How to Prepare for an End of Year Discussion

Are you ready for your end of year discussions with your team members?

It can take a lot of preparation. You need to gather your notes from throughout the year and review the development plans that have been in place. You’ll also need to check the performance results.

But there are some other things you can do to prepare for your end of year discussions. It shouldn’t all be about the numbers or a recap of the conversations you’ve had. Before you show up to your meeting, take a minute or two to perform these tasks so you can have a meaningful catch up with your team member.

Analyse Achievements

One of the best places to start is by looking at what your team member achieved. It doesn’t necessarily mean results. There may have been projects they worked on or courses they completed throughout the year. It doesn’t have to be a significant initiative. It could be just something they saw through to the end.

It’s good to keep a record of these. If you manage multiple team members, you’ll need to try and remember all of these for each of your direct reports. So every time one of them completes a project, course, or initiative, make a note for their end of year discussion. It’s possible they might not remember either.

Speak to Team Members and Colleagues

There is a possibility that you might have a particular type of relationship with your direct report, and they have a different one with other team members. The end of year discussion shouldn’t just be about results or achievements. It should also include behaviours and how they work as part of a team.

The moment you become aware of behavioural issues, you should call them out. Don’t wait until the end of year discussion to bring it up. They need to correct it before it impacts the final rating, which may also influence bonuses and pay rises.

Reflect on Requests You’ve Asked

As part of your development discussions, there would have been chats about what your team member could be doing better or adjustments they can make to improve their performance. Did they take these notes on board and implement them, or did they just keep doing what they were doing and hoping for a different result?

Alternatively, did they take it upon themselves to improve? Did they show any initiative based on your feedback to them? All of these components should be taken into consideration. If they haven’t attempted to improve even if they are performing well, then it might not warrant a higher rating.

Review Previous Year’s Results

It’s important to compare how your direct reports have performed year on year. It will give you an indication of if they are pushing themselves or coasting in their current role. Just because they got a higher rating last year and did the same thing this year doesn’t justify an identical result.

You both should be able to track a level of improvement year on year. If it has plateaued, then there is work to do to lift the individual to the next stage. If you can demonstrate that there has been a better result, then consider this when assessing their performance.

Make the End of Year Discussion Count

Many employees look forward to the end of year discussion. It’s an opportunity to stop and reflect on everything that has happened over the past 12 months. Make this moment count by taking some extra time to show your appreciation for your direct report and taking notice of the little things they do.

Need more help with these types of conversations? Make sure you’re following the Better Boss Blog. You’ll find tips, tricks, and advice for chats throughout the year. Follow pwf services on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, so you never miss a post.

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