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Do you do end of year performance reviews?

If so.

There is no time like March to start preparing.

Except, February or January.

But, if you didn’t get started then…there’s no time like right now.

Image courtesy of digitalart at

Image courtesy of digitalart at

I used to do a terrible job at these.

I’d set at my desk anywhere from the day before to the week before the scheduled review.  Spend 15 to 45 minutes thinking about the person and the job they had done… the last month.  And then give cut and paste feedback that was superficial at best.

If anything major had happened 8 to 10 months earlier, I might remember it.

But, no way I remembered anything small yet still significant.

For example.  Last week, my Assistant Director had to clean the camp before a group.  Not something in her Job Description.

This coming December….I won’t remember that.

OR WILL I??  Well, since I wrote it on her review already….I will.

When I first became a leader…no way I would have remembered something so significant yet small.

Now, let’s say in December of this year she is having a rough go in life.  Maybe someone in her family is really sick.

What if in November and December she is doing just enough at work to survive.

What will I give feedback on.  Her stepping up to the plate in February and cleaning camp when the housekeeper quit with no notice? Or, will I be struggling to think of anything “above and beyond” she had done in the couple weeks before her review.


Performance Reviews Should Have Depth of Time and Detail.
  • Keep a running list of both positive and “not so” positive attributes and decisions you want to address.
  • Schedule each direct report time on your calendar once a week for a “virtual” review (meaning they aren’t actually there).
  • For me, as I think about a particular person during their “virtual” review I consider their performance in relation to our mission and our core values.
  • Once a month I review the list and look for trends.  If there is a negative trend that comes to light, I schedule an actual meeting and address it.  If a positive trend appears…I celebrate it using the persons Language of Appreciation.
  • At the end of year.  I’m able to highlight specific details of decisions the staff person made 12 months earlier.  Also, since we’ve been correcting as we’ve moved throughout the year…the performance review is actually much more focused on their feedback of our organization, what they need to perform their job better and how I’m doing.
  • ?What other Tips and Suggestions Do You Have? Please, comment below.
  • Start a “file” for every direct report right now.  I use Evernote.
  • Schedule “virtual” meetings with each person you supervise.  I give each “meeting” 5 minutes.
  • Don’t do annual reviews at all.
  • What variations or alterations would you suggest?

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