Performance Reviews

The annual performance review is a formal process for churchwardens to use with parish lay staff to:

  • discuss the job performance, career objectives and ministry development of the employee
  • review goals and accomplishments
  • set goals and objectives for the coming year
  • identify training needs

This process is accomplished through a performance evaluation meeting. The procedures and a sample review form are available through the Incumbent and Parish Staff document.

Performance evaluation of an employee is much more than an annual exercise. Supervisors should meet frequently with their employees over the year to provide feedback, instruction and evaluation. Annual evaluations should never contain “surprises.”

One of the most stressful situations for a supervisor is addressing inappropriate or inadequate performance or behaviour by a staff member. Performance difficulties can range from subtle, hard-to-define incompetence to overt non-compliance. When you become aware of poor performance, there are two common responses you must avoid:

  • looking the other way and hoping it won’t happen again
  • making a hasty judgment, condemning the person and assuming they can never change

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that helping someone to be responsible for their behaviour is somehow unChristian. Whatever the behaviour, it needs to be addressed in a spirit of redemption, grace, compassion and justice.

These are small matters that are neither malicious nor chronic, such as wasting paper, not meeting a deadline or arriving late for a staff meeting. Speak privately to the employee as soon as you can; the faster you provide feedback, the more likely the behaviour will change. The reasons for the inappropriate behaviour can include:

  • unclear expectations
  • a perception that consequences will be minor
  • misunderstandings
  • obstacles beyond the employee’s control
  • temporary stress or frustration on the employee’s part