Build great Teams – People management

Review Time – Give Feedback And Update Goals As Needed

Review Time – Give Feedback And Update Goals As Needed

Review Time! It’s March. That’s month 3 of the year. By the end of the month it will be the end of 1st Quarter. That’s a quarter of the way through the year depending how you look at things.

Many of us started the year well by setting, or being involved in setting some – hopefully SMART – goals. These goals may have been work-related but they may also have been personal. Whether they are work-related or personal, hopefully you, like me, are now well on your way to achieving those goals.

Now is a great time to review your goals to see how you’re doing. Are you on track? Do you need to make adjustments to get back on track or to stay on track? Or are you doing well? If you’re doing well, give yourself a pat on the back. Don’t forget to keep up the good work for the rest of the year.

Update Goals

Have you got shorter-term goals that are now complete (hopefully successfully)? Do you need to create any new goals as a result? If you do – remember to make them SMART goals to help you stay motivated and know when you have been successful in achieving them.

Review Experiences To Avoid

End-of-year reviews are often argumentative, unfulfilling meetings (that’s there was a meeting and the review wasn’t done by phone or email!). This ‘meeting’ may be the first time that goals are discussed since they were created up to 12 months ago.

Maybe you thought you were well on track and doing a great job. Maybe your boss had a different view but you only found out at the end of the year. By then it was too late to do anything about it. That could leave a bitter taste in your month after you thought things were going so well. As a result you might feel unmotivated. This might lead you to start the next year thinking “What’s the point of even trying to reach these goals?”

An Experience To Aim For

People who’ve had the best experiences with end-of year reviews often reveal that it’s because the final meeting (and it was a face-to-face meeting) was just the last meeting of the year after receiving ongoing feedback throughout the year. This final meeting was just a summary, with no surprises. Such meetings are typically fairly short, sweet and even if not all goals were met, everyone knew the circumstances going into the meeting so there was no need to argue about anything.

Ongoing Feedback

In the past year, some companies have announced they’re not even doing end-of-year reviews any more. Those companies aren’t going to stop caring about what their staff are doing. They’re not going to stop evaluating how things are going. They are instead making the evaluation part of an ongoing cycle of regular feedback to see how things are progressing. In this scenario there is no need for an arbitrary point in time to be the point at which a meeting happens to decide if things have gone well over the last 12 months or not.

Make Time For Feedback

So I would recommend we all start making room in our busy lives to review how we’re doing against our goals on an ongoing basis. This will allow us to see if things are heading off track and if they are, we have time and opportunity to review what’s causing the problem and try and remove any blocks to being successful. Maybe we’re actually ahead of where we thought we’d be. If so, we could even close out a goal early and set a new one to let us progress further, rather than just sitting back waiting for the formal completion date for the original goal to roll around.


If you’re a manager, regular reviews and communicating feedback also becomes ongoing coaching to help move your team members forward. “How can I fit this in with everything else I’m already doing” I hear managers cry? Tell your team you want to move to more regular feedback sessions. Let your team members know how this will benefit them:

  • They’ll be able to act on any feedback quickly while it can still impact their year.
  • You’ll be able to help them clear anything that is blocking their progress if you know about it early, including changing workflows and/or processes.
  • Learning and development needs can be fulfilled as they arise.
  • Get Your Team Involved In Ongoing Feedback

    Solicit feedback from your entire team as to what format ongoing reviews might take. They may have some ideas that are fairly simple that will work for them and not become a burden on you, the manager. You may choose to use a variety of methods over the course of a year just to keep in touch and do a status check against the goals. Frequency could be weekly, monthly and/or quarterly in different formats. Some may be initiated by the manager and some maybe initiated by the team member (a self-assessment approach where the onus is on the team member to put most of the effort in).

    The important thing is that communication about the goals and progress towards achieving them is two-way. These should happen at least once a quarter and more frequently for key goals or project based goals where the project may not span a full 12 months. All feedback should be specific to the goals rather than being a general chat.

    My Question To You

    Do you review goals part-way through the year? How do you conducts reviews? How often do you review progress towards goals? If this is something you would like to discuss or would like some help with, contact me at You can also buy my book Accelerate to Team Success which is available as a paperback or on Kindle.


    About the Author:

    Nikki Faulkner photo Dr Nikki Faulkner founded Mulberry Bush Consulting to work with business leaders and their teams to make the 'People' side of their business as effective as possible. Mulberry Bush Consulting's specialty is helping small businesses who are new to having employees and helping businesses who are growing rapidly and increasing their employee-base at a rate that is creating a significant challenge.

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