Career Growth Development Leadership Performance Reviews

Preparing for Year-End Performance Reviews? Consider This!

Many managers dread year-end performance reviews – as they should. Why? 

Simon Sinek recently posted a video on the most important trait of a leader. Courage, he claimed, was #1. I agree. And year-end performance reviews are just one example. 

It takes courage to speak about difficult issues. So how do you get through these performance reviews, especially if you lack the courage to share difficult information? First, and most important, change your mindset. 

The intent of transparency is not about being the nasty boss! Quite the opposite. It is about being a support system. Your employees want to succeed. Help them! It is great to have employees love you, but only for the right reasons! If your intent is only to make great friends, leadership may not be the best role for you. 

If you are uncomfortable conducting annual performance reviews, consider these tips:

  1. Change your mindset. Go into these meetings with supportive intentions. Don’t look at sharing honest feedback as being nasty, but instead helping them succeed. 
  2. Get clear on your expectations as well as what your employees want. The focus should be clear and mutually beneficial.
  3. Review data if you have it. Good data speaks volumes! Good data throughout the year helps for an expected outcome at year-end.  
  4. Remember to say thank you. Don’t only address what went wrong. Celebrate and encourage continued value where they are strong.
  5. Before the end of your review, schedule a follow-up meeting, if possible – with very clear expectations for you both

I recently had a prospect who said his leadership team did not have time to speak with their employees about their performance a few times per year. Until that is, we reviewed all of the time he spent putting out avoidable fires. Of course, they had time. They were spending time putting out fires instead of preventing them. 

Another area of consideration that helps employees understand where they stand is to provide clear and understandable data throughout the year.  My last boss, Len, was brilliant at teaching us the power of data. He had graphs and charts for everything. We gave him a hard time about that, but frankly, he helped us see where we were and understand where we needed to go without the need to say a word.  It made those “difficult discussions” much more effortless.   

If your data, processes, or approach were not where you want or need them this year, don’t be too hard on yourself. You are not alone. Do you’re best, then start 2021 with a focus on improvement.

Good luck, Happy Thanksgiving, and Joy To The World – 2020 is almost over!

Parone Group is a consulting firm enhancing organizational effectiveness

Need ideas to work more efficiently with your team in 2021? Looking for improved processes to get in front of performance, we can help.  As for transparent conversations, our behavioral scientist can help you navigate conversations with healthy conflict skills.  

Direct Phone: 954-464-6689 Consulting Website: Speaking Website:    

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