Employers: five easy tips for the mid-year review
We’re six months into 2019. Not quite sure how June snuck up so quickly but here we are.
June is the traditional mid-year review time. Below we list some ideas around how to make these go smoothly, but who says you have to stick with tradition? June is a great time to bring your team together for an informal goal review or retreat, or you could give staff an afternoon to tidy their desks and systems, or do their personal work goal review. Or, perhaps all of the above. It could be an annual tradition for your organisation.
Now, back to the mid-year review… They can be cringingly awful, or surprisingly good. We think you’ll want to go for the latter.
Usually, the mid-year review is a chance to review goals and job descriptions and check in with your employee to see how they’re doing. It’s a good time to give feedback on achievements, see if there is any other support your employee needs, and disclose any changes or developments in the organisation coming up in the second half of the year.
Imagine the ideal organisational culture you want to create and work backwards from there. Have a think about what you would like if it were you going into a mid-year review. Do that!
#1. Making a meeting time
You might like to give a few weeks notice ahead of the mid-year meeting review. Booking the meeting time collaboratively with your employees can be good. Some might be freshest first thing in the morning, others will prefer to have a mid-year review meeting toward the end of the day. Find out. A collaborative meeting time is a good first step to a respectful productive meeting.
#2. Prepare well
Communicate to your employees what will be involved in the meeting. Letting people know what questions or exercises you’ll be asking allows them to prepare mentally and takes care of unnecessary anxiety around the meeting. Let your employees know how long the meeting will last and honour that.
Managers running the mid-year review sometimes find it helpful to set aside a day the week before the mid-year review meetings to allow time to go through notes and familiarise themselves with the employees job description and work history. Being prepared means you can start the meeting feeling relaxed and lets your employee know you value their time.
#3. Think about the venue
A relaxed and quiet space away from the hustle of co-workers is good. We recommend meeting somewhere neutral if you can. Not your usual office. Hiring a nearby space at a community centre or library can work if you don’t have the ideal space in your offices. Some café’s have small meeting rooms you can book. Have a water jug and glasses ready. Snacks always help too!
#4. Make it relaxed and respectful
The tone you’re going for is relaxed and respectful. You both walk into the room clear on the process and content and have had plenty of time to prepare. The best preparation for a good mid-year review is a healthy existing relationship and corresponding healthy organisational culture. Plan for ways to deal with the inevitable stretches of silence and awkward moments ahead of time. If there are too many awkward silences with multiple employees you might want to work on that organisational culture!
The atmosphere is collaborative and dynamic. With introverts or others who may not feel comfortable verbalising much, have an array of colourful post-it notes and markers on hand or a white board.
Ideally you walk out of this meeting having shared with your employee some of your challenges and strengths and having learned from being open to new ideas and feedback about the organisation too. Feedback is most effective as a two-way street.
This is your chance to hear from the people on the frontlines how your strategic plan is feeling to them. Make the most of the opportunity.
#5. Follow up
Within 24 hours of your meeting, follow up with an email outlining any steps forward or actions committed to.
There are plenty of blog posts and articles about running a good mid-year review. Study up!