Ongoing performance planning involves addressing the positives and negatives in an employee’s performance directly with each employee at the time of the event as well as keeping ongoing performance notes on each employee. This takes discipline and time. I think it is usually the second of these requirements that most small business owners and nonprofit executive directors find lacking.

Recently I had a small business owner say to me, “I just don’t have time to do performance planning and keep ongoing notes on my employees, that’s not what pays me.” Addressing employee performance issues and keeping performance notes on your employees does not pay you directly. However, indirectly it does. Your staff is your most valuable, and most costly, resource.

When staff receives ongoing feedback from their supervisor in regards to both their positive behavior and negative behavior they perform better. When the positive behavior is addressed regularly they feel motivated and appreciated which increases performance. When the negative behavior is addressed at the time a behavior occurs it allows for growth and behavior correction which also increases performance. When both are done regularly you have a natural “sandwich” approach. Which is what we have all been taught all our lives about giving feedback right? Give a positive, then the negative, then a positive. IAS would say scratch that idea in the short term and apply it in the long term. When you give positive feedback just give the positives. That way when you need to give negative feedback to cause behavior change you can just address the negative behavior because it has already been cushioned with the ongoing positive you address regularly.

When thinking about what “pays you” consider the value your staff brings to your organization and where you would be without them. If an employee is not motivated, does not feel recognized or valued, and is not given opportunity for growth you will lose them, and then how will you get paid?