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What really matters in end year reviews (HR)

Another turbulent year is drawing to a close. In many businesses, the focus is on year end reviews and setting objectives for next year. Find out here what really matters when talking to your employees and how you can use this to bind staff to your company in the long term.

Not only you are reviewing the year that is coming to an end, but also your employees… These days, both employers and employees look back and forward: shere are we? What have we achieved? And where do we want to go next year? All this in these times marked by pandemic and uncertainty. More than ever, the journey is the destination!

Let your employees have their say

As the name suggests, the focus of end year interviews should be on the employee and his/her development. Pay attention to this and let your employees have their say.

Before the interview, there is often a certain crackle, almost a hint of nervousness in the air. The employee, but also the manager, have (ideally) prepared for the interview in advance. Both have looked at the agreed objectives from last year and asked themselves the question for each individual target: Was it achieved, partially achieved or not achieved at all? Was it perhaps not possible at all or did it change in the course of the year? Then one reviews the past year: what were the pleasant and less pleasant moments? What made last year special for the staff member? What were the challenges? How did he or she experience the past months (tasks, atmosphere in the team, volume of work, etc.)? And with this in mind, you are already looking ahead to next year: what challenges lie ahead and what goals and expectations can be derived from this for the employee. Or to put it another way: What can the employee expect?

With regard to the targets that have been set: be sure to discuss personal training opportunities as well. This will help you to better analyze the learning needs of your company. In this way, individual and collective learning needs can be identified and a training plan can be developed in no time.

What the end year review is NOT

A salary negotiation. Of course, this assumption is still very deeply rooted in some people’s minds. Many studies and also our own experience have shown that the question of more salary is an absolute mood killer in a development discussion and simply has no place here.

Summarising checklist:

  • Ensure a confidential and pleasant atmosphere
  • Prepare the questions and give the employee the opportunity to prepare for the interview using a template.
  • Measure and formulate targets

The journey is the destination!

There is nothing more frustrating than not having a follow-up after the interview. Therefore, an end year review should not be a one-time thing, but a continuous process. Space and time should be made available in the daily work routine for a brief exchange about one’s function, aspirations to achieve set goals or general well-being.

“How is that supposed to work?” you may be asking yourself now. Because from experience you surely know how time-consuming such conversations, including preparation and follow-up, can be.

Let me explain with a simple metaphor: An angler increases his chances of catching a fish if he permanently puts the rod in the water. I don’t think I need to explain to you now what would happen if he did this only once a year.

But how can this then be concretely introduced into everyday work?

Here are a few tips:

  • Start the day with a welcome round: this will give you a first impression of how the staff is doing, what is going on at the moment
  • Participate regularly in joint lunches
  • Conduct regular satisfaction surveys
  • Analyse your absenteeism rate and consistently conduct return-to-work interviews
  • Hold regular team meetings

Do you have a question in the area of HR and Talent Management? Get in touch with me! I will be happy to support you.