Conducting a mid-year evaluation is a tried and tested method of collecting valuable feedback and data from employees while ensuring that your company remains on track to meet its organizational goals. Setting aside time for 1:1s allows managers to assess progress and provide the support your staff need for continual progression.
Not sure exactly what a mid-year performance review is or how to conduct one? This handy guide will explain everything you need to know, including a list of mid-year review tips and best practices to help you get the most out of the process.
What is a Mid-Year Review?
As the name suggests, a mid-year employee review is an evaluation conducted by managers twice per annum. It is an opportunity to look at employee goals, determine if they are being achieved, and set new goals for individual career progression. However, the process isn’t purely about evaluating performance. There are several other reasons companies may conduct a mid-year review for employees. The information gleaned can help organizations to:
- Provide leadership
- Offer focus
- Allocate resources better
- Identify issues early
- Take decisive corrective action earlier
- Collect valuable feedback.
All of these drive the business forward in a more purposeful way, ultimately increasing turnover and profit. Let’s look at some of the advantages of conducting an employee mid-year review in more depth.
What are the Benefits of Conducting an Employee Mid-Year Review?
There are several reasons why conducting employee reviews twice a year is a smart move for your business. The best mid-year performance review examples achieve the following key benefits.
- Checking in with Employees – A mid-year review is an opportunity for managers to connect with their staff, find out how they are feeling about their role, and identify outside stressors that could be affecting their performance. Research shows that 44% of employees feel uncomfortable talking about mental health, so promoting open discussion in a 1:1 setting can help significantly. Knowing how to talk to employees about mental health is a crucial skill for managers on all levels.
- Keeping Goals Achievable – For staff to feel motivated, goals must be achievable, measurable, and realistic. Mid-year evaluations are an excellent opportunity to get employee input on goal setting. Studies have shown that when employees set their own performance goals, they have lower anxiety and higher enthusiasm.
- Maintaining Mission Focus – To work proactively towards organizational goals and milestones, employees need to be updated regularly on how their roles and accomplishments contribute to the company’s success. Everyone should know where they fit in and why their work matters. Otherwise, there is little motivation to strive toward the company vision.
- Ensuring Accuracy – People’s memories tend to be short. If you only conduct performance reviews once a year, both employees and managers are likely to have forgotten some important details. Mid-year performance reviews are more effective in gathering accurate information that can be used to solve problems and make changes faster to eliminate obstacles that hinder employee performance.
- Reducing Employee Turnover – If employees don’t get regular feedback and opportunities to give input, they are more likely to leave. Using a mid-year employee review structure improves staff retention because it reduces the chance of employees resigning before managers have an opportunity to address their issues. This is vital to the company’s bottom line, as statistics reveal that the average job search can cost a company up to 200% of an employee’s salary.
- Gathering Actionable Feedback – The feedback loop goes both ways. Constructive feedback from managers helps employees to learn and improve. Likewise, mid-year review comments from your staff help identify potential problems before they occur so you can adjust processes, goals, and milestones accordingly.
- Improving Organizational Culture and Morale – Providing positive feedback and a designated time for managers and employees to exchange ideas is just as important as giving feedback on areas for improvement. It makes staff feel valued, which is linked to better well-being and performance. Research shows that 93% of employees who feel valued are motivated to do their best at work, and 88% feel more engaged.
Mid-Year Reviews: Tips & Best Practices
Committing to conducting biannual reviews is a big step forward, but refining the process takes time. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful list of mid-year review tips and best practices to help you get the most out of your efforts.
Preparation is Key
A mid-year review is neither a quick meeting nor an informal chat. It is a formal conversation about matters of importance. This needs to be made clear in your communications and how you conduct reviews. Be sure to:
- Book the meeting a few days in advance so that employees have time to prepare.
- Provide an agenda and a list of meeting objectives.
- Talk with other managers and colleagues before the meeting and make notes on any issues for discussion.
- Prepare any necessary documentation ahead of time.
- Allow enough time in between reviews so employees don’t feel rushed and have enough time to ask questions and give input.
Set a Formal Tone
Keep every meeting formal and professional. Reviews should take place somewhere quiet and private where you won’t be disturbed or distracted. Ideally, you should meet your teams where they are, rather than having them come to you. If your organization is spread across multiple locations, this may take some forward planning.
Performance reviews must be standardized so that employees receive fair treatment. At the start of each review, state the purpose of the meeting and recap the agenda. Take notes as you progress, and provide every employee with a copy of the minutes for their reference.
Ask The Right Questions
To get the largest amount of actionable information, questions should be open-ended. Allowing employees adequate scope to explain how they feel about their progression is essential in adjusting goals and setting new ones. Some example questions include:
- How have you been since our last check-in?
- Tell me about your accomplishments in the previous six months.
- Has anything gone wrong and what did you learn from it?
- What are you most proud of in the last six months? Why?
- What do you wish went differently in the last six months? Why?
- What are the issues you have faced in the last six months?
- How would you assess your performance on a rating scale? Why?
- Do you foresee any problems in the coming six months? What are some possible solutions?
- What are your personal goals for the next six months?
- How can I support you better?
- Are there any other projects or roles within the organization that interest you?
Develop a Review Plan
The best mid-year review examples for employee progression focus on strengths as well as weaknesses. It’s best practice to focus on strengths and praise your employees for their accomplishments before moving on to areas for improvement. This will boost their confidence and make them more open to receiving any constructive negative feedback that comes after.
When giving feedback on weaknesses, be specific and be sure to provide actionable steps so employees have clear direction and instructions. Try to leave discussions about money matters until last (or another time entirely) so financial issues don’t overshadow the true purpose of the review.
Ask for Feedback
Ask employees to prepare some feedback in advance. This makes the process more two-sided, and giving employees a voice makes them feel more valued. Plus, mid-year review comments are integral in updating other company processes, improving communication, avoiding workplace conflict, and identifying other potential areas of concern that may not become apparent otherwise.
A performance review should never be just a “check the box” exercise. After all, the discussion serves no purpose if it only exists within the confines of the meeting room. Managers need to follow up properly on mid-year reviews. Tips include:
- Sending an email with a summary of the meeting and a copy of the agenda minutes.
- Following up to highlight key points and reiterate steps for progression.
- Checking in regularly to demonstrate support.
- Following through on any promises that were made from the company side.
Partner with Eden Health
Mid-year reviews often highlight outside stressors and health concerns that are more easily managed with the help of a dedicated, expert provider. One of the best ways to improve your organizational culture and optimize staff performance is by integrating premium healthcare into your employee benefits packages.
At Eden Health, we specialize in full-spectrum primary care, mental health care, and insurance benefit advisory services. We even offer pop-up clinics right in your workplace, so employees can prioritize their health without missing a day of work. Knowing their healthcare needs are covered helps your teams to focus on their everyday tasks and achieve their goals with less stress.