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Are you just checking the box this year-end?

6 Tips for a Successful Year-End Performance Review Process

It’s that time again – year-end performance reviews. It doesn’t have to feel like a “necessary evil”. Make it meaningful this year. Consider the following:

Clarify the “why”.

Let’s be honest – do you know the specific, intended outcomes of your performance review process that justify your employees’ time spent? Today’s employees want transparency and purpose, so communicate to them prior and during the process as to why your organization is committed to performance reviews and what’s in it for them. Then be sure you and your leaders are reinforce the “why” by communicating within their teams.

Let go of the past.

Prior to launching your performance review process, carefully review it to ensure that each step aligns with your organization’s intended objectives. If you find a step that doesn’t get you closer to your “why”, remove it from the process. As an example, some organizations have eliminated performance ratings; they have redesigned their process to avoid the unintended consequences that ratings can cause. Rather than focusing on a number, they are focusing on their objectives of creating a two-way dialogue and stronger relationships between managers and employees.

Change your mindset.

Help your employees change their mindset about performance reviews. This will only happen if leaders from the very top of the organization are not only talking about the benefits to the organization, themselves and the individual but are also doing it themselves. Think of it not just as a mandatory evaluation and feedbackabout past performance, but feedforward regarding how each individual can develop to become an even greater contributor to the organization. Engage in a two-way conversation with employees. Create a connection with your people, as well as with your own manager. Get to know your employees’ interests, motivators and aspirations, and share yours. Leaders will be better able to lead others if they know the uniqueness of each team member.

There is always time.

If each of us were to take inventory each day of what we do and where our time is spent doing non-essential things, I have no doubt we would find time we wished we could have spent differently. Use that precious time to coach your employees to help strengthen their capabilities, build confidence, and develop in ways that align with their interests and career goals. Remember, you will never be able to reach your individual and team objectives without your people, and you will certainly be less successful doing so if you are spending your time recruiting when one or more of your valuable performers decides to leave. Make the time for your people. Conduct meaningful performance review discussions.

Provide training with a small “t” and large “T”.

Many organizations ask questions on their engagement surveys as to whether employees have the tools and resources to effectively perform their jobs, whether they are receiving the development they are looking for and whether their managers are good role models. Informal (small “t”) and formal (“T”) trainings are both important approaches to ensure your employees and managers are well equipped with to conduct an effective, feedforward and development-focused performance review. Coaching and role modeling by managers and leaders, as well as the availability of training webinars, briefings, FAQs, and HR “office hours” are just some techniques to consider. Finally, communicate, communicate, communicate.

Gather feedback.

Use this year as an opportunity to gather feedback from your employees, managers and leaders about what’s working and what’s not. Is your process providing frequent opportunities for feedback? Are you measuring the right things? Do employees what a way with a plan for what success looks like for them in the upcoming year and how they will develop further? These are just some questions to consider as you conduct this year’s performance review process with an eye towards how to make the process even more meaningful for next year.

To discuss how your organization can maximize the time-spent on performance reviews, please reach out to us at Visit our website for more information.


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Francine Esrig & Associates, LLC

201-962-0700 | |

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