The Monthly Checklist

The Human Element

When good work goes unrecognized, it’s demoralizing to the individual. When problems are not handled, it’s demoralizing to the team. Everyone is better off when developments—positive or negative—are identified and responded to sooner than later.

The Business Obligation

There is a saying I like, A short pencil is better than a long memory. You’re probably busy. Our days can become filled with unexpected issues that require immediate attention. Despite the best of intentions, performance evaluations that don’t seem urgent can slip through the cracks. It’s our responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen.

That’s where the pencil comes in. In addition to taking note of things that need to be addressed, creating and reviewing a monthly checklist can help keep everything on track.

Templates are provided below to demonstrate what this monthly checklist can look like.

A Humane Approach

Here is the approach that I’ve used to keep a pulse on staff:

  1. Are they meeting expectations?
    • Update the monthly checklist accordingly
  2. If they are not meeting expectations:
    • Can you clearly explain how they are not meeting expectations?
    • Can you clearly explain why they are not meeting expectations?
    • Do you believe they can be helped to meet expectations?
    • If so, is there a plan in place and what is its status?
  3. If they are exceeding expectations:
    • Do they qualify for a salary or role adjustment?
    • What is contributing towards their exceeding expectations?
    • Are there lessons that could be applied to help others excel?
  4. Are they on the best team or project based on their abilities and goals?


Due to the sensitive nature of the information being captured, I recommend tracking each team’s members on a separate Team-level sheet. Access can be granted to the specific Engineering Manager performing that team’s monthly evaluation. The aggregated data is then pulled into the Department-level sheet.

You’re welcome to freely use, copy, and modify the following Google Sheet templates to suit your needs.