Newsletter – December 13, 2021

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Special delivery! Performance evaluation tools, retention tips, and new training dates

Hi friends,

We have a present for you and—unlike a certain online retailer who sends a toothbrush in a three-foot box of bubble wrap—this one is eco-friendly and brimming with good stuff. Like…updated tools for 2021 performance evaluations and tips for staff retention.


Many of us have experienced evaluations that are time-consuming, anxiety-inducing, procedural nightmares—but they don’t have to be! Performance evaluations can be an opportunity for alignment, staff retention, and development.

First, explicitly acknowledge how difficult this year has been and show your team members that you see what they’re holding. Take this opportunity to reflect, celebrate accomplishments, and recap any lessons learned. Invite and receive feedback graciously, and use evaluations to recap constructive feedback given throughout the year.

Here’s our mini-formula:

  • Share the headline message you want them to take away from this conversation.
  • Acknowledge:
    • The context that they are working in.
    • Obstacles they overcame, wins they achieved, key pivots, and lessons learned.
    • What you learned or could have done better.
  • Align on new expectations or goals (including developmental or corrective ones)—recognizing that we’re still in a pandemic—and specify any concrete support you will provide along the way.




Find more in our Frequently Asked Questions About Performance Evaluations.

Worried about the Great Resignation? Focus on retention planning!

Performance evaluations can help with retention. Remember these Five Ways to Retain High Performing Staff as you schedule annual reviews:

1. Plan for continuous learning and growth.

Find out what skills staff are motivated to expand, what they love about their role, and what new things they want to try. Talk explicitly about their trajectory at the organization.

2. Invest in the longer-term picture for the role.

Help them see their impact on the bigger picture (for the organization, the field, or the system).

3. Show appreciation.

Sometimes staff leave because they don’t feel recognized or valued. Be explicit about their impact and specific in your praise.

4. Have “stay conversations.”

Instead of worrying about whether a staff member is happy or planning to stay long-term, ask them directly: “What can I do to support your growth with us?” Keep in mind: some turnover is healthy, especially in periods of growth or change. Before you persuade a staff member to stick it out “just one more school year/campaign cycle/funding cycle,” consider the undue pressure on the staff member (especially BIPOC staff members or more junior staff members) to sacrifice their own interests and well-being for the sake of the organization. Be authentic and responsible with your power as you calibrate the conversation with their well-being in mind.

5. Make your organization a stellar place to work.

Start with pay (if you have the authority), but don’t stop there. Beyond raises, consider benefits, professional development funds, and other resources you can offer. For middle managers, invest in the intangible benefits within your sphere of control like team culture, sense of belonging, and sense of purpose that comes from getting lasting results. Find out what motivates your staff members to stay—and build on it.

Sign up for these 2022 trainings!

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Cohorts

We know that managers and staff who are Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) face unique issues within organizations while navigating the intersections of race, class, gender, and other identities. That’s why we’ve designed training courses for BIPOC managers and staff to connect, share, and learn practices that can help them thrive. Find new training dates now for managers and staff.

Managing for Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Results

If you have completed our Managing to Change the World training and you’re motivated to dive deeper to advance equitable outcomes, this training is for you. We cover incorporating racial equity into your goals, creating and aligning with more inclusive expectations, mitigating bias in hiring and evaluation, and effectively giving and receiving feedback with a lens on power. Register now for Spring 2022.

Find more trainings on our website.

Connect & Build: Join us on Slack!

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Sign up for the TMC Community Slack, a space to connect with folks from other organizations, ask questions, share ideas, and support one another.

Join us today! Fill out this form to receive an invitation.


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