Annual performance reviews are a necessity and a part of every organization. If they’re not, then you really should make it so. My experience in a leadership role found me doing 25 each year. At first it was a challenge to provide constructive feedback to my staff & goal setting was even harder. After awhile the goal setting became my favorite part & the feedback was easier because I had my employees provide their accomplishments. So if you’re a community manager or supervising one I hope that you find this helpful.
The online world is changing so quickly that I think the traditional 6 month orientation & annual performance review should be shifted to a 3 month orientation & 6 month review. If that mixes up HR too much then do the 3 month intervals informally.
As a Community Manager (or in any position really) keep track of your wins. Once a month take some time to log what’s went well & what didn’t. If you provide this to your supervisor it will provide you both with topics to discuss. In a perfect world there is ongoing communication & job coaching, but that doesn’t necessarily always happen. This should prevent surprises from either side.
Ideally if you’re submitting a monthly report of stat’s with feedback on what’s going well & suggestions of ideas then those reports would be excellent talking points.
The Community Manager role is rarely listed as supervisory but it really is. You’re leading a whole community (both externally & internally). This means that if you’re truly engaged in your position then you should be setting goals on an ongoing basis and adjusting them as needed. I see that expectation in the job descriptions all the time. The type of person that fits this role is also very self motivated.
So goal setting should be a concerted effort with your supervisor. It is your job so take responsiblity for it’s direction. As a community manager you can influence your direction by providing your goals & then the goal setting can be a discussion of how they fit into the company’s mission.
I’m thinking that some are going to suggest that I’m a bit idealistic. I came to enjoy the process with my staff. Goals are so important. Without them how will improvements happen? Change is necessary so you may as well be a part of it or it’ll happen around you.
A quick note about the best advice given to me by my Director after my first year in a supervisory/leadership role. She said, "Choose the two activities that are the least successful & drop them." Every once in awhile I need to remind myself of that. My supervisors generally don’t have the problem of needing to find work for me, it’s more of helping me deal with the frustration of my self-inflicted "too much to do". So I hope that helps if you’re an over-achiever. I think it’s fairly typical of people in the community manager role. So that puts a totally different twist on goal setting, doesn’t it?
What are your thoughts on performance reviews & goal setting? Is it something that you find helpful? What’s your best advice? I’d love to hear it!