Career Reviews

Don’t put them off – get your diary open and book those all-important performance reviews in. It could be the single most crucial thing that business leaders can do to support the great recovery of 2022.

Right now, the jobs market is busy, workload is at record levels across many industries and recruitment is highly competitive. The best talent is very much sought after. Don’t underestimate how much your staff take from performance reviews and how important they are to them in their career. A well-planned and thoughtful review is invaluable.

Now is the time for people leaders to book those meetings in the diary, plan and prepare for an hour of face-to-face time with your staff to consider the last year, the future, and unlock new ideas and skills which can be used as you look towards 2022.

There is great merit in taking the time to have honest and open discussions with your team – you will learn more too. They can be highly motivational and will give all involved the chance to iron out any problems or issues quickly and effectively. You have the chance to give praise and feedback and in turn to receive feedback from your employees.

Planning is key. Setting aside an hour which is fixed and won’t be moved is a must. Try to avoid interruptions or clashes with other diary commitments. It’s important to give your undivided attention to your employee to get the best out of the meeting.

Plan the structure of the review, templates can help with this. It’s a formal review that should be documented and the details kept to refer to in future meetings, so make notes, confirm actions formally and ensure plans are made and agreed by all involved. Send confirmation documents to your employee for them to refer to.

Honest conversations may well bring up confrontation, issues, or problems which need to be dealt with sympathetically. It’s important that you are comfortable addressing any areas of weakness and exploring solutions with empathy. Having an open line of communication and proactive problem-solving solutions may help to alleviate any future issues.

The ideal outcome of a performance review is for both parties to feel listened to. To have a window to communicate effectively and develop a future plan for the career of your employee. Your best talent wants to know how they can progress, what opportunities they may have within the business, what they need to do to be even more successful, what they can or should change, and where they can take up training so they can grow.

In order to maintain loyalty from your workers, you need to do what you say you’re going to do.

If you say you’re going to book additional training – book it. If you say you’ll put together targets for promotion – make sure you do that in good time. If you have agreed to book monthly one-to-one meetings – then get those in the diary and, critically, if a problem has been raised then face it head-on and put plans in place to revisit the actions.

Now is the moment to take the time to invest in your employees.