Implementing a Mid-Year Performance Review
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If you own a business and things seem to be running smoothly, you might not have any desire or feel the need to take some time to assess where things stand with your operations. Instead, you may just carry on as is. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
While that may be true, it’s still wise to take some time to study all the ins and outs of how your business is doing. This can all be done by conducting a mid-year performance review. While this might sound unnecessary or even boring, it can actually help minimize any risks and boost the odds of continued success for your business (learn how to create a 5-year business plan).
Let’s get into more detail about mid-year performance reviews and why you might want to consider implementing one every year.
What Is a Mid-Year Performance Review?
A mid-year performance review is much like what it sounds like: a review of your business operations mid-way through the year. It provides business owners with a chance to take a step back to assess how things are going and pinpoint any areas of concern that should be tweaked in order to ensure a more successful year.
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You can use this important process to get feedback from your employees, provide your own feedback to your staff, identify issues and rectify them immediately, identify new goals, create strategies on how to achieve your goals, and come up with a plan for leadership and your team.
Benefits of a Mid-Year Performance Review
There are several advantages of conducting mid-year reviews, including the following:
Inform employees of their duties and goals – While employees may have had a clear mandate from the get-go, sometimes they can lose perspective of the task at hand. Further, things in the business can and do change often. In this case, it’s important to take the time to ensure that all employees are up-to-speed on such changes so they are on the right course.
Provide feedback – Employees need some feedback from time to time in regard to how they are doing their jobs. Whether it’s positive feedback to motivate employees and express your appreciation for how well they are doing or constructive criticism to help them improve in certain areas, providing this feedback is helpful for both your business and your employees.
Get feedback – Sometimes it’s not just management that gives the feedback. Instead, sometimes it’s helpful to hear from the staff themselves. Oftentimes there are things happening at the front lines that you may not be aware of, and hearing about any issues can give you a chance to not only recognize areas of concern but also rectify them in a timely fashion. It can also open up new market opportunities, giving you a chance to expand your business.
Find opportunities to gain an advantage on your competitors – At this stage of running your business, you likely have a clear idea of who your competitors are. And part of being successful is being able to remain in operation despite other similar businesses vying for the same pool of clients. By conducting a mid-year review of your business, you can find out more about your competitors and what they are doing to remain a force.
Whether it’s through commissioned market research, what others are saying about them or what they have to say about themselves (through local directories, newspapers, the internet, etc), you can find out as much as you can about your competition and mimic their successes while avoiding their downfalls.
Discover current and future financial problems – Taking some time to assess where things are at with your business can help you pinpoint where issues may lie. In turn, you can then fix these issues before they become even bigger problems. At the same time, you may be able to recognize projected issues that may not be a problem right now but may turn into one at some point in the coming months.
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Can I Have More Than One Mid-Year Performance Review?
At the end of the day, you can conduct as many mid-year performance reviews as you like. However, you can probably understand how and why that would be cumbersome. Instead, a semi-annual mid-year performance review should suffice. In fact, that’s exactly what most companies do. That said, the frequency of these reviews depends on your business, including its size and life cycle. For instance, perhaps a quarterly performance review might be best if your business is fairly new and is growing.
In this case, more frequent reviews may help you troubleshoot as you navigate through the process of building your business. But a long-standing business that is doing fairly well with few hiccups might do better with just a semi-annual review. Further, the goals you have set to accomplish may also dictate how often you choose to conduct these reviews. For instance, a small business that is looking to boost sales over the next quarter using new marketing techniques might need to be revisited sooner rather than later.
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Can I Skip the Mid-Year Performance Review?
Nowhere is it written in stone that a mid-year performance review must take place. Having said that, it is highly recommended for the reasons discussed above. If any of the following apply to you, then perhaps a mid-year performance review is warranted:
- You are regularly monitoring your KPI’s
- You are already easily meeting your financial goals
- Your team is well-trained and aware of what they are doing and what needs to be done to meet business goals
At the end of the day, conducting a mid-year performance review is a great way to help you achieve your goals. Just because things are humming along today doesn’t mean continued success in the future is guaranteed. It’s best to have one to solidify your goals, strategies, and guidance for your business’s team and leadership.
Mid-year performance reviews might not sound very exciting, but you might actually learn a thing or two about what’s working and what’s not working for your business. You might make some discoveries that are crucial to the future success of your company, so it’s well worth the time to invest in these processes.
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Margaret Johnson is in the business of helping Canadians tackle their debt, deal with credit issues, and regain control of their finances.