Harvesting Annual Reviews

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I use annual reviews during layoffs?
  • What should I be looking for in annual reviews?
  • What should I be taking notes about from the annual reviews?

This cast discusses a way to harvest our work on annual reviews for use during layoff discussions.

Nobody likes preparing annual reviews. Even those of us who are good at it know that far too often they sit on someone's desk, unused. But during a downturn, annual reviews are an important piece of raw material that helps effective managers deal with a Steel Cage Death Match meeting.

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Steel Cage Prep Form

Am I overlooking the form referred to in this most recent cast? I understool it was to be available.

Allyson, Thanks for the


Thanks for the reminder ... I'll hunt that down and get it up on the site.


Great, I appreciate that,

Great, I appreciate that, Mike. Thank you for all the great work you guys do - you provide skills improvement, encouragement, and enthusiasm.

Great cast for service oriented people like DBAs

I've recommended this cast to my Database Administrator readers at: http://blogs.msdn.com/billramo/archive/2009/01/01/dbas-are-you-ready-for.... To me, DBAs should rate high when it comes to layoffs. The biggest problem I see is how they rate against their key deliverables. Many DBAs that I talk to have fuzzy goals that could use improvement to really make them shine.
Bill Ramos

Steel Cage Death Match

this podcast was perfect timing.

We're cutting, we have a key role that will be exempt and there are two potential internal hires. The one being pushed is more expensive to get rid of, but less qualified and far less potential than the one I want.

So with some adaptation I've used this to prepare.

I might still lose - but at least now I know how to pitch my side of the story.


Steel Cage Death Form


I'm new to Manager Tools. Where would I go to find where you posted this form?


Another use for this approach ...

I just listened to this cast again. Luckily we haven't had any layoff at my company so I haven't used this technique for that purpose. But I have used it for a different purpose...

At my company we have a SCDM (steel cage death match) where all the senior staff gets together to review all employees performance and determine bonuses for everyone. The idea is that we want to highly reward our star performers but any $ that we give to say my direct takes a $ away from the pool for someone else. Its a long process but its better than each dept getting a set bucket of money to divide up, IMO.

So the debates can get heated, although it is a better atmosphere than if we had to figure out who to let go. Of course if we ever did have that discussion, what is discussed in our version of the SCDM would be where we'd start those discussions ...

Anyway, using this approach I am better prepared than most to justify what I'm asking for for my directs. Thanks for the tool... Good job as always.

Well said! We wouldn't

Well said!

We wouldn't call what your firm does a SCDM, but rather a fairly standard review and succession planning meeting. Good firms focus on people, and that kind of sharing helps build institutional knowledge about strengths and weaknesses that can be leveraged and addressed.


Is there a form?

Is the form that you reference posted someplace? Sorry, I'm not seeing it. Unfortunately I may have a need for it soon and I want to make sure I organize my thoughts.


A form? I would think you'd

A form? I would think you'd need a single sheet of paper, next to each direct's stack of reviews.

- Performance vs. Deliverables
- Performance vs Metrics
- Areas for Improvement
- Future Roles
- Supporters

Beyond that, if you want help doing due diligence, use our annual review prep forms, which is where this stuff comes from anyway, right?



Just in time

I can't thank you guys enough! I was just glancing over your cast lists and saw this one. I am currently completing my teams 6 monthly reviews and had a conversation recently about preping for possible reductions in staff with my boss! Now I can be ready and effective for any future meeting and really get to look at which staff have potential for growth. 

Manager Tools are a dimond find in a sea of coal.... Thank you 

It's a privilege...

...and glad you're getting value from our work.