'Tis the season for performance reviews!

 Here are Left Field’s top tips for leaders to make the most of this time of the year!

Feeling inspired by this blog, book in to our professional development course to master your skills in the performance review conversation.


At Left Field we have witnessed, trained and sat in on numerous performance reviews, so we wanted to share our top tips!

If you are here reading this blog, you know the importance of having the performance review conversation with your team members and understand getting it wrong can have some pretty devastating results.

Top Tips for Performance Reviews

1. Challenge your assumptions about the review process
The review process is not a ‘tick and flick” exercise – it’s a conversation about performance. What you really want to say about performance should not be limited by the form or boxes. Documentation is important, but it is not the driving factor for the conversation.

2. Get clear on expectations about performance
Being clear means you can see it and observe it – it means your team member can see it and observe it as well. Not being clear will result in confusion during the performance review discussion. Lack of clarity can get in the way of the conversation – it will become about “why haven’t I received exceeds expectations” rather than “what can I do to improve in this area?”

3. Preparation is king!
Plan for how you will deliver your feedback – consider what is the key message you want to share about that person’s performance for the year, i.e. you had rough start at the beginning, but you are improving! You can work smarter!

It is important that your team member is prepared as well. Best advice: don’t do the review if neither party has put the effort in to prepare for the conversation.

4. Avoid idea-killers
Avoid phrases such as “Yes, BUT…”and “We don’t have time…”. Allow employees to share and ‘talk-through’ their ideas with you. If they are part of the decision making, they will have greater commitment to making the change when it comes to their own performance. This encourages two-way discussion.

5. It’s all about development
It’s important to focus on the development – what are the key areas for focus and for improvement that will make the next 6 to 12 months the best for this person. How will they achieve their personal and professional goals? Inspire them!

Bonus tip!

End on a Positive Note.
Strive to have a performance conversation that is uplifting, motivating, and inspiring. You want the employee to leave the meeting engaged and empowered to contribute to their job, their team, and the company. Consider – how do I end this conversation on a positive, uplifting note!! Watch them leave the room – they should have a spring in their step and ready to tackle the next 12 months!

- Alex Walsh & Kelly Maniatis - 

Feeling inspired by this blog, book in to our professional development course to master your skills in the performance review conversation.