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5 key steps to manage your team’s performance

This week, the topic of performance reviews came up in a leadership course with some of my clients.

These leaders were complaining about the time that it took to complete the forms. Indeed, this is a common complaint!

However, during our conversation, I noticed that they didn’t really understand why these reviews are important or where they fit into the whole performance management cycle.

So, I shared this chart with them which illustrates the performance management cycle:

It’s important that you understand that the performance management of your team is not an annual event.

It’s a multi-faceted process that you need to be conscious of all year round.

However, right now during performance appraisal season, you need to focus on steps 1, 2 and 5 of this cycle.

Performance Review Meeting Agenda:

  1. Review Performance Appraisal Assessment Form: Review employee’s self-assessment first. Then you, as the manager, can review your assessment of this person. You can then discuss similarities and differences.

  2. Discuss Strengths and Accomplishments: Ask your team member to bring a list of all their accomplishments to the meeting. This is a great way for them to celebrate their successes and share what they are most proud of accomplishing. You might even learn about some things they did that you were not aware of before.

  3. Discuss their Weaknesses and Areas for Development: Ask your employee to be prepared in advance to discuss this question: What one area do you need to develop that will have the biggest impact on your performance next year? Both of you will share your answer to this question. Be prepared to provide specific examples.

  4. Plan and Set Goals for the New Year. During this part of the meeting, together you will set their key goals for the new year and also identify their development plan. Their development plan should leverage their strengths and also focus on developing their weaknesses.​​​​​​​

This agenda will keep your meeting focused and positive. Instead of dwelling on the past, it allows you to look forward to a positive future.

Plus, there should be no surprises. Since you should be following the performance management cycle listed above, hopefully, you have been monitoring their performance (step 3) which includes feedback, coaching, and developing (step 4) all year long.

Finally, these review meetings don’t need to be so serious. Set a tone that is informal and light. Create a space for an open, collaborative discussion.​​​​​​​

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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