Tempted to skip the mid-year review this year, particularly with your high-performers? Read this first.
Mid-Year Performance Reviews are the Half-Time Huddle of Business.
Imagine you’re coaching your son’s football team. They’re up by 7. What do you say at half-time?
“Well, you guys played a great first half. Just keep doing what you’re doing.”
Or do you just skip the half-time huddle all together and go check your email. After all, you’re busy.
No decent coach misses the opportunity for a great half-time huddle. Why would you?
- There are still six months to impact the year.
- In most companies, there’s no need to assign a rating or link to compensation. This frees you to be more real and developmentally focused–without the distraction of bell curves and merit payouts.
- Since a mid-year performance review is often “optional,” conducting them shows the employees you’re invested in them and their performance.
Making Your Review More Meaningful
When Karin was working in her sales executive role, her HR team did an experiment linking performance feedback to employee satisfaction. As expected, those who had received meaningful performance feedback, were overall much more satisfied with their jobs and supervisors. But there was an interesting wrinkle. Those who received a poorly conducted mid-year review were less satisfied than those who did not receive them at all.
It’s important to not just go through the motions. If you won’t invest the time to offer a meaningful mid-year performance review, you’re better off skipping it.
What Feels Meaningful?
A mid-year review should summarize, celebrate, challenge, and inspire
When we ask employees what makes a mid-year performance review meaningful, here’s what they say.
- It’s a conversation. We talk openly about what’s working and where I can improve.
- No surprises. We’ve been meeting weekly, so there’s nothing new here. We talk about trends, progress and focus on development.
- My manager has specific examples and focuses on behaviors.
- We talk about my career and long-term goals.
- I feel recognized for the extra effort and challenges I’ve taken on.
- It’s an opportunity for me to share my new ideas on how to improve the business.
- My manager asks great questions and really listens to what I have to say.
- What would you add?
Mid-Year Performance Review Conversation Starters
If you need some help to get started, try a few of these questions to get the conversation rolling.
Questions to Reflect on Performance
- How are you feeling about the year so far?
- Describe what you see happening with this project.
- What are you most of proud of this year?
- What lessons have you learned?
- What new relationships have you fostered?
- How are you different now than you were six months ago?
- Where are you stuck?
Questions to Challenge and Turnaround
- Have you ever had an experience like this before?
- If so, what did you do that helped?
- Tell me about the patterns you’re seeing.
- What do you think we should do?
- Which habits would you like to change?
- What’s the most important thing you can do to turn this situation around?
- What additional resources do you need?
- How can I best support you?
Questions to Encourage
- What would happen if?
- What’s possible?
Questions to Solicit Feedback
- If you were in my shoes, what would you be doing differently?
- What can I do to better support you and the team?
- What have I done this year that most ticked you off?
- How have I been most helpful?
Leave us a comment and share: What are your best practices for highly effective mid-year performance reviews?
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