Say Goodbye to the Annual Review. Say Hello to Weekly Conversations.

Raffa Financial ServicesRaffa Financial Services on 04/23/2018

For many companies, performance management is the thorn in our sides. We know it needs to be done, but we haven’t figured out how to make it efficient, effective, and a wise use of everyone’s time.

Developing solid processes to clarify job responsibilities, priorities, and expectations doesn’t happen overnight. And implementing them shouldn’t be done haphazardly. Thorny or not, it’s impossible to create the culture you want and achieve your company goals if you’re not constantly focused on organizational and employee development.

The good news is that most employees want to be coached and encouraged to improve their skills and performance. In fact, they often cite the best managers as those who mentor, inspire, encourage and communicate. Unfortunately, most supervisors aren’t doing these things effectively. Take the annual review, for example.

Or shall we say leave it?

That once a year pain point

Employers don’t enjoy conducting annual reviews and employees don’t like participating in them. There are many reasons why this is the case, not the least of which is right there in the title: Review.

Often, these sessions are completely focused on looking back at what employees have already done, making it more of a history class than a planning and development process.

To make significant progress, managers need to be looking ahead and finding ways to unleash the full potential of each employee. And wouldn’t it be great if, in doing so, we also released everyone from the stress and pressure of that formal, report-card-style meeting that only happens once a year?

There is a better way

It’s called continuous performance management. Instead of waiting an entire year to review employee progress all at once, why not break it down into manageable weekly segments?

Not only will your team get timely, consistent feedback and troubleshooting, your managers won’t have to spend hours trying to remember and document what each employee accomplished (or didn’t accomplish) over the last 12 months.

The idea of weekly meetings with each report may seem a little bit overwhelming, but these aren’t supposed to be endless sessions that drag on for hours. Because you’re touching base with each person regularly, your weekly check-in chats should only take about 10 to 15 minutes and a few key questions:

  • What was your greatest success this week?
  • What was your greatest challenge this week?
  • What is the most critical task you need to accomplish next week?
    • Do you need anything from me (or the team) to help you complete that task?
  • Did you accomplish your critical task from last week?
    • If not, what held you back?

Of course these conversations will sometimes uncover issues that require additional thought and discussion, but you can schedule separate follow up for those things. 

Then, if you still want to have that annual lunch meeting, go ahead! All you have to do is scan your weekly check-in notes for a summary of the various projects, challenges, and successes from the past year.

And because you’ve addressed wayward behaviors and inefficient processes in real time all year long, the most difficult part of this review will be deciding what’s for lunch.   


Need a better ROI on your corporate employee benefits? At Raffa Financial, we’re not interested in finding you a policy solution for this year. We’ll create a long-term, employee benefit strategy designed to help you become an employer of choice. Want to build a better future for both your business and your employees? Get in touch.


Photo by F8 studio

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