Traditionally, companies used mid-year reviews – much like formal year-end reviews — to measure and explain employees’ progress on their goals to date by providing qualitative feedback and a rating. The process was designed to ensure that employees were fully aware of expectations, to make mid-year updates to objectives or development plans, and to also prevent surprises at the year-end performance review.
Managers may think that now, as companies revamp their performance management, it spells the end for the mid-year review but these scheduled meetings still have a role to play.
Mid-Year Reviews Still Have a Role to Play
Even before formal year-end reviews and other parts of the traditional performance management process were questioned, companies realized that the process of formal mid-year reviews had become repetitive and cumbersome, so many turned the formal mid-year reviews into informal check-ins In fact, in 2014, only 48% of organizations had formal reviews more than once a year.
But as more and more HR teams correctly emphasize the importance of informal feedback, it makes it even more sensible to schedule an informal meeting at mid-year. Especially in companies where ongoing feedback has become the norm: it never hurts to remind managers and employees that it’s a good time of year to discuss their goals, performance, and development.
Managers in any organization should ask themselves at the mid-year point if they have recently talked to their employees about the following and to set up a discussion if they haven’t.
Overall feedback on progress against goals and level of demonstration of competencies.
Recognition of accomplishments to-date, reinforcing the path to goal achievement.
Goal readjustment based on changing priorities and circumstances.
Identification of priorities for the remainder of the year.
Identification of potential barriers to goal achievement.
Identification of development opportunities for the employee.
How to Help Employees Get the Most From Their Mid-Year Review
To help improve employee performance with informal feedback during mid-year reviews, companies spend a lot of time ensuring that managers are ready to provide high-quality feedback to their employees.
But giving feedback is only one part of a successful performance conversation. Employees must also be prepared to treat conversations about performance like a two-way exchange and be ready to receive and use feedback throughout the rest of the year. Chart 1 has some simple dos and don’ts to help employees get ready to receive feedback during mid-year reviews.
Chart 1: How to help employees get the most from a mid-year review Source: CEB analysis