Coming Half-Circle: Mid Term Performance Discussions

How do you conduct mid-term performance discussions?

If you have been with me for the past few months, you may remember that when I started blogging, I was in the midst of end of year performance reviews. Well, we have come half-circle in the organization and are at the mid-term point. As a supervisor or manager, you have a perspective of how your department is performing. If you are more than a one-man or woman show, there are other internal perspectives out there.

Ever wonder what they think? I do.

Ever think of asking them? I did. 

I have my perspective and mine is but one of 9. I was curious to know what the others thought so I am asking each member of my staff the following questions as part of our mid term performance discussions:

  • How do you feel the department working? Are we growing, stagnant, falling backwards?
  • What do you see as the top 2-3 strengths of the department?
  • If you had a magic wand, what 2-3 things would you seek to change? What impact or difference would that make and what priority would it be for you?

My plan is to share this information with the department when I am done and set goals and expectations for the next six months around what I heard. So far, the discussions have been thoughtful and forthcoming. While not a lot has been a surprise and they are tracking with my perception in most cases, the value for me has been in having the conversations themselves.

One of my goals is to move us more towards working from an internal consultant model and anticipate using the same types of questions with our external customers. If you have used this approach before and have any suggestions or lessons learned to share, I'd love to hear from you.