Mid-Year Reviews – the New Annual Performance Appraisal?
Don’t be surprised if you see the #MidYearReview hashtag trending on your Twitter screen. Mid-year performance reviews - traditionally overshadowed by their Year-End counterpart - are having their moment! (image courtesy of Twitter)
Mid-year performance evaluation season is now in full swing. Over the past few years, the mid-year review has made a comeback. Many organizations have made significant changes to the mid-year performance evaluation by bolstering the process with new features and techniques traditionally reserved for the more formal year-end performance appraisal. Why this trend?
Summer Slow Down
Vacations and holidays slow the typical frenzied pace, allowing more time to focus on the performance management process. The lull that occurs in the summer months offers leaders time to focus on the progress that has been made on team and individual performance goals, and adjust the course for the rest of the year. Employees can take the time to do a thoughtful review of their own performance and revise their development plans for the year.
Desire for More Feedback
The trend toward more open and social feedback mechanisms has led to more frequent performance review discussions. The mid-point of the year is an ideal time to formally gather timely and relevant feedback, as many initiatives are in full gear but have yet to deliver results. Gathering comprehensive performance feedback at the mid-year allows for more meaningful performance discussions that can have an impact on performance for the remainder of the year.
Mid-Year Reviews Make a Difference
The bottom line is that companies have realized the benefits of conducting mid-year performance reviews. The mid-year is a great time for managers and staff to have a formal conversation on progress, shortfalls, direction and development.
Employee Recognition and Engagement
The mid-year performance review is the perfect opportunity for employees to be recognized for the progress and success achieved to date in a formal way. Managers are able to set aside time to discuss employee strengths and development needs, re-evaluate development plans and career aspirations, and offer support to employees.
Mid-year review discussions offer an opportunity for employees to discuss the progress being made on goals and projects with time to course correct before final results are evaluated. Managers can discover and work to eliminate potential obstacles that may be hindering performance or getting in the way of success. In addition, managers can use the mid-year review discussion as an opportunity to clarify performance expectations and standards to reduce the possibility of a surprise at the end of the year. If performance issues do exist, they can be addressed and resolved early -- before the end of the year when performance bonuses are often part of the equation.
Jump Starts Year-End Performance Review
Mid-year reviews are also a catalyst for capturing critical performance information that might otherwise be forgotten at year end. All of the performance feedback that is documented during mid-year reviews can be readily carried over and reviewed during the annual performance review. A flexible Performance Management system will allow you to document all feedback, including employee comments to jump-start the formal performance appraisal. The performance appraisal becomes a dynamic journal of performance that can be refined and updated at any time, thereby improving the accuracy and quality of performance ratings.
The Mid Year Review has always been a useful tool for evaluating progress and results to date, discussing strengths and development needs, and collaborating on action plans for moving forward. The latest approach to conducting Mid Year Reviews provides all of the effectiveness of a Year End process, in a more modern package that encourages continual updates and coaching, resetting of performance and development goals and expectations, and sets the tone for a productive year end performance evaluation.