Five Tips for a Midyear Review

by Danielle Foster

5 Tips Midyear Review

Midyear performance reviews are a great opportunity for employers and employees to check in with each other and compare perceptions. A midyear review is a formal means for employers to discuss employees’ progress on goals and performance to date. It also allows employees to get a better idea of how they and their work are seen. A six-month review allows for midyear adjustments, thus preventing unwelcome surprises at the year-end review.

Here are five tips that will help you conduct successful midyear performance reviews.

  1. Communicate in advance.

Let your employees know when the process is starting. Encourage them to prepare and give them enough time to do so.

  1. Base the Review on Key Points

A basic performance review should discuss three key points:

-Company-specific core competencies

-Position-specific competencies


  1. Begin With the Positive, End With the Positive

A common way to think about a performance review is as a sandwich: the positives are the bread and the negatives are some (but not necessarily all) of the meat, lettuce and condiments. Keep in mind that there’s no law requiring the middle of the review to focus only on negatives or areas needing improvement. The reason to start with a positive is that it puts employees in a receptive frame of mind and makes them more open to suggestions on improvement later in the discussion. The reason to end with another positive is that the last thing you talk about will likely be what the employee remembers most. If the discussion ends with a negative, it could affect what they do and how they act when they return to work. Ending on a positive note leaves employees feeling good about themselves and secure in their job.

  1. Set Goals-Together

Reviewing old goals and setting new ones is a crucial part of a performance review. Look at the goals set at the previous review. How are things going? Let the employee tell you what he or she thinks about each goal and how things are going. Celebrate accomplishments and give constructive feedback. If there were any obstacles in the way of achieving a goal, discuss possible solutions. Maybe the employee needs a certain type of training to be more efficient, or maybe they need more collaboration from other employees, etc. Also, set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Aspirational, Realistic, Timebound) goals together. Encourage the employee to identify goals that he/she would like to focus on and, if appropriate, add some of your own. When you set goals for your employees, you give them something to work toward. You give them a way to measure — and self-evaluate — their performance as the year progresses.Going over goals together ensures that both you and the employee are on the same page.

  1. Coach to Improve Performance

Providing constructive feedback shows that you care about your employees and want to help them excel and advance.

So view midyear reviews not as a dreaded chore, but an opportunity for both you and your employees to make progress and strengthen performance.