I used to think employee assessments were for improving employee performance. And while that is a major part of it, they can also be tools to grow your business.
When it comes to employee assessment time, I like to do 360 degree feedback assessments where we collect performance feedback from the employee’s co-workers and their clients. We distill the feedback into strengths to continue and actionable areas for improvement, then present it to the employee.
We used to email short requests for feedback to our clients. Our thinking was that we wanted to minimize the time it would take for them to provide feedback. Over the years, we would collect feedback in person if we happened to pass a client in the hall or had a separate meeting scheduled with them.
This is how we learned to turn simple employee assessments into a massive business development opportunities.
Almost every time we had an in-person conversation, the client remembered something they could use our help on.
Here are the exact steps we’ve implemented with important clients in our last round of assessments:
1. Send a short email asking for 10 minutes to collect feedback for an assessment
People understand that assessments are important to every business. They probably do them in their own organization. Here’s a sample email:
Subj: 10 min to collect feedback on [insert employee name]
It is assessment time for our company. Do you have 10 minutes this week for me to collect feedback on [insert employee name]?
2. Check in and catch up
When you first meet or start the phone call, double check that the time is still good for them. You don’t want them to be in a rush to wrap up. If you know the client, also take a couple minutes to catch up and say hi.
3. Start with the positive
Ask the client, “What are three things [insert employee name] does well that they should continue doing?”
This starts the client off thinking well of your employee and all the great work they’ve done. It also reminds them of the services your company provides.
4. Dip into critical feedback
Ask the client, “What areas can [insert employee name] improve to better serve you in the future?”
We don’t want a bash fest of your employee. We want critical, actionable feedback so they can grow and make your client happier.
5. End with future support
Ask the client, “Do you need any additional support from [insert employee name] or are there any other services you need?”
This is the magical Business Development question. It’s open ended so make sure to pause to give them time to answer the question.
Employee Assessments Show You Care About Your Employees and Your Clients
When we ask our clients about our employee’s performance, the hidden question we ask is “are you being satisfactorily served and, if not, how can we improve?”
Assessments are very non-threatening, non-sales feeling meetings.
Have you ever used a process like this? If so, what were your steps?
If you’re really serious about knocking Business Development out of the park this year, download the Government Contracting Goals Planner.