Here’s one thing you can do that is good for your ministry center, good for your board, and great for your camp’s executive director or CEO: an annual review for you executive leader. A good evaluation process means that board and staff leaders all know what is working and what needs improvement. Everyone gets on the same page about priorities.
A review process for your camp director provides a formal means for raising issues and celebrating successes, rather than bringing things up off-handedly or at the end of a meeting. You know the dreaded, “I’ve got just one more non-agenda items I want to talk about tonight.”
Your executive deserves to receive the feedback they need to feel supported and to grow in their skills.
Plan ahead to schedule the annual review so that the last step in the process occurs around the anniversary of the executive’s hiring or at a time that is consistent each year. Your evaluation should include written components and a face-to-face conversation.
The Written Review
This written review process should include an opportunity for the board to evaluate the director and for the director to evaluate herself and the board. These evaluations should be based on the job description for the executive and goals the board and director have set together. I also recommend that the board self-evaluate their effectiveness and functioning.
These written evaluations become the basis for two conversations: First, the board chair and two other board members will compare the evaluations. Where are areas of agreement? Where are areas of misalignment – either between the perceptions of board members or between the executive and the board. This conversation frames their approach to the review with the executive.
The second conversation is an extensive, comprehensive review of the written evaluations by this same small group with the executive director/CEO.
Goal-Setting and Compensation
Then, the executive uses the information gained from the process to shape goals–for themself and for the board–for the coming year and presents them to the whole board. These goals become the basis for next year’s evaluations.
Finally, be sure to reward your executive for goals met, and work that was “above and beyond.” If increased salary or bonuses aren’t feasible, discuss other non-financial rewards, increased vacation, or other perks.
As a ministry leader (in parish ministry), I’ve felt the most supported and knew best what to focus on when I had a formal review process. Your executive is your greatest asset and investment. Invest in supporting them and setting them up to succeed.