How to Prepare for Year-End Reviews – 2016

Another year has come to a close and we begin 2016 with great hope and anticipation.  But wait….with a new year that means we also have to endure the dreaded year-end review.

Commence happiness damper.

Does it really have to be this way?  At Performance Culture, we believe whole-heartedly no, and that’s why we created a different and better way to handle performance management.

However, you’re heading into year-end reviews quite soon and need some timely help to ease the sometimes painful process. Read more for some tips that will help not only lessen the pain but possibly even turn the process into one that you enjoy.

Tips for Leaders & Managers:

  • Earn the will of your team – Without the will of the team, nothing else matters (and nothing you say will resonate).
  • Remember your employees don’t care what you have to say until they know you care about what THEY have to say.
  • Think W.A.I.T – “Why Am I Talking?”
  • Lead by example.  Enough said.
  • Clearly communicate expectations – remember, they’re not mind readers.
  • Expect personal accountability.
  • Evaluate and provide constructive feedback – and be specific.
  • Understand differences in behavioral styles as well as learning styles – people communicate and learn in many different ways.  Seek to understand the styles of the person you are coaching.
  • Ensure alignment still exists by asking about their current personal vision.

Lastly, if you haven’t had a real conversation with your employee since the last year-end review (or ever), keep in mind your memory can only go back so far – maybe three weeks if you’re lucky.  Your employee, however, remembers key wins he or she had throughout the year and they are hoping you’ll remember these moments too.

Never fear if you don’t – the best coaching is done through questions.  Start off by asking your employee what top three “wins” she feels she accomplished during the year.  It allows her to shine for a few minutes (and jog your memory), and it starts the meeting off on a positive note.  *By the way, Performance Culture provides a guided template to allow managers and employees alike to quickly document key moments that occur anytime throughout the year!

Tips for Employees:

  • Read Thanks for the Feedback – The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well *even when it is off base, unfair, poorly delivered, and, frankly, you’re not in the mood.  Because, let’s be real – your manager is not perfect and is going to get it wrong at times.  But we can control one thing – how we choose to receive the feedback.  And sometimes, there’s a little golden nugget buried in all that jumble that will have the biggest impact on our development.
  • Prepare to be specific about progress compared to objectives and where support is needed.
  • Communicate interest and goals for developing new skills.  Remember, your managers are also not mind readers.
  • Share or update your current personal vision.  Don’t be scared to share what’s on your heart.  You may be surprised to find out how much your manager wants to support you.

Performance reviews don’t have to be a thing of dread, or an administrative task to scratch off the list.  Life is short and people on both sides of the table are worth giving the chance to be great. Join us and our movement to turn these dreary sessions into impactful, effective, and positive real life conversations.

Next Steps:

Check out our updated article 14 Practical Tips for Your Year-End Performance Review.

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