Few people enjoy sitting through a mid-year performance review. But as the manager, you can take specific steps to make the meeting as positive as possible. And when you do that — remove the anxiety and stress from the conversation — you show your employee how to improve their performance and achieve success within the business.
So how exactly can you improve the way you run your mid-year performance reviews? In this article, the experts at Sling give you twelve simple tips to make any review, mid-year or otherwise, a painless process.
12 Easy Tips For Mid-Year Performance Reviews
You may already be doing some of these suggestions during your mid-year performance reviews, but it’s still a good idea to examine your process and make improvements. Incorporate these tips before, during, and after the meetings with your employees.
1) Schedule The Mid-Year Review Well In Advance
You never want the mid-year review to catch your employees off guard. They should know well in advance that the meeting is coming.
That’s why it’s vital to use scheduling software like Sling to set dates and times for each and every mid-year review you’re going to conduct. That way, everyone has time to prepare (which brings us to our next tip).
Failing to prepare for your mid-year reviews is like delivering a presentation to the CEO without knowing the subject. There’s just no way it’s going to be a success.
Start by reviewing your notes from the last performance review, and then incorporate the next few tips on this list in order to be really prepared.
3) Collect Feedback From Others
You can get a more complete picture of an employee’s performance by asking her coworkers for feedback. Use that feedback to fill in gaps that both you and the employee may have missed.
Be sure to share the peer feedback with your employee prior to their mid-year performance review. Doing so gives them the opportunity to bring up any issues during the actual meeting.
4) Have The Employee Fill Out A Self-Appraisal Form
Incorporating an employee self-appraisal form into your mid-year review preparation is an excellent way to get the employee’s side of the story. You know what you think, and if you collect feedback from others (as you should), you know what his or her peers think. But giving the employee a chance to explain may reveal facts you weren’t aware of.
5) See Yourself As A Coach
This may be one of the most difficult tips to incorporate because the mid-year review, by nature, is about evaluating and judging the employee’s performance. But if you can see yourself as a coach — as someone with a strong relationship with his or her employee — it’s often easier to help the employee improve.
The mid-year performance review is a conversation, not a manager’s monologue. That means you’re going to need to listen to what the employee has to say. That can be difficult for managers because they are accustomed to being the ones to speak.
But when you listen — and we mean really listen — you make it easier to move the conversation forward in a truly beneficial way.
7) Review Goals Set At The Last Performance Review
Reviewing goals set at the last performance review and then determining whether or not the employee reached those goals is the best way to quantify their performance. Did they improve their completion rate? Did they make more sales in the last six months than in the previous six months?
With those successes (and failures) in mind, you can help the employee recognize strengths and weaknesses.
8) Ask About The Employee’s Career Plans
During the mid-year performance review, ask about the employee’s career plans. If they don’t have any, that can tell you a lot about the employee as a person.
If they do have plans, this gives you the opportunity to find out if their vision for the future is the same as yours. If it is, great. If it isn’t, now’s the time reach an agreement on how the next year will play out.
9) Go Over The Employee’s Job Description
It’s crucial to go over the employee’s job description during your preparation for the mid-year review and during the meeting itself. Have the job requirements changed since the last performance review? This isn’t unheard of — employees take on new responsibilities all the time.
Make notes on how you see the job description changing. Then open the meeting by getting the employee’s take on what the position involves. That way, everyone is on the same page in regard to past, present, and future responsibilities.
10) Establish Your Priorities For The Next Year
When you establish your priorities for the next year (or even just the next few months), you give your employee a template for success. That template tells them how their hard work contributes to your goals, and what they need to do to make reaching those goals easier.
11) Give The Employee Feedback
This is the part where you tell your employee what they did well and what they can improve on. Be specific in your feedback, and avoid generalities that your employee may not fully understand.
A good way to ensure that you’re giving effective feedback is to use performance appraisal phrases. These simple yet descriptive sentences take all the ambiguity out of the feedback you give.
12) Don’t Let Your Biases Get In the Way
We all have biases. You do too. Sometimes, we aren’t even aware that we’re letting these biases influence our mid-year reviews. And that can seriously damage an employee’s chances of success within your business.
Do a thorough self-examination before each review, and set aside any personal feelings you may have about the employee. Try to be as objective as possible in what you say and do.
Schedule The Next Performance Review
When all is said and done, don’t forget to schedule the next performance review. Record the date in your scheduling software, and then provide that information to your employee. That way, you both know when the review will occur, no one will be surprised, and everyone can prepare accordingly.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.