Imagine your team is like a garden - master the art of performance evaluation.

By Felicite Dusabe

February 15, 2024

Felicite Dusabe sharing a moment with one of our employees. She is an HR practitioner with over 18 years of dedication to nurturing talent and fostering workplace excellence.

Constantin Uwase

In one big office, Emma stands out for her exceptional technical abilities and knowledge in her field. She is regarded as a highly skilled and competent professional who consistently delivers excellent work. Emma is the one everyone relies on for difficult projects. People admire her because she always does great work and never lets anyone down.

However, Emma faces challenges in her role when it comes to supporting her staff. She encounters difficulties in providing the necessary mentorship, guidance, and support to her team members. This struggle in nurturing her staff's growth and development sometimes creates a gap in fostering her team members' growth.

After noticing Emma’s struggles, I sat down with her one day to explain to her more about performance evaluations, when they are done and how they should be done. I explained it to her like this: "Imagine your team is like a garden. Performance evaluations are like tending to that garden—checking the soil, watering the plants, and pruning away the weeds. It's a chance for you to nurture each member, helping them thrive and grow." Emma's eyes lit up as she realized the potential of this approach. From that day on, she embraced performance evaluations wholeheartedly, seeing them not as a daunting task, but as an opportunity to cultivate a flourishing team environment where everyone could blossom.

Although often overlooked in its significance, performance evaluations serve as a powerful tool for individual development, team collaboration, and organizational advancement. At its core, performance evaluation fosters a culture of continuous learning. 

It's more than an annual ritual confined to corporate structures, where managers get a chance to fail those they don’t like or excel those they dorather it's an ongoing dialogue reflecting strengths, weaknesses, and avenues for improvement. When done effectively and regularly, performance evaluations;

  • Offer a platform for employees to receive constructive feedback on their performance.

  • Align individual goals with organizational objectives, ensuring everyone works towards shared targets.

  • Acknowledge accomplishments and recognize exceptional work, which boosts morale and motivates employees to strive for excellence.

  • Help in identifying skills gaps, training requirements, and opportunities for growth, aiding in personalized development plans.

  • Facilitate open communication between managers and employees, ensuring alignment on expectations and objectives.

As a human resources practitioner for over a decade, I have witnessed firsthand the crucial role that performance evaluations play. The ability to assist Emma through her managerial struggles, allowed her to express her challenges and provide her team with a platform to share their perspectives. 

Subsequently, we developed a tailored development plan for Emma, incorporating targeted training sessions and ongoing support to enhance her leadership abilities. This personalized approach helped Emma navigate her challenges, enabling her to evolve into a more effective and supportive manager. The transformation in Emma's managerial approach was profound. She became more attuned to her team's needs, offering guidance, support, and encouragement, cultivating an environment where each of her staff member has the opportunity to flourish and contribute to their fullest potential.

Emma’s story reminds us that leadership is a journey, not a destination. Through continuous learning and growth, we can all become more effective leaders.