How to Use Mid-Year Performance Reviews to Power Year-Long Value Learn how mid-year reviews can support growth and set the tone for the remainder of the year.
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Summer is over and it's time to get back to it. Chances are you and your team completed a mid-year performance review before your breakout, but, with so many tasks to catch up on, it's easy to forget to take action on the results of those mid-year reviews. However, there are probably great learnings that you can use to help catch back up to speed.
Mid-year reviews shouldn't just be seen as something that appeases HR and can then be long forgotten. When done right and followed up correctly, they can support growth and performance for the entire team and set the tone for the remainder of the year. As a manager, it's important to establish a working environment that promotes growth in all of your team members, including yourself. Here are some of the best practices to ensure that your mid-year performance reviews provide year-round value.
1. Mid-year reviews help you stay connected
It's important to follow-up with a face-to-face conversation, especially if you do your reviews electronically. A lack of efficient conversation leads to an all too common misalignment between managers and team members. Sitting down face-to-face is a good way to add value to feedback by clearing up ambiguities and ensuring the entire team goes into the second half of the year feeling clear, motivated and ready to achieve their goals.
Related: 4 Things Leaders Misunderstand About Performance Reviews
Post-review meetings are not only a chance for you to elaborate on the feedback you have provided, but they are also a great opportunity for team members to discuss any upward feedback they have given, allowing you to further gauge how they perceive you as a manager and how you can improve and support them moving forward. Research from Gallup found that only 8% of managers currently believe that the performance reviews they receive inspire them to improve. Ensuring appropriate follow-ups take place is a key factor in ensuring that this changes!
2. Be sure to set actionable goals
Conversation is valuable but actions are what will ultimately change the course for you, your employees and your business. A good rule of thumb during follow-up meetings is to use feedback to firmly establish two or three things which are going well and two or three areas which have room for improvement.
Related: 4 Unconscious Biases That Distort Performance Reviews
Once you've settled on the things that need working on, you can use them to develop personalized, actionable, and realistic goals for each team member. Once these goals are set, you can break them down into milestones. This ensures everyone is clear on their next steps, makes it easier to track progress and ensures for more useful discussion during future follow-ups.
3. Tracking progress is vital
As a manager, your role doesn't end with goal setting. It's up to you to track and influence your team's progress, as well as your own, helping better understand what's going well, where things should be heading and how to get there. After initial follow-up meetings have taken place, it's key to ensure everybody remains on the same page. Regular check-ins are a great way to achieve this. These short, regular 1-on-1 meetings ensure that everyone is clear, on track and actively working towards their goals. Simplicity, consistency, and timeliness ensure for the most successful check-in. These conversations don't have to be formal. They can easily be scheduled into 15 or 30-minute slots, done over coffee, or made a weekly/bi-monthly practice to really foster an environment where feedback is ingrained into everyday practices.
Alongside these dedicated check-in chats, it's also good practice to bring feedback into every single working day! Research shows that employees who "receive daily, meaningful feedback" from their managers are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged at work when compared to employees that receive feedback yearly or less frequently. It can be as simple as ensuring to thank your team members for a job well done, acknowledging that someone has reached one of their milestones or providing a quick piece of feedback on a presentation given.
Related: How Employee Performance Review Helps Companies Work Smarter
These steps ensure that your mid-year reviews provide year-round value. A consistent, constructive, team-wide conversation that improves management-employee relationships and keeps everyone on track and achieving their goals!