Whether it’s aimed at getting the best possible results now or aiming for success down the road, nonprofit senior managers need to make sure they are taking steps to seek and promote excellence in all employees, from top management on down.
During the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Not-For-Profit Industry Conference, Joan Pastor of JPA International, Inc. stressed the need for performance management that occurs early and often. She said that this is necessary as part of a sound organizational culture and performance-development process.
To that end, Pastor said, organizations should set up a performance appraisal process that:
- Encourages the individual to develop and express themselves to the fullest possible;
- Assesses performance related to current roles and responsibilities;
- Assesses innovation and progress toward future roles and responsibilities, and if still congruent with the nonprofit’s evolution; and,
- Creates a tiered approach to move the person toward new (or refined) skills: the development of new behaviors, skills and beliefs should be set up as “stretch goals.” A modified appraisal form is usually needed.
Pastor also emphasized ongoing evaluation.
- Assess how the person handles “constructive feedback,” both accepting it and giving it. This is a key for vetting or turning down a potential candidate. Does the person model accountability? Does the person show enthusiasm for learning?
Wanting and seeking ongoing self-development is a critical leadership competency.