Performance Reviews – Plan With Your Team

Performance Reviews – Plan With Your Team

It’s Performance Review time again! Where did the year go? What should I write?

Performance Reviews happen every year at most companies yet many managers are unsure how to plan and prepare for them. Many employees dread this time of year and just want it to be done with.

Ideally, reviews should be an on-going year-long activity between you and your team. Developing good relationships with your team and planning ahead will help you deliver more relevant feedback and enable you to chart the course of performance development together.

Setting Expectations and Goals

Set expectations and goals at the beginning of the year (or whenever your annual performance cycle starts). Meet with each of your employees individually to set goals; the key here is to be collaborative. You may have some very specific goals in mind but by encouraging employees to be part of the process you will develop more engagement and buy-in on their part.

One of the best ways to set goals is to use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Time-Bound) framework.

Put the goals in writing and review with your employees on a regular basis. This ensures that everyone is clear on both the expectation and the timing when you meet to discuss progress.

Regular Touch Point Meetings

Schedule regular check-ins in advance so they don’t get lost in the shuffle. Your team will likely really appreciate you making this an important part of their development.

Use the check-in to discuss progress on goals and address any potential barriers or changes to the company strategy. Give regular feedback and be sure to engage the employee by asking them to share their own thoughts and ideas.

Plan Ahead

Before the actual review, plan ahead and meet with each employee to put together a summary of of their accomplishments, current project work and goals and objectives. The idea is to have the review become a regular part of the overall evaluation and have it flow naturally into setting goals and objectives for the following year.

Use this time to assess if the person is meeting goals and expectations. If not, what can you do to help turn this around? If yes, start thinking about recognizing and rewarding your high performers.

Review Day

By this time you should have several different sources from which to write the actual review. Use this time to develop talking points for areas that you want to cover – make it future focused. Include a summary of your future expectations and begin to plan for the next cycle. Include the employee in the planning process and tie goals into the business strategy.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog where you’ll learn more about setting SMART goals.

BlueFire HR provides Performance Management  strategies designed to meet your business needs. Reach out today and see how we can help! For more information, please contact us at, 773-793-1362 or at 888-892-9597.


Succession Planning – it’s not just for CEO’s anymore!

Succession planning is a strategy to identify and develop future leaders at your company and is used to plan ahead for expected or unexpected employee turnover.

Do you have a plan for when your star performer informs you she’s leaving the company? Succession planning is critical but is often overlooked in managing a business day to day. It’s important to be pro-active in preparing someone on your team to be the next rising star to ensure the smooth running of your business. Searching for a replacement can be costly to your business productivity.

Here are some key steps you can take now to prepare:

  • Identify possible successors at different levels, not just the next person on the org chart. Look for people who are hungry for a growth opportunity and have strong interpersonal skills.
  • Communicate to your team that you value employee development and are invested in their career.
  • Performance management – make opportunities for development part of the performance discussions. Keep track of professional goals and ways that you are helping others to succeed.
  • Recognize and reward achievements – get creative! Give a PTO day, a bonus, or send an email blast letting the company know when someone went above and beyond their job duties.
  • Training and Development – good leaders develop over time; offer mentoring, job shadowing and training to prepare them for the next step.

BlueFire HR provides Leadership Coaching strategies designed to meet your business needs. Reach out today and see how we can help! For more information, please contact us at, 773-793-1362 or at 888-892-9597.