They DID it! They evaluated performance! Nelly and Pius conducted their first Performance Evaluations this week and they did a FANTASTIC job! This has been one of those weeks that just flies by!

Explaining the performance evaluation process started on February 15th, when I sat with Nelly and explained her performance eval to her. It’s a document that lists General Responsibilities and Professional Expectations. (At one point along the way, I’ve explained this as “General Responsibilities are WHAT you do, and Professional Expectations are HOW you do those things – with what kind of attitude.) I had her self evaluate so I could target the things she felt weakest in during the time I am here, and see how she would rank herself on all the responsibilities and expectations.

The next phase was on February 16th explaining the performance evaluation to the Field Managers (Pius, John, Joseph) and having them self evaluate as well. Field Managers are responsible for a Division of people. (Kenya is broken up like this: Country – Province – Region – District – Division – Location – Sub-location – Village) Nyametaburo and Nyangiti were Nuru’s first targeted Sub-Locations. Now as we are scaling – we have spread to Nyamaharaga and Nyabikaye – 2 more Sub-locations in our Isibania Division. Pius is responsible for Isibania Division. John is heading up Healthcare in Mabera Division and Joseph is heading up Healthcare in Kehancha Division.

After a special celebratory meeting of all Nuru Staff on February 22nd (CDC, Field Managers and Field Officers), the Healthcare team had a special meeting for Nelly to explain to the Field Officers (FOs) what a performance evaluation is, why we are doing them, and what a FO is expected to do.

On February 23rd Nelly and Pius worked with me for several hours to do an initial evaluation of each Field Officer. Using the performance evaluation form – Nelly and Pius numerically ranked each of the FOs. During this ranking, I asked for stories and specific examples to help us discuss why that was their ranking and I found out all kinds of things. I found out that 2 of our FOs are teachers and have to leave their students in order to come to our meetings held during the day, I learned that some of the FOs go off and discuss things together after meetings, I learned who is constantly absent “with apologies” from meetings, I learned that one FO had used poor judgment in dealing with someone and needed a warning letter for misconduct and to apologize for his actions. This is a GREAT tool for learning from my team what the current situation was with the FOs.

Monday and Tuesday of this week, Nelly, Pius, and I discussed all 8 FOs in detail. Using the numeric ranking they had given them and the anecdotal stories we began crafting bulleted lists for each FO in the areas of Strengths, Weaknesses, Documents needed (Employment Contract or Warning Letter), and Tasks to explain to the FOs. I arrived at the Granary and gave Pius and Nelly a pep-talk: told them how proud I was of them, that today is a big step in their management of the FOs, that they have prepared a lot and I think they are ready and will do a great job. It is important to me that they are seen as the managers, and not me. For that reason, I left the granary and let them carry out their meetings. At 5pm I met up with them again, just to hear how it went and more specifically how they felt. They said the FOs agreed with them – not only about their strengths but also about their weaknesses – and that they had a willingness to improve. GREAT! We’re building leaders, and that is awesome.

The really wonderful part of my week though, was on Tuesday during my Field Manager meeting. Read next week to find out how setting up a pretend fabric store and having “one friend send another friend to Tanzania to get fabric” actually helped me teach Setting Expectations, Keeping Others Accountable, and Not Getting Taken Advantage Of.