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Submitted by joshyeager on


I have 9 directs, and it currently takes about 4 hours to do each one's annual review. Roughly two hours to gather data from and two hours to write the review.

Since we do all reviews in December and I have a full schedule dealing with end-of-year work, I generally handle this by doing reviews on nights and weekends throughout November and December. It's tiring, to say the least.

Does anyone have any tips for doing reviews faster without compromising quality?


dawn_coomer's picture
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Josh - there are several casts on this topic, search for "reviewing others" to find the podcasts. If you have a membership, you can just download the show notes and zoom right through the content.I do quarterly goal check-ins with staff, require staff to do their own tracking of goals via weekly written reports and written summaries provided to me at the 30-minute quarterly goal check in meeting. It still takes me a few hours per staff member to do their annual (I'm detailed), but having team members own their goals helps.

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joshyeager's picture
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Thanks. I do follow most of the recommendations in those casts, although I haven't started quarterly reviews yet. The problem isn't gathering data, it's just the time and energy it takes to put everything together. It's a few hours per person, like Dawn said. Obviously the investment is worthwhile, I would just like to find a way to reduce it.


tlhausmann's picture
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Hi again Josh,

] I do follow most of the recommendations in those casts

Do you do weekly one-on-one meetings with each of your directs? If so, as you provide feedback and track coaching goals through the year in your handwritten notes then (as you know) this is the data you can use to write your annual reviews. For the past years I've been doing this, I note in the margins of my notes positive feedback, negative feedback, and what the coaching goals are for that direct.

As I prepare the annual review, then, I visually scan my notes and circle with a red pencil the items I wish to include in the annual review. Yes, it still takes me a couple hours to gather the data and write the review. However, armed with the data and documentation you can be confident your employee reviews are unassailable.

I confess to not always doing *quarterly* reviews, however mid-year reviews are mind-blowingly (a word?) effective at ensuring progress or sometimes revisiting annual goals set at the last annual review. Take heart that by investing the time and energy that you do now, your annual review process is indeed a worthwhile investment and your group will genuinely improve over time. Go get 'em.

joshyeager's picture
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Thanks, Tom.

I do weekly one-on-ones, and keep good notes. Those are my most useful data sources. I'm fairly consistent with feedback, but just starting to roll out coaching.

Thanks for the reminder about quarterly or mid-year reviews. That's been on my "to-start" list for a while.