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Karin And David’s Leadership Articles

Hold an Effective Mid-Year Performance Review in a Pandemic

We get it. It’s all a lot right now. Some days it takes every ounce of energy just to make it through. Who has time for mid-year performance review?

Why not just skip them this year?

After all, a great mid-year performance review is a lot of work.

They take time to prepare, not to mention the Zoom fatigue of all those intense conversations.

Your team will be relieved, right?

One less thing to worry about.

Safer to postpone. After all, they’re not MANDATORY. Thank goodness.

But wait…

Yes, this is certainly not the time to “evaluate” or even worse, EXTRAPOLATE  performance and potential —as we overheard happening this week:

“Yeah, I guess we’ve learned who can lead during uncertainty and change and who cannot.”

What?

Seriously?

No.

This is not even close to an even playing field right now.

Don’t discount the potential of a normally high-performer who suddenly has two toddlers climbing all over them during your conference call because daycare is closed,  an elderly parent in a nursing home they can’t visit, and a country in complete turmoil trying to figure out where to go from here with all this racial injustice.

Your team doesn’t need judgment, evaluation, or conclusions.

But they do need your support more than ever.

What if you started by asking them to come prepared to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. AND really listen.

Mid-Year Performance Reviews are the Half-Time Huddle of Business.

effective mid-year performance review during pandemic

Here are a few conversation-starters.

7 Questions to Ask in a Mid-Year Performance Review (Pandemic Edition)

  1. What has been the most challenging part of the last three months for you? How can I best help?
  2. What don’t I understand about where you are right now that I should?
  3. I’m curious about what you’re learning about how to be most productive now. Are there changes to schedules, meetings, or the way we work together that might help you be more effective in your work?
  4. What is scaring you most right now?
  5. What are you most excited about?
  6. What’s the most important thing you are working on? What work do you think we could eliminate to ensure you succeed at that?
  7. What would you add? What’s the most important question to ask right now?

Bonus: Hold a Team Mid-Year Performance Review I.D.E.A. Session

We’ve been working with a lot of teams to help them capture what they’re learning from this crisis right now. One technique that really seems to be resonating is to ask each member of your team to bring one new idea to your next team meeting and to share. Here’s a quick tool to help them vet and position their I.D.E.A.

mid-year performance review to encourage idea sharing

Click the image to download the IDEA model.

See Also: How to Disrupt the Disruption and Help Your Team Move Forward

How to Prepare for a Better Development Discussion

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Karin Hurt And David Dye author photo

Karin Hurt and David Dye

Karin Hurt and David Dye help human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. As CEO and President of Let’s Grow Leaders, they are known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. Karin and David are the award-winning authors of five books including, Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. David Dye is a former executive and elected official. Karin and David are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

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