What a weekend for food. It began with Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches on Friday, BLT's on Saturday and a smoked food festival on Sunday. For the Cheesesteak, I shop at Asian markets where they thinly slice rib eye beef for Shabu Shabu and other dishes. It is perfect for lovers of Philly Cheesesteak. I decided to make my own bacon last week and prepared that on Saturday. I procured five slabs of bacon and prepared two in a wet cure and three in a dry cure. I smoke half with applewood and the other half with hickory. I must say I prefer applewood to hickory and dry cure to wet. Preparing bacon is very simple. The challenge is keeping the heat down when you smoke it. My new smoker meets the challenge quite well as it stayed around 80o for the entire three hours. I also smoked salmon and prepared Gravlax, a cured salmon. Sunday was the day to share my smoked sausages, turkey, ham and salmon. And after the kids finished playing with my trains and racecars, I served the Gravlax. I made mine without weighting it as I like the lighter texture. It is very similar to smoked salmon, just without the smoke. The recipe of the week is the Gravlax, as it requires no special equipment (fancy smoker) or special skill. It requires only patience during the time to cure. Enjoy!
Last week I conducted performance reviews for most members of the Broadvox marketing and sales team. While many think performance reviews are for determining salary increases, I find them particularly useful as a communications tool. Years ago, I developed the habit of having the employee fill out the manager's portion of the form. This self-appraisal gives me the opportunity to see how the employee sees him or herself. Sometimes they can be too modest or overconfident. However, even that provides me with additional insight into their personalities. A performance review allows both the manager and the employee a chance to comprehend individual, organizational and company goals. It also permits the employee to suggest areas of improvement. I do my best to insure that the employee gains a measure of satisfaction in being honest about their work, work habits and impact on the group and customers. Performance reviews need not be a chore or a time for confrontation. If they are used to punish or communicate problems for the first time, then the manager needs to consider better periodic feedback mechanisms.
I will not assume everyone is happy after their review but I will maintain the objective that we each have a better perception of the other's tasks and work environment. Building an effective business team requires diligence and concern. If the proper balance is achieved then success should be the by-product.
See you on Wednesday.