For many organisations the end of the calendar year is performance review or annual appraisal time. It may instead be time for the six-monthly review or ‘half-time’ review depending on how your year falls.
In some ways calendar-driven reviews of this nature are in place to take account of our worst managers! The ones who, without a process that has to be complied with, won’t sit down for a meaningful review with their team member. Our good managers were always regularly checking in with people and the formal process is almost a cut and paste for them.
The trick then is to also have managers carrying out 121s on a regular basis, if and when needed with their people and not just when the once or twice a year trigger beckons. This can be encouraged in three practical ways:
- If powerful performance or development objectives have been agreed then managers will want to have those regular 121s to review them. By the way, I don’t mean the ‘carry on doing what you’re already doing’ objectives or the subjective, vague, buzzwordy ones like ‘effectively engage with X’!.
- Focus your managers on thinking about the over and underperformers and then asking themselves ‘what am I doing with them?’. The fear of losing good people and the time-consuming frustration of managing poor people can often prompt a more regular check-in.
- Managers don’t want ‘nasty’ surprises from their people. Regular 121s can help managers nip issues in the bud and even asking the question now and again ‘How am I doing as your boss?’ to the team may yield interesting responses and an awareness the manager may not have had previously.
How are you encouraging regular 121s/check-ins?