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Making the Case for Regular Check-Ins

March closes our first quarter and with that, comes quarterly check-ins for many organizations who practice continuous performance management. If you are not currently performing quarterly check-ins with your employees, let me share a personal story with you that will emphasize the benefits of regular check-ins.

Two years ago, I was a part of an organization that transitioned from a standard performance review process (one yearly check-in) to biweekly check-ins. My first thought was “wow – as if I don’t have plenty of work to do already, now I have to meet with my manager and my direct reports every other week.” At first, I did not understand the benefits of this new process, nor did I educate myself, but I learned quickly.

As an employee, I was given the choice to keep the communication with my manager as it was. We continued the “old” process of meeting at year-end to see if I had any questions about my evaluation and move onto setting goals for next year. Meanwhile, I adopted the new process with my direct reports, and quickly saw the benefits of giving frequent feedback as it helped my team improve and drove successful outcomes.

However, when year-end came, my evaluation was not as great as I had expected. Since I had essentially failed to adopt our new process, I missed out on feedback that could have been given to me with enough time to correct my course.

You can say that I learned my lesson. I learned that quarterly check-ins or more frequent check-ins, are not designed to double your workload, but allows you to have a friendly and informal relationship with managers and employees. Conversations can be more open, honest, and more forward-facing to ensure success and a positive outcome during year-end evaluations. Issues can be addressed and corrected during the early stages without leaving behind the positive feedback, letting employees know what he/she has done well.

New to Continuous Feedback?

Here are some topics to discuss during regular check-ins:

  • What was accomplished since last meeting?
  • How can performance be improved?
  • How does the employee contribute towards goals and company values?
  • Something that has been done well.
  • Something that should be improved.

A strong relationship between employee and manager can help employees to be more engaged and focused, contribute towards business goals, and increase retention rate. In many cases, a bad relationship can lead to many things, including bad performance and negative reviews. Start the conversation with your employees today – and then make it a point to keep have those conversations on a regular basis!

A Modern Approach to Performance Management