FBC board member Heidi Mäkinen blogs about Annual Achievement Reviews

It’s Time for an Achievement Review!

Feedback keeps us growing and thriving, and it is once again time to look back and reflect on the past year.

An achievement review is an integral part of performance excellence and when done right, a key to boost employee engagement. It is all about supporting the employees and the business to perform better. With companies’ ambitious business strategies and forever-ongoing changes, leading high performance and focusing on the people is more crucial than ever. We need everyone to raise their performance to the next level to create value for our customers and to fulfil our purpose.

We all want to get feedback about how we are doing to make sure that we are on track and doing the right things. Whilst the new year seems like a perfect time to review the past year and set new targets, it is not enough to give feedback and (re)define goals once a year. Continuous feedback and follow up from our managers and colleagues are the backbone of learning, growing and performing. Specific and sincere feedback also keeps us focused and motivated to reach our targets. It provides us with information and insights and creates a great workplace where we can learn and continuously improve ourselves.

Regardless of the timing, performance reviews are key to offering helpful feedback to a manager or employee. As managers, we want to identify areas of improvement, but it’s equally important to highlight examples of good work and strengths of our subordinates. We may get work done as a team, yet it’s important to set out some personal goals with the employee and talk about their specific role and requirements. This will give them something to strive towards over the next months, and eventually over the course of the year. Each employee needs an opportunity to respond to the superior’s suggestions, too. Thus, it’s important that all of us take charge of our own development and think about our own achievements and desires before entering in the performance review.

Performance reviews are critical for small businesses alike, even if a traditional performance review process may not fit with their culture. Discussing concerns and helping each of your employees to set goals and individual objectives for themselves can make them more invested in your business and success. Performance reviews can also be a chance for small business owners and managers to take a look at the coaching that they are providing those working under them.

Below are some tips to help you prepare for your next performance review both as a manager and employee.

  • Recognize that annual chats aren’t enough. Give and request real-time feedback and redefine goals where so required by the business.
  • Document your goals and regularly track your and your team’s work accomplishments.
  • Ensure the employee performance is measured in some way. Use tools to help you get a clearer picture of how you or your team is operating
  • Understand the ways in which you add value
  • Focus on core competencies which are important to the business and the individuals

Let’s use this important opportunity to review the past year before shifting our focus to the future. Let’s raise our performance to the next level together in our teams, organisations and communities.

Heidi Mäkinen, Wärtsilä Corporation
FBC board member