The scary review process

By Mike Klockenbrink

Whenever you mention the two little words “review time,” most people start to get nervous. Their palms start to sweat, their heart races and they think of all the possible things they’ve done wrong and how they need to improve.

It doesn’t have to be that way. This should be a time to celebrate and plan for the future. Sure we all have things we need to improve on, and I mean all of us, but we have also done a lot right or we wouldn’t be here.

Throughout my many years in the corporate and church world, we base our review process either on a number scale or letter grade.

Most people strive to get the “A” or “5” with 5 being best. The reality is if you don’t get the “A” or “5” in a particular area, it doesn’t mean you’re bad or not adding value. You may never get an “A” in all areas.  It’s OK, really it’s OK.

So how do we get away from using a scale to measure performance? We have discovered that we look for certain characteristics when we hire someone. So how can we make this process work for evaluating them on a regular basis?

We have broken it down into what we call the 4 Cs. I have seen 3Cs and 5Cs, but we’re settling on 4Cs.

The first C: CHARACTER – The combination of qualities, traits or features that distinguishes a (insert your church name here) staffer (i.e. Good work ethic, positive attitude, strong follow-through, truth teller, consistent; etc.).

We focus on the traits or attributes of the individual that either help or hurt the team.

Specific positive character traits the employee is living out that help our team:

Specific negative character traits the employee is exhibiting that hurt our team:

Instead of the typical letter or number grade, we evaluate how they are performing. They are either:

Under performing | Moving toward Expectations | Meets Expectations | Exceeds Expectations.

This is also done for each of the other C areas.

The second C: COMPETENCEThe state or quality of being adequately or well qualified for your position at (insert your church name here) (Each job requires a specific range of skill, knowledge and ability).

What specific goals were met this year?

What specific goals were missed this year?

Specific competencies that the employee has excelled in this year:

Specific competency issues where the employee needs improvement:

The third C: CHEMISTRY (insert your church name here) staff has a dynamic interrelation between team members. So, there should be a mutual attraction and rapport that is consistently experienced.

Give some examples of how the employee got along with other (insert your church name here) staff or key volunteers.

What are some specific challenges the employee is having in getting along with other (insert your church name here) staff or key volunteers?

The fourth C: CULTUREThe culture of (insert your church name here) is our DNA. It can be described by answering the question, “How do we live?” At (insert your church name here), we give ourselves to others, we celebrate-life giving grace, and we love meekness.

How is the employee doing in giving his or her life to others?

Describe how the employee is celebrating life-giving grace.

When has the employee displayed meekness in the past six months?

Areas where the employee is falling short in living out the (insert your church name here) culture:

So take a deep breath and relax. We’re just asking that you have good character, know your job, get along with others and you understand our environment.

It doesn’t have to be scary.

Mike Klockenbrink is chief of staff at Lakeside Church in Folsom, CA. Mike worked for W.W. Grainger Industrial Supply for 16 years in many different capacities – branch manager, regional quality manager, district sales manager and regional operations manager. In January 2000, Mike quit climbing the corporate ladder and started climbing the Kingdom ladder.


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