Should You Perform a Midyear Review?

Whether you love them or dread them, annual reviews are an essential part of managing employees’ performance.

But what if there was a way to make year-end performance reviews a little easier while keeping employees engaged and on-target?

Consider the benefits of conducting additional reviews midyear.

Typically, employers use midyear performance reviews as a formal opportunity to discuss employees’ progress toward their annual objectives. The management tool is useful for a number of purposes, including:

  • Providing positive feedback. Regular, positive feedback keeps employees engaged and motivated to perform their best work. Conducting reviews twice per year doubles your formal opportunities to praise team members for the things they’re doing right.
  • Providing constructive feedback. By the same token, midyear reviews give you additional opportunities to address performance issues – allowing employees to course-correct sooner, before minor problems mushroom out of control.
  • Identifying and removing obstacles to success. Employees need the right coaching, training, resources and freedom to do their jobs properly. Reviewing progress twice per year enables you to uncover and eliminate roadblocks that keep employees from achieving their goals.
  • Gauging employee satisfaction. Sometimes, a face-to-face meeting is needed to discuss issues that may be brewing beneath the surface. A midyear review gives you the opportunity to check in with your team and prevent dissatisfaction from driving great people out the door.
  • Preventing pitfalls of annual reviews. Yearly reviews tend to focus on employees’ most recent accomplishments (because they’re freshest in participants’ minds), so evaluations can be skewed. In addition, employees typically associate annual reviews with pay increases. As an employer, conducting reviews twice per year gives you additional flexibility in how you pay and reward your employees.

Midyear performance reviews provide several benefits. The question is, are they right for your business?

On the plus side, reviewing performance more often shortens both prep time and the length of each review (since you only have six months to cover, instead of 12), while allowing you to give timelier – and therefore more impactful – feedback.

On the downside, however, midyear reviews effectively double the number of meetings you need to conduct.

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