Managers: 8 tips for your employees’ end-of-year review

Managers: 8 tips for your employees’ end-of-year review

1. Prepare evaluations

Evaluations require advance preparation to ensure your employees will be assessed based on well-defined criteria. Some important steps can be taken to do this:

  • establish objectives to be evaluated at the start of the year so your employees can cultivate their full potential
  • communicate relevant information to your employees so they are aware of evaluation criteria
  • plan the appropriate time to meet every team member and avoid last-minute changes as this can be stressful
  • ask your employees to come prepared to the meeting with their own review. This will spur discussion. The evaluation process must be specific and seamless.

2. Be constructive

Several measures can help you constructively guide your team:

  • develop a fair evaluation that will allow your employees to develop their weaknesses while reinforcing their strengths. For example, highlight successes as well as aspects that can be worked on in order to perform their duties better at work
  • offer concrete ways to help your employee evolve in your team
  • bring up a conflict with an employee after ensuring you are far enough removed from the situation to be able to discuss it objectively
  • share your arguments in a neutral manner according to established objectives to achieve.

There is other advice that can be followed when providing constructive feedback.

3. Be approachable

Your employees should be able to freely express their vision as it relates to established objectives. Talk to them about things they’re proud about, daily challenges or concerns surrounding various issues. Also feel free to discuss more sensitive topics while maintaining a climate of mutual respect. With this perspective in mind, you’ll be able to find favourable solutions for everyone.

4. Carefully choose your words

Take care to choose the right words to express your thoughts. Prepare what you plan to say in advance and make sure to show some empathy. Tell it like it is in a positive way.

5. Be appreciative

It is important to be appreciative of team members. Take the time to thank them for their efforts and hard work. Highlight success stories you’ve noted throughout the year. It will be motivating to them!

6. Use the ‘I’ technique

This technique encourages feedback that will be more positively received by the employee without any feelings of being attacked during the conversation. More specifically, you could say: “When files assigned to you aren’t handed in on time, I get the impression that it’s because you need more support to be able to ask your questions. Is that right?”

Afterward, find a solution together so the person can improve over the next year. Involving an employee in the search for solutions will encourage them to buy in to the process more easily and take ownership. This will also allow the employee to feel included instead of feeling judged.

7. Build a concrete action plan

If improvements are needed, develop an action plan adapted to the employee to support them in the objectives they must achieve. Identify clear solutions to follow if this person encounters difficulties in achieving a specific objective. Schedule regular follow-up to monitor the evolution of the plan in relation to objectives set.

8. Conduct regular follow-ups

It is certainly more beneficial to regularly meet with your employees to chat with them. Don’t wait until the end of the year to talk about their challenges and concerns and to acknowledge their good work. Regular follow-ups encourage discussion and staff will feel more comfortable confiding in you.  

Keep these tips top of mind to facilitate exchanges with your employees during evaluations. They will foster an openness to healthy and constructive dialogue within your team.