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Avoid Business Setbacks With Mid-Year Performance Reviews

  • By Andrea Schlapia
  • |
  • May 7, 2013

474578013 web, istock, thinkstock, getty images“The employer generally gets the employees he deserves.”  – 
J. Paul Getty

Top talent makes a business go, grow and thrive. The need for top talent, combined with escalating turnover rates, validates the importance of investing time, money and resources into your employees.

Your firm culture stems directly from how much training, responsibility and empowerment your team members receive.

Communication with team members is vital. I have come across many firms that fly through annual reviews without placing the proper importance or time they deserve. This is frustrating to employees and will likely result in turnover after a period of time.

Gauging your company’s performance and recognizing employee achievements on a regular basis is always vital, says Bhaskar Chakravorti, a partner at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company in Boston. “Ideally, what you would want to do is have some kind of standing review process,” says Chakravorti, who is also a Senior Lecturer of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. But when managers and owners get distracted by company woes, finding time to conduct such a review can be difficult, he says. Still, “putting off a workplace process that could keep people engaged and motivated — especially during a recession — is a mistake,” says Kathryn Kerge, the president of Kerge Consulting, a human resources strategy firm in New York.

Mid-Year versus Annual Performance Reviews

At times, annual reviews are avoided altogether or held only to fulfill company policy. Grasp the importance and make the time to invest in your team.

Why Hold Mid-Year Reviews?

Mid-year reviews allow for more detailed assessments. The less time elapsing between reviews will provide your firm with:

  • Accurate Evaluations
  • Increased Employee Retention
  • Corrected Goal Achievement
  • Improved Productivity and Culture

Annual evaluations tend to place focus on past performance. Proactive firms engaging in multiple employee evaluations place a portion of the review on past performance while allowing time to hone in on future strategies to reach individual and firm goals.  If you missed our blog, Don’t Wait To Reward Great, take a moment to review the importance of rewarding outstanding employees.

For employees underachieving, a mid-year evaluation is vital in order to communicate deficiencies. Offer advice and design a plan to aide them to achieve higher levels of performance. Explain how their contributions help the firm achieve overall goals and establish measurable benchmarks with time-lines. Employees cannot change what they don’t know and many employees lose loyalty, commitment and desire to contribute their best to a firm when performance is not acknowledged. As a leader, the responsibility lies within you to provide an opportunity for growth and improvement.

Communication is vital to the process of employee evaluations. Paper documents hold little weight in reaching the true objectives of reviews; performance, improvement, engagement, loyalty and recognition. Spend ample face-to-face time with team members to engage conversation from all parties involved. Thoughtful discussion should be your final and desired result.

Alternatives To Dollar Increases

Ask employees for advice and suggestions. Christopher J. Collins, an Associate Professor of Human Resource Studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, explains, “Unlike managers and owners who tend to have a higher-level view of the company’s operations, employees often maintain a more intimate knowledge of specific areas of the business. If there’s waste or slack in the system, they typically know where it is.”

In conclusion, if the bottom line can’t support a wage increase on an annual basis, offer alternatives. Here are some great incentive alternatives top-trending businesses have implemented vs salary increases:

  • Gift Certificates
  • Additional Paid Time Off
  • Flexible Schedule or Telecommuting
  • Health & Wellness Memberships
  • Additional Insurance Benefits
  • Tickets To A Fun Event
  • Let Them Design Their Own ’Perk”
  • Professional/Trade Association Membership
  • Highlight Employees In Company Newsletters or better yet – on our blog comment!

  Share your rock stars with us! What do your employees do that is great?

Recognize your employees by sharing a comment with us here!

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Author Bio

Andrea Schlapia, RCC™, HCS, sHRBP, is the Founder and CEO of Ironstone, which represents the culmination of her 20+ year career within the financial services industry. Her experience began as a financial advisor evolving into a consultant coach for advisors entering the field. This ignited her passion to support others through learning and development of best practices in order to achieve substantial results. To this end, she followed her desire into positions of senior-level practice management specialists for Dreyfus, Prudential, and DWS Investments prior to the realization of Ironstone.  Andrea’s focus is on practice management strategies to enhance and improve both business and personal life. Andrea identifies 4 key performance areas known as the Fundamental 4™, which are required to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Through coaching sessions and speaking engagements, she captivates her audience with interactive, high-energy presentations which are built with “how-to” strategies resulting in real-world implementation for significant impact. Andrea has been featured in multiple publications and audio broadcasts as a specialist and distinguished spokeswoman in the financial industry.