5 Tips for Successful End-of-Year Employee Performance Check-Ins

Employees want to know what is expected of them at work so they can be successful. They want feedback in order to understand if they are meeting or exceeding expectations. The end-of-year employee check-in should be constructive and informative for employees.

Here are five tips for executing a successful year-end employee check-in:

Create a Timeline

Human resources should create a timeline for managers to follow to implement the check-in process. The timeline should include:

  •   The target date for managers to send out the appraisal form or questionnaire for employee self-assessment
  •   The target date for employees to return the self-assessment
  •   The target date by which managers should have completed the appraisal form
  •   The date by which managers should schedule a face-to-face check-in appointment
  •   The date by which managers should have met with each employee and conducted the check-in conversation

The timeline should allow managers a week to distribute forms to employees. Two weeks for employee to complete the self-assessment, two weeks for the managers to complete the assessment and two weeks for the one-on-one conversations.

Self Assessments

Each employee should complete a self assessment for their supervisor. Human resources should create a standardized appraisal form for the supervisor to employee. The employee should conduct a performance self-assessment and return this to their supervisor. Once the supervisor add their comments to the appraisal form, they will send it to human resources to review.

The following is a list of sample questions that human resources could include on the appraisal form:

  • List your top accomplishments for the past year
  • List any disappointments you experienced this year
  • What was the biggest thing you learned this year?
  • How have you developed your skills this year?
  • What projects did you work on and what was your role?
  • What are your goals for the next six months?
  • What would you like for me to do differently in the upcoming year?
  • What do you need from me?

Create a Safe Environment

Schedule the time, date and location for the check-in discussion. This location should be a space where you can hold a private, uninterrupted conversation. This may be an off-site location or a conference room. Start with an informal discussion and allow plenty of time for the conversation.

This is a Two-Way Street

Ensure that you are having a dialogue rather than dominating the conversation. Ask the employee what they believe their strengths and development areas are. Compare their answers to yours in a discussion. Ask the employee what their suggestions are for future goals, how to improve performance and how to achieve goals in the future. The employee may have suggestions the supervisor has not thought of. When you gather input from the employee, you are more likely to get their buy-in when making a plan for the future.

The supervisor should also check to see if the employee is satisfied with the employee’s performance as well. The supervisor should ask if the employee needs anything else from them.

End on a Positive Note

Set goals for the next six months and develop the tactics to achieve them in a collaborative manner. Creating goals will focus the employee on the priorities going forward into the new year. Don’t dwell too much on the past. Acknowledge where achievements were accomplished or missed. Then focus on the future. This will end the check-in on a positive note.

Lastly, set up a time for a follow-up conversation. Check in to see how the employee is feeling. Ensure the goals and expectations you created together are realistic and motivating.

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