Communicating with Your Team: Reviews

In my last post, I wrote about communicating with your team through 1-on-1s. Today, I want to talk about reviews. What are they? How should they be implemented? What are the pros and cons of this communication method?


Team Reviews

What is it?

If you’ve been employed for any amount of time, you are likely already familiar with reviews. Sometimes called a “performance review,” reviews are an opportunity to (usually annually) discuss accomplishments, areas for future improvement, and strengths and weakness. An annual review can also often serve as a natural time to extend pay increases or performance bonuses to employees.

How do they work?

In practice, reviews look comparable to 1-on-1s with their main differentiator being frequency (usually annually or semi-annually). Similar matters are addressed in both, including topics such as employee happiness, teamwork, goal settings, strengths, and areas of weakness.

What are the pros and cons of this communication method?

I consider annual reviews to be mostly useless and generally a waste of everyone’s time.

To motivate and correct course with your team, timeliness of feedback is crucial. An annual review cycle lets issues fester and good habits and career growth steps to go unpraised for far too long.

For these reasons, I suggest dumping reviews altogether or at least holding them quarterly if that’s the best you can offer. In their place, implement weekly 1-on-1s where you’re able to stay in touch with your team more regularly and react to missteps quickly.

If you need an opportunity to wrap up the year or give pay increases, pick a specific week’s 1-on-1s and schedule them for an extra half hour to summarize the year and reward each employee financially.

I hope this short series on communicating with your team has been useful. Whatever you decide to do, talk with your team, get to know them, and most importantly listen intently.