If you set your accounting team’s annual goals back in January, now is the midpoint to assess how close they are to reaching them by the end of the year. Now is the opportune time to figure out who is on track and address any areas that need improvement, since there’s six months left to make a difference. Determine where your accounting team stands with these tips for conducting effective annual reviews.
Determine Specific Criteria
Make more objective assessments of your team by prioritizing the traits or results that are the most important for them to exhibit to be successful in the short and long terms. This will help you focus the reviews to see which accountants are actually meeting the company’s needs and have potential for continued success. By having specific criteria, you are also evaluating all your accountants in the same standardized manner and preventing any subconscious bias.
Ask for Feedback from Others
As a manager, you are likely to be somewhat removed from the day-to-day happenings of your accounting team. Gain a more well-rounded view of where they stand by soliciting feedback from others who have a different, and likely closer, perspective to your accountants’ work performances. Ask co-workers or other colleagues for their feedback on individual accountants they may work closely with, as well as self-evaluations from the employees themselves.
Start a Candid, Constructive Dialogue
Once you’ve completed your information gathering and made your personal assessments of your accounting team, deliver it to the individuals in a way that shows you want to encourage them to grow and not just judge them. Avoid reading over a checklist and having them sit and listen. Instead, make it a conversation. State your thoughts and then ask for their input along the way. Don’t focus on “grading” them, so much as making a plan for the future based on current performance findings.
Make Expectations Clear
The end goal of employee evaluations should be for each member of your accounting team to walk away knowing exactly where they need to go from there. For improvements that need to be made, discuss how you will measure progress and the timelines they need to meet, as well as any consequences that will occur if not followed through. This direct manner can actually be comforting, even after a bad review, because they’re not left to fret about how to prove themselves to you.
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