Conducting mid-year reviews can be challenging. They typically involve difficult conversations about what an employee is doing well, where they need to improve, and how they can do better. Although the reviews are meant to enhance work performance, they often are ineffective. In this case, managers need to shape the review process into a positive experience that motivates employees to improve their performance.
4 Tips to Implement For Better Mid-Year Reviews
Encourage Employee Participation
Make sure that each employee actively participates in the entire review process. Being involved from planning the agenda to discussing work performance promotes trust, clarity, and alignment and reduces anxiety. For instance, work with each employee to create a collaborative agenda with main points for discussion. Also, encourage them to contribute their thoughts, ideas, and questions during the discussion. Along with work performance, you may cover topics such as career growth and development, job engagement, alignment with business goals, and peer feedback. Encourage the employee to take notes along with you on the themes and progress you discuss and the next steps to take.
Prepare a list of questions that focus on achieving success for the employee and the company. For instance, “Which accomplishment(s) from the last quarter are you most proud of?” “Which development goals would you like to set for the next six months?” Or, “How can I improve as your manager?” Asking questions puts you in the position of a coach rather than a judge. This tends to help employees feel more comfortable providing input about their performance. They’re also more likely to be open to improvement when they understand the importance and have a say in how they can do better.
Use data from the past 6 months to create a basis for your thoughts about the employee’s performance. Sources may include recent recognition, 360-degree feedback, talent review ratings, one-on-one notes, and goal progress. This way, your statements will be backed up by evidence and not opinions.
Focus on the Future
Emphasize what you’d like to see going forward. Since the past cannot be changed, you need to focus on what should happen in the future. Share your expectations and specific ways the employee’s performance can help reach these objectives.
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