Transforming Performance Reviews for 2024

As we turn the corner into 2024, aligning your company’s ambitions with your staffing needs is the perfect way to start the next quarter–especially in the context of performance reviews. This practice is notoriously met with dread by employees at the year’s end.

The typical annual review, often seen as a bureaucratic formality, rarely motivates staff or effectively sets goals. With only 14% of employees feeling inspired to improve post-review, according to a Gallup poll, it’s clear that a transformation is overdue. As March marks the end of Q1 for 2024, it’s an opportune time to rethink how performance assessments can truly benefit both the organization and its employees.

The dissatisfaction with traditional year-end reviews is not a secret. They often come across as disconnected from daily work, focusing more on past actions rather than future growth. High-profile companies like Microsoft, Netflix, Google, and Apple have shifted away from conventional methods, pointing towards a trend of more dynamic, continuous feedback systems. These companies understand that for feedback to be impactful, it must be immediate, relevant, and actionable.

Implementing Continuous Feedback

To align staffing with your 2024 goals, consider adopting a model of continuous feedback, like Catalytic Coaching. This approach involves regular check-ins between managers and employees throughout the year, rather than saving discussions for a formal year-end meeting. Such conversations can focus on recent achievements, areas for improvement, and most importantly, setting short-term and long-term objectives that align with broader company goals.

Catalytic Coaching is a concept created by Gary Markle, who wrote the Catalytic Coaching: The End of the Performance Review. We at The Million Dollar Solution® have effective meetings with each staff member throughout the year, instead of just annually which often creates unwanted pressure and stress.

For over 10 years, The Million Dollar Solution® and Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak, along with several of our members, have implemented Catalytic Coaching throughout their office. This provides a unique approach to showing your staff that you care about their careers, by enabling them to take leadership of their future at your office. Throughout the process, you will have opportunities to set clear expectations, align their role with mission and vision of the company and open up the quality level of communication between manager and employee. Time and time again we have learned things about an individual during this process that would never have been possible without the Catalytic Coaching process. 

Steps to Catalytic Coaching

Meeting 1

The employee fills out the first form to highlight where they are at and where they want to go in their career. The manager’s sole objective during this meeting is to listen and take notes. This gives the employee your undivided attention to ask questions and share their goals and aspirations. Also, since the employee has the reins for this meeting, it will foster a deeper buy-in by giving them control, which is not provided during an annual review.

Meeting 2

Now that you (the manager) have earned the right to speak by listening to the employee in the first meeting, you are now in charge of this meeting. The manager completes the second form which highlights strengths and developmental recommendations for the individual. This meeting completely switches roles. The employee now needs to listen and take notes regarding the manager’s feedback and insight into their role. This is the manager’s opportunity to set clear expectations with the employee and their role as well. Staff want to know what is expected of them, so eliminate gray area’s and provide a clear path forward.

Meeting 3

For this meeting, the employee gets an outline for a performance development plan. Here, they take ownership of their career by mapping out specifically how they will reach the goals previously discussed in the first two meetings. They can fill out up to three improvement goals, which includes the steps needed to achieve each one. Also, they will provide two to three strength goals, highlighting how they can utilize their strengths for greater efficiency and development. During this meeting, both the employee and the manager review this action plan together, make revisions, and finalize. This updated version will be referenced for the quarterly meetings ahead. 

Quarterly meetings

Now, after waiting 90 days, you conduct your first quarterly meeting. Each meeting you will review the third meeting form to discuss progress, address questions, challenges, successes and strategic insights on how to continue working towards the goals previously set.

Keeping the Ball Rolling for 2024 Goals

As we navigate 2024, aligning your staffing with your company’s goals through a revamped performance review system is not just beneficial; it’s necessary for fostering a motivated, engaged workforce. You can create a more dynamic, responsive, and ultimately more productive work environment—who doesn’t want more of that?

If you’re looking to revamp your performance review system and better align your staffing with your 2024 objectives, we’re here to help. Schedule your free strategy session with The Million Dollar Solution® to learn how you can implement the Catalytic Coaching process at your office and transform your 2024.