When new startups are launched, there’s a lot going on very quickly. Sourcing financing, investigating your target market, and fine tuning your ongoing business strategy are exciting and pertinent activities that need to be accomplished so that a new venture has the chance to flourish and grow.

Quite often though, after you’ve found and hired your team members the human side of business performance tends to take a back seat to other matters that seem more pressing. This is a bad oversight to have, because having an appropriate performance management system in place that is meaningful and suited to your startup’s culture is key to keeping your employees satisfied, stimulated and productive.

When your team is aware of their strengths and motivated, this translates directly into positive results for your startup. So it makes sense to implement a performance review system right from the beginning, or from the early stages of your startup. If you haven’t started yet don’t worry, it’s not too late! Here are some tips to consider:

  • Keeping things current: As startups are known to grow quickly and undergo lots of changes, it is a good idea to conduct performance reviews two or three times per year. This way your team members have a chance to raise any grievances as they occur, they can set short term goals that are realistic and attainable, and it also provides managers with the opportunity to recognise and praise employee efforts.
  • Value your team: While performance reviews provide managers with a chance to help their employees identify training and skills gaps, they also serve as a reminder to staff that their development and growth are valued by the company. This can help to build ambition and drive more effective performance of team members. This goes for managers and executives too – receiving feedback from their teams can aid them in identifying and addressing leadership weaknesses.
  • Communicate effectively: They also can serve as a formal communication platform. Managers can clarify and articulate the company vision, and use the opportunity to refocus employees who may be distracted or losing sight of the bigger picture. If you want to use the opportunity to connect with your team on a more personal level, holding the performance review off site (for example, at a cafe) gives an informal atmosphere that lends itself to more relaxed communications.
  • Establish fair rewards: This one might seem obvious, as it’s well established that employee compensation should be tied to their performance, but it’s surprising how many businesses overlook that performance reviews provide an opportunity for companies to fairly reward their staff. Team members who are not adequately paid for their efforts are more prone to poor performance, absenteeism and are likely to start looking elsewhere for a company that rewards and appreciates their hard work. By tracking employee performance, you can easily identify employees who have earned salary increases, and who might be suitable for promotion as your company grows.
  • Encourage responsibility: Developing a company culture in which feedback is shared consistently over time enables employees to feel appreciated and take pride in their work, which will help to build employee commitment, trust and accountability. Acknowledging the effect that an employee is having within the company encourages each individual to take accountability for the quality of their work as well as their personal workplace performance. Having a team that takes it upon themselves to show responsibility for the success of your startup is imperative to high performance and growth.

Here at Wink Reports, we use a 360° performance review system that gives all employees the chance to provide feedback for their colleagues. I conduct the performance reviews for our team and they’ve been received with very positive feedback. Even though our team is small, we all appreciate the chance to find out areas that we can improve upon. Developing a culture of feedback within your startup will help to promote business growth, and implementing a performance review system is a great way to go about it. Do you use a particular performance review system that is a great fit for your startup? I’d love to hear about it! ;)