Reviews Do Have Value… When Done Well!

Written by Katie Carr Miller

Annual performance reviews have long been under fire as to whether they are truly effective. Although I don’t subscribe to the rating scale system (what’s the point in haggling over whether someone is a 3 or a 4?), there is always value in sitting down with employees regularly throughout the year to check-in and see how they are doing. Important questions need be asked! How else can you develop strong relationships with your employees if you don’t show interest in who they are and what they want for their career? And, yes, having strong professional relationships with your employees is important!

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to start (if you don’t do effective reviews already). I would encourage all managers to make the time, put aside the “rating scale”, and ask your employees these questions:

  • What accomplishments are you most proud of from the past year?
  • What do you wish you could have done better?
  • How will you do things differently this year?
  • What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
  • What do you need from me (others, the company, etc.) to help you get there?
  • What will you do to ensure your success?

Send these questions to your employees ahead of time so that they have time to think of their answers. Even ask them to send you their responses in advance so that you can plan your talking points.  Have them create a measurable action plan and then check-in on them throughout the year to see how things are progressing.