Eight ways to make annual performance reviews more meaningful this year

Eight ways to make annual performance reviews more meaningful this year

As the end of the year approaches, companies in all industries will begin scheduling year-end performance reviews with their employees. But rather than sticking with what has always been done, even if it hasn’t been very effective, leaders can work to generate more meaning from these assessments and give members their team with more concrete and personal comments that they can take with them into the new year.

But to do this, leaders will first need to consider a few tips. Below, eight members of the Young Entrepreneur Council share their top tips on how companies can make year-end performance reviews more meaningful, and why these techniques can actually be better than what’s done traditionally.

1. Build them into a goal-setting process

The best way to make year-end performance reviews more engaging is to make sure they’re the first step in the goal-setting process for the new year. The process should review the good and the bad and take time to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Use areas of development to then set goals to drive improvement in the new year. – Zane Stevens, Protea Financial

2. Get a 360 degree view

The year-end performance review should be the culmination of your monthly and quarterly reviews, so be sure to review them. Leverage feedback from your peers and other managers to get a 360 degree view. This will allow your comments to be practical, actionable and objective. Finally, be sure to ask your employee for their feedback on your business, as feedback should work both ways. -Daria Gonzalez, Wunderdogs

3. Focus on the future

Make this year’s performance review a matter of the future. Ask your collaborators to each describe their perfect role, whatever you offer. This strategy allows you to learn what fuels your team. These sources of positive motivation allow you to seek out creative plans that give your employees what they want while giving your business what it needs to thrive. Recap the past, but focus on the future. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

4. Treat them like two-way conversations

Year-end performance reviews are more like two-way conversations where both parties can share, discuss, and find clear paths to engage in the future. Unlike traditional models, these conversations should create clarity, promote trust, reduce anxiety, and highlight alignment. Employers should be able to help employees identify their challenges and offer practical solutions to address them. – Brian David Crane, Spreading Good Ideas

5. Change your rating system

One way companies can make year-end performance reviews more meaningful is to use an appraisal system that rates employees on a scale of one to five. This will help create a more understandable and supportive environment where employees are rewarded for their accomplishments while providing constructive feedback. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

6. Offer actionable feedback

If you really want to make your year-end performance review more meaningful, focus on providing feedback that’s not only helpful for your employees, but also actionable. When you do your reviews, be sure to outline how your team can perform better by giving them actionable tips they can use to improve their performance. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

7. Examine contributions to company culture

One thing to include in a performance review is an employee’s contribution to the work culture and environment. This can help employees improve their engagement, which ultimately leads to better business results. It also makes the workplace more enjoyable for everyone. This is a more meaningful approach as it encourages employees to contribute more holistically. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

8. Ask what the employee would like to learn

If you want your year-end reviews to be more rewarding, ask your employees what they would like to learn in the coming year. With this question, you can learn a lot about whether someone is interested in a promotion or moving to a new department. You can also see how seriously they take their role. I think it’s a much better tool than just a pat on the back. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

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