Mid-year performance reviews are essential for assessing progress on employee goals and ensuring their relevance. These reviews provide a platform for giving constructive feedback, recognizing achievements, and realigning or setting new objectives. Effective performance discussions enhance productivity, align expectations, identify development needs, and guide growth. Key practices include summarizing current progress, delivering balanced feedback, using performance metrics, encouraging self-reflection, focusing on desired outcomes, offering improvement guidance, and summarizing the meeting. Prioritizing performance management fosters organizational alignment and goal achievement.


    As we’ve reached the midpoint of the year, it’s a great time to pause and assess whether the goals we set with our employees at the start of the year are coming to fruition, or whether those same goals are still relevant today.


    The Importance of Mid-Year Performance Conversations

    Mid-year performance management conversations are an important part of an effective performance management program. These conversations offer a valuable opportunity to discuss employee job performance and goal attainment by providing constructive feedback and a dedicated time to discuss ways to improve and/or sustain their performance.

    These conversations, when done properly, can improve employee productivity, increase performance, and help improve the bottom line.


    Benefits of Mid-Year Performance Check-Ins

    As a manager, conducting 1-on-1 performance discussions with your team is critical to the success of the organization and the growth of your employees.

    The benefits of a mid-year performance check-in include: 

        • Recognition of efforts and achievements
        • Realignment on agreed upon goals or setting new goals
        • Setting clear expectations of future performance
        • Identifying development needs; and
        • Providing guidance on growth and improvement options

    Best Practices

    Below are some guidelines and best practices to keep in mind when conducting effective performance conversations with your team.  

      • Begin by summarizing: Briefly summarize the status of current projects and objectives, the department/organization’s progress towards goal achievement, a summary of any previous performance and feedback conversations, and a current assessment of performance.
      • Give effective feedback: The conversation should summarize the highlights of performance during the review period. Be clear, transparent, authentic, and give examples where possible. Ensure the conversation has a balance of positive and constructive feedback.
      • Determine performance metrics: If possible, have fact-based performance metrics available during the meeting to provide employees with detailed information on where they have succeeded or lagged behind. This will provide employees with transparency and help back up your assessment.  
      • Allow for self-reflection and encourage discussion: Encourage employees to actively participate in the discussion by providing the chance for them to reflect on their own performance. Ask them how they think they have performed during the year so far, and whether or not they feel their goals have been attained, or if they are on course to attain their goals. Use active listening skills by reflecting, paraphrasing, and summarizing the conversation as well as ask open-ended questions to explore the employee’s perception of their performance, priorities, personal goals, and career aspirations, and to help them set performance goals for the remainder of the year.
      • Focus on desired outcomes: Have a clear understanding of the desired outcomes as they relate to the employee’s performance, and ensure the employee leaves the meeting with a complete understanding of the outcomes discussed.
      • Offer guidance: Utilize the performance review meeting to provide guidance on how to improve, what could be done differently, and any support you’re able to provide to help them reach their goals.
      • Summarize the meeting: End the conversation with a summary of what was discussed, future expectations, and revised objectives that have been agreed upon. It is important to ensure mutual understanding and agreement on standards, expectations, and timelines.

    Making Employee Performance a Strategic Priority

    Prioritizing performance management is crucial for organizational success. Despite its importance, it can often be stressful, and time consuming, for all parties involved, leaving it to be pushed to the bottom of the priority list.

    While it may seem daunting, investing in effective performance management programs can lead to increased productivity, employee engagement, and overall business growth. Setting clear organizational priorities and cascading them down throughout the organization ensures that everyone is working towards a common goal. This alignment helps create a cohesive and focused work environment where individual efforts contribute to the larger organizational objectives.

    If you feel overwhelmed by the process of performance management or are simply seeking insight to enhance the process, connect with the experts at Stratford People & Culture. We can provide valuable support and guidance in building and implementing effective performance management strategies tailored to your organization's unique needs.

    Investing in your employees' development and growth through performance management is an investment in the success and sustainability of your business.


    About the Author

    HEADSHOT-Christyn Balagus


    A consultant for the People & Culture team at Stratford Group, Christyn Balagus started her HR career as a sole HR practitioner, building HR processes and policies from the ground up. She has worked in both unionized and non-unionized workplaces, in industries including retail, construction, and financial services. This experience helps her provide solid generalist expertise to her clients. 

    Her previous experience includes streamlining policies and procedures, modernizing recruitment processes, bargaining, and interpreting collective agreements, investigating policy breaches, administering health and safety programs, and implementing employee engagement initiatives.