August has begun, you’re in the midst of camping season and now is a good time to evaluate your staff and provide feedback for them to improve as camp professionals for the remainder of the summer. But how do you do that effectively? How do you pull aside a staffer and give them an effective evaluation that praises their strengths and encourages them to improve their weaknesses?
Check-in Informally Every Week
Take the time each week to pull aside staff members and check in with them. It may sound daunting but these 2-5 minute check-ins can make a huge difference.
Quick questions to ask informally include;
- How are you feeling? (mentally/physically)
- Do you feel supported?
- What’s working well for you right now?
- What do you need to work on or improve?
This gives staff a chance to feel heard and will give you the opportunity to identify potential problems before they arise. This is also where you praise what they’ve been doing well and offer encouragement.
Have a Standard Evaluation Form
Evaluations will always go more smoothly if you have a standard evaluation form with questions and standards that apply to all staff. One way to do this is to have the camper rate themself on a scale of 1-10 in these areas while you also rate them. Compare the rating and discuss strengths and weaknesses in each area.
Try to evaluate traits such as; friendliness, professionalism, punctuality, following directions, initiative, and leadership.
You could get very specific and discuss things such as; camper interaction, cooperation, being a role model, adherence to camp health & safety policies.
Also take the time to discuss interaction with coworkers, experience with activities, did they feel supported in their training, and how they felt about compensation.
Offer an Anonymous Survey
If you want to get an overall gauge of feelings amongst staff, offering an anonymous survey may help staffers feel more comfortable giving honest answers.
Questions could include things like;
- On a scale of 1-10, how are you enjoying your work at camp?
- What’s your favourite part of working at camp?
- What’s your least favourite part of working here?
- Who on the team do you work best with?
- Who on the team are you struggling to work with?
- What did you feel unprepared for when the summer started?
- How would you improve the counselor training in the future?
- Do you feel as though you had enough time off?
Don’t just wait for the end of the season to evaluate your staff; squeeze in a little mid-season evaluation too!