Get Your Team Ready for Performance Review Season in a New Year Planning Session

Productive Performance Reviews Need Proper Planning

Wendy Scott


Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

The beginning of the year is a fantastic time to get your team fired up and primed for success and do the groundwork for Performance Reviews.


Because love them or hate them, Performance Reviews address the significant three concerns of your team:

  • What work they have to complete
  • What development is available
  • How the above will help them with their career

If you can highlight the connection between Performance Reviews and your team’s concerns, your team will be much more accepting of the review process.

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Start the groundwork by holding a planning meeting with the team as soon as everyone returns from the holiday break.

Having a team meeting early in the year will:

  • Contribute to team building, especially if you make it fun and provide food
  • Focus the team on the year ahead
  • Allow you to update the team on organizational and team strategy
  • Galvanize the team to think about their development and career aspirations
  • Provide an opportunity to talk about team engagement, aka anything they want to change to make their work life better, and to ask questions

I’ve worked in many teams where we had no idea what the year ahead would bring. We were told, “The strategy isn’t finalized yet,” which was demoralizing. It triggered the more imaginative team members to wonder if layoffs were imminent or decide it was time to leave.

Rather than keep your team wondering, motivate them with a planning meeting and answer all their questions as best you can.

The Planning Meeting

Give everyone plenty of notice, and explain why you are holding the meeting, the expected outcomes, and an agenda.



Wendy Scott

L&D professional writing practical, step-by-step leadership and training & development articles to help leaders, managers & trainers grow their careers.