Year-End Reviews Preparing for and Delivering Reviews to Employees

Everyone looks forward to the year’s end for one reason or another – a chance to make new resolutions, or a company bonus. However, in order to determine the scale of wage raises and merit bonuses, we all have to get through year-end reviews. If you’ll be conducting some of these, check out our tips and tricks to help navigate through the next month or so.

Prepare Employees in Advance

The best managers and team leads communicate successes and areas for improvement prior to bi-yearly review time. What you communicate to your employees in a private review should not come as a surprise to a well-informed worker. In order to prepare your employees properly, send out a sort of worksheet that they can use to answer a few questions. This worksheet should reference the position description and include questions like:

  • What was your biggest accomplishment in the last 6 months?
  • What is your best strength, and how have you used it to improve recently?
  • What areas do you think you could use some help with?
  • What are your goals for the next 6 months? How can we help you achieve those goals?

Make sure you receive this worksheet back from your employees in ample time to review each thoroughly and make comments ready for review day. If there is a discrepancy between what your employee thinks of their progress and what your perception of their work has been, try to figure out why.

Prepare Yourself in Advance

While you’ll expect your employees to give a little in the way of conversation, you should be prepared with many talking points to keep the meeting rolling. Make sure to provide ample time between sections for questions and feedback. If you’ll be covering statistics and metrics, make sure to provide some context so that your employees know where they stand – if they’re excelling, make that clear. If your worker is lagging behind, make a plan to bring them up to speed and set them up with a mentor ahead of time.

Choose the Right Environment

One of the most important things you can do is to facilitate a non-threatening environment for your employees during review sessions. While you want to aim for professional, not casual, that doesn’t mean you need to set a sterile tone. Employees will be more receptive to both positive and negative feedback if they feel safe and supported. Let them know you’re here to help them succeed, whatever that means.

Follow Up and Request Feedback

This part may be best if employees are able to remain anonymous – if you ask them to put their names on feedback forms, your workers are less likely to give negative opinions; after all, you are their boss! Following up after quarterly or bi-annual reviews is imperative, especially if you made promises to assist someone in catching up. Follow through on any help you offered and check-in at regular intervals – this way, your employees don’t feel forgotten or directionless. 

Well-prepared performance reviews are an indication of a great employer-employee relationship. It is with this that you build an environment of success and support in the workplace. Take the opportunity this year to one-up last year’s reviews; both you and your workers will benefit from having a bit more direction and clear-cut goals to work towards.

Posted in Morale.

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