As the end of the year approaches, you may be anticipating performance reviews with your team. But, if the thought of having these sitdowns with your team is keeping you up at night and making you feel anxious, you want to stick with me until the end because, in this blog post, I’m about to share with you a complete step-to-step guide to plan, conduct, and document your team’s yearly performance in an effective and productive way.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this blog post:
But, before getting started, make sure you are well-equipped with the best tools for your role. So grab a FREE copy of my Guide to Being an Effective Team Leader here.
A performance review is nothing more than an annual work check-up, where you have a sit-down with each member of your team to chat about how they’re doing on the job. The main goal is to give feedback to your team about their work, highlight their wins, and identify the areas where they need to work in the upcoming year. It’s usually done at the end of the year – kind of like a year-end work summary – and gives your team members a clear picture of where they’re at in the company and their impact on the team’s goals and results.
The great thing about a performance review is that employees actually thrive on receiving feedback. In fact, according to a recent study from zippia.com, 65% of employees desire more feedback from their managers. Plus, these meetings aren’t just a pat on the back. They have many perks for you as a team leader, including:
What other benefits can you think of these Performance Review Meetings? Comment below!
Think of a Performance Review agenda as the GPS for your big chat with your team members. It’s a step-by-step guide that should include the following points:
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to performance reviews. As I always like to mention to my NMA students, each team has diverse members with their own strengths and personalities; so, when approaching your team, you should follow the “Bucket Strategy” to a productive performance review, which is nothing other than dividing your team into categories:
In the following graphic, you’ll see each peer’s characteristics listed so you can easily identify them in your team and what your focus should be during this one-on-one sitdown.
Can you see all three performers in your team? Comment below!
After concluding your Performance Review Conversations with each team member, the next step is to keep track of everything you discussed and the plans for the future. This document will serve as a starting point for future follow-ups on the concrete actions and plans you’ve discussed during the meeting.
When documenting your performance reviews, make sure to:
I know you may be having a lot of questions right now, so I’ve compiled the most frequently asked ones in this section:
The game-changer in your performance review and your number one goal as a team leader should always be about helping each team member reach their full potential. Your focus should be on supporting and providing the resources they need to excel in the team.
Most people need around two weeks to complete a self-evaluation. To plan effectively, I like to work backward from the review date. For example, if the Performance Review is scheduled for November 30th, you should provide the request on November 15th.
If they rated themselves lower than you, ask your peers why they don’t think they’re at the same level as you’ve ranked them. It’s your job as the manager to explain why each team member is exceeding.
Now, if it’s the flip side, it’s a sign that you, as the manager, were not aligned, and somewhere along the year, you were not clear enough with the expectations or had the proper conversations to let them know they weren’t hitting the mark.
If your peers need a Performance Improvement Plan, you should document this on the report you’ll be handling, making sure to address the following topics:
Having a new peer in the team allows you to provide constructive feedback to support the employee’s ongoing development. Make sure to follow the previous points we addressed on the Performance Review Agenda, plus touch base on these additional ones:
With so many details, make sure you don’t miss anything and check out the New Manager Accelerator, my signature coaching program to become the confident, competent, and inspiring leader you’re meant to be 🙂
Comment below if you have any other questions about how to conduct your Performance Review Meetings, and don’t forget to share this post with your friends and colleagues!
December 18, 2023