Performance management is an important part of the employment process for Youth Workers/Youth Pastors, to improve the effectiveness of their ministry and the church, as well as supporting the performance and overall well-being of the employee. A performance review is part of an ongoing cycle (typically annual) based around the agreed expectations for the job or voluntary position. Apart from the employment agreement and documenting routine duties, employers and employees may also want to agree on matters such as:
- particular milestones the youth worker is to achieve and whether there will be extra reward for achieving them,
- any training or skill development the youth worker needs and how that will be accomplished,
- the youth worker’s longer-term aspirations and how their employer/church might help the youth worker achieve them.
It is important that employers and employees review progress regularly and routinely at an agreed interval (every quarter is typical) and discuss both successes and problems. Each review should deal with any problems, recognise success, and revise the objectives for the coming period. This is the opportunity for employers and employees to agree on the state of the existing relationship and to work together on what the future should be. Over time, dealing with problems and seizing opportunities should become part of the fabric of the relationship.
Performance Review Questions
The review should cover a range of areas, including their knowlege, dependability, quality of work, problem solving, communication, team work and effectiveness. See our Sample Youth Worker Performance Review questions – this is suitable for use with both employees and volunteers.
An Example of a Performance Review Process
- Every youth worker as part of their orientation will complete a meeting with the Vicar/Youth Ministry Leader/Organisation Director to review the job description outlining the expectations of job and creating a professional development plan.
- The development plan and expectations will be reviewed annually using the performance review document, however between each annual reviews, there will be informal discussions (e.g. twice a year) to check in on progress and review any problems or concerns.
- If any problems do arise, it is important that they are addressed quickly. In this case all parties involved will receive a letter inviting them to a meeting. At this meeting the issue will be discussed as well as the outcome/result/consequence from the situation. If these are not able to be agreed upon, the Vicar/Youth Ministry Leader/Organisation Director will take away all information and – within an agreed time frame – will decided on the next step, which could include the final decision on the outcome/result or further information gathering.
- A final decision could include, but is not limited to, a verbal and/or written warning, new expectations, change of professional development plan to include extra support, supervision, accountability or a dismissal. This will be put in writing to the team member and changes to any other documents will be update and passed on to the staff member.
- If the behaviour or actions of the youth worker continues, a formal written warning will be issued and the Vestry/Board of Trustees will be informed of the matter. The Vestry/Wardens/Board will review the process so far and decide on what further action or support is needed.
- After a written warning, the next step should be dismissal for the youth worker.
- If the youth worker is unhappy with the outcome at any stage, they should inform the Vestry/Board in writing, stating their reasons. A meeting should take place with a minimum of two members of the Vestry/Board, the Vicar/Youth Ministry Leader/Organisation Director and the youth worker. At this meeting they may wish to bring a support person. The outcomes of this meeting should be well documented.
- Where a serious breach of discipline has occurred, it may be necessary to proceed immediately to suspension while investigation/process takes place or, in extreme cases, instant dismissal.
- In any event, the employee/volunteer will have a right of appeal.
To find out more about performance reviews, contact us.