Reviews are for providing useful feedback, discussing expectations and development, and recording performance. It’s important to make time for them and commit to them.
Feedback must be given on the job and at your regular one-on-one meetings – it should not come as a surprise during a six-monthly or annual performance review.
One-on-one catchups (weekly)
Weekly catch-ups should take about 15 minutes and if possible, should be held at the same time each week. They are especially important when things are busy.
Identify and discuss:
- what is and isn’t going well both individually and in the team
- if they need to troubleshoot any problems or challenges
- their role in relation to what’s happening on the farm that week
- how you can help and support each other - a great time for feedback
- anything else they would like to raise.
One-on-one reviews (every 1-3 months)
Less formal than a performance review, a one-on-one should only take about 30 minutes to complete. Holding them every 1-3 months means appreciation and positive feedback is provided regularly, potential issues can be dealt with quickly, and support or guidance can be given to keep employees on the right track.
Ask your employee:
- What do you enjoy about your job and what have the challenges been?
- Do you have any questions or concerns about your job or the business?
- What are you looking forward to in the next few months?
Together, review progress towards their training plan, give feedback on their performance and attitude and discuss upcoming farm targets and how they will help to achieve these. Use our review templates for ideas and to record actions.
- Give quality feedback as soon as possible after an event.
- Highlight positive actions before drawing attention to areas for improvement.
- Be specific about your expectations and the process you are following.
- Monitor progress and make sure your employee is getting the support they need.
- When setting goals, make sure the employee gives input and the goals are specific, measurable, and realistic.
Performance reviews (every 6-12 months)
Performance reviews are a more detailed, formal meeting to review past performance and plan actions for the future. Allow at least an hour of uninterrupted time and ensure you have both had time to reflect on the training plan and prepare questions before the meeting. Summarise and record ideas and outcomes using our review templates.
- Are expectations and responsibilities being met?
- Celebrate what your employee has achieved.
- Areas in which your employee is struggling or requires extra support or training.
- Check progress of the training plan.
- Review goals for the future and agree how these can be achieved.
- What the business targets are and how the team will achieve them.
- If the employee has any concerns suggestions for themselves or the job.
- Work for an understanding rather than a complete agreement - you can agree to disagree.
- Be firm but fair and give employees the opportunity to explain behaviour and make improvements.
- Be specific about the improvements you expect and the process you are following.
- Monitor the employee to make sure they are improving and support them to do this.
- Record any concerns about performance or behaviour.
If the employee is new and inexperienced, it is a good idea to do their first review after six months, or at the end of a seasonal period, e.g. end of calving, end of mating. If you are dealing with someone who is not performing well, you might consider shortening their review period.