One of the biggest problems in businesses today entails making mistakes about who to deploy to perform specific roles within an organization. There are a number of tactics available to assist employers in hiring the top talent to meet the needs of their companies.

First, the company should devise a blueprint for the role that needs to be filled within the company. Rather than hire the well-rounded employee who can fill any role, managers should seek individuals who have specific talents for specific roles. Strive to hire the specialist rather than the generalist.

Conventional hiring practice sets goals to attract those individuals who have graduated from the best schools with the highest grades. However, recent research has shown that this practice does not necessarily lead to recruitment of candidates most suitable to a specific position.

The process should not be about hiring the best person. It should be about hiring the right person. Seek the candidate who has a 90% chance of achieving a set of outcomes that only 10% of a group of people could achieve. This could as easily lead to the young woman who ran her father's company instead of working toward that Harvard MBA. The key is to be sure about the person you are hiring and make sure they will be able to accomplish the goals set forth by your company once they are in the role.

The majority of successful companies are now beginning to use their own networks to source talented candidates for a position. In other words, if possible, hire from within. It is common sense, but not necessarily common practice to stay in close touch with and talk to a company's networks on a regular basis. Finding the right talent can be as simple as asking trusted co-workers and associates the question, "Who do you think I should hire?" There is no better, more successful or more cost effective way to generate a flow of the right talent. But if you don't know what you are looking for in a position, you won't know what to look for in the candidate!

Managers tend to fail at hiring the ideal candidates who possesses the right talents because they do not follow a rigorous enough hiring process. Interviews should walk through a candidate's entire career in chronological order. They also need to know how a person will do the job, why they will do the job, and will they do the job.

This is the best way available to make a good hiring decision. You are not going to be able to distinguish the real talent from the average performer in a rushed, twenty-minute interview. Taking the extra time at the beginning of the hiring process is well worth the time and effort when that right candidate comes through for your organization.

If you have any questions about this article, or about how we can help you with your current hiring needs, contact us today! t

We encourage your participation and comments.

~ Written by Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC. Copyright protected worldwide. All rights reserved

About Us
Laurie helps organizations and professionals make positive changes to achieve their goals.  Achieve Success offers customized solutions to your business challenges including strategic planning, leadership development and employee assessment tools to assist with hiring, promoting and developing key skills to enhance success.   

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In This Issue
The Art Of Performance Evaluations
How To Hire Top Talent
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The Truth


To be effective, leaders must know what is really going on within their organization.

Inherent in the nature of organizations and individuals is a tendency toward fear. This fear causes employees to not communicate bad news, lest they be held responsible.

Some leaders' negative reactions to bad news can cause employees to either soft pedal the truth or simply not communicate it. This causes "CEO's disease," the condition of being blind to what is really going on-a sure path to failure as a leader.

Some leaders invite the truth and react to communications in a way that drives out the natural fear that exists in most organizations. They create strategies and develop competencies that create a culture of trust.

They know what is going on, both the good news and the bad news, and can therefore respond appropriately in terms of the needs of the business.

Thought Provoker

- Are you getting the truth?


- Are you aware of the natural tendency of employees to 'put the most positive slant on things'?


- Are you creating a culture of trust by your personal style that fosters others to provide ALL the information, both good and bad?


- How do you react to bad news? Do you kill the messenger?


- What systems can you put in place now to insure that you get the truth, i.e. all of the information that you need to be successful?


Studies have shown that organizations where fear is at minimum and good news and bad news flows naturally are the most successful.

~ Copyright protected by author Bruce M. Anderson. Reprinted with permission. Thinking Partners

 Steve Jobs Quotes

"Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me... Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful... that's what matters to me."
The Wall Street Journal (Summer 1993) 

"We don't get a chance to do that many things, and everyone should be really excellent, because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we've all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it."
~ Fortune