Your employees need guidance, encouragement, and feedback to perform at a high level. And as a leader, it’s your job to make sure your team members get those things consistently. One way you can deliver those essentials is through a mid-year review. Done well, the mid-year review is a low-stress meeting that provides clarity, renews motivation, and promotes employee wellness. Here’s how.
Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of mid-year reviews, let’s examine the importance of employee wellness. Employee wellness is the degree to which employees succeed in various areas of their lives, such as health, career, relationships, and finances. It encompasses both personal and professional well-being.
When employees are well, everyone wins. Workers will be happier, more engaged, more productive, and more likely to stay with the organization. As a result, the company will enjoy less turnover, fewer recruiting expenses, greater output, and a healthier bottom line. It’s therefore in a firm’s best interest to make employee wellness a priority.
A mid-year review is an informal meeting to check in with workers, track progress on goals, reestablish expectations, and offer guidance. The discussion shouldn't take on a disciplinary tone but rather provide encouragement and assistance to increase each team member’s chance of success. It can also help to support employee wellness if it’s used to:
Pro Tip: Think about what your boss could include in a mid-year review to make you better at what you do and happier at work. Then, be sure you feature those elements in the meetings you conduct with your team.
Follow these steps to conduct an effective mid-year review:
Bonus step: Ask each team member how you can improve the mid-year review experience and incorporate their feedback when you conduct the next meeting.
Implement these best practices to ensure your mid-year reviews are successful:
Bonus tip: Provide ways for your employees to connect with each other to enhance camaraderie and teamwork.
We know we just spent an entire article discussing mid-year reviews. But the truth is that annual performance reviews and mid-year reviews don't provide enough feedback and support for your employees to thrive. You need to have frequent, casual check-ins with each member of your team in addition to those more official meetings.
Doing so will help you keep your finger on the pulse of how your workforce is doing. Plus, it will help you:
These check-ins don’t have to be fancy — they just have to happen. Make it a point to stop by each employee’s desk (or inbox if they’re working remotely) weekly and ask how things are going and how you can help.
Coaching your employees to achieve their full potential is essential for their well-being — and your company’s success. But, connecting with them on a deep enough level to do that can often seem daunting. That’s where we come in.
Our fast and easy behavioral assessment provides insights into each team member’s approach to work, communication style, preferences, and more. You’ll walk away with information you can use to personalize mid-year reviews and casual check-in conversations to each employee. Then, your chance of truly reaching them will skyrocket.
Plus, you can take the assessment yourself to better understand your leadership style. That way, you can ensure how you manage your team is in line with promoting their wellness — and peak performance.
When you prioritize employee wellness, your entire company will benefit. Conducting effective mid-year reviews and casual check-ins can help your firm promote both personal and professional well-being within your workplace.
Curious to see how Omnia can enhance your mid-year reviews, check-ins, and overall employee wellness? Try a complimentary assessment!
Mid-year, the end of the second quarter, school’s out! This is a great time to reflect on your career, check in on your goals, and see how you’re doing. So, how is it going? Feeling stress-free, engaged, and overall satisfied? Excellent! Check in with us next week for another informative article!
Oh, or no? Or maybe not all those things all the time? Maybe it’s time to do some soul searching to see what’s keeping you from feeling your best in your career.
In all honesty, midyear is probably not the time when you’re going to feel 100% engaged at work. If you have kids, they have just finished or are just finishing school for the year. You’re shifting from last-minute-everything mode to give-them-something/anything-to-do mode. If you’re a former kid, you may be struggling to remember why and when we all agreed to work most of the summer instead of having it off like we used to. There are vacations to take, other people’s vacations to cover, graduations to attend, and fun places to go or wish you were going.
It’s ironic that I volunteered to write about this topic a few months ago, before I realized that I would be experiencing MAJOR life changes when it came time to write it. Midyear finds me picking up stakes and moving myself and my family long distance, to a different home, state and climate. If you’ve never sold your house and moved long distance, let me assure you, the process is full of distractions! If I wasn’t engaged by my career, I would probably have had a bit of a breakdown trying to do all this and keep working. As it is, I’m muddling through (I think) because I enjoy what I do, and I feel supported by my manager and teammates.
It's ok to not feel fully engaged all the time. If there’s one thing we discovered through these challenging last couple of years, it’s that we can all still get a lot done, even when our mind is very FULLY on something else. Still, some consistent element of engagement is critical to health, success, and happiness in your career. Think of your professional engagement as the lifeline that helps you stay successful even when you would be otherwise distracted. If there is nothing in your daily responsibilities that makes you feel energized and helps you keep your head in the game, it may be time to make some adjustments.
Whether we like it or not, some amount of career stress is inevitable. Most adults are doing some pretty incredible life-work balancing acts, and most of us have internal and external pressures about our performance. But chronic work-related stress left unchecked can lead to major problems. Are you finding yourself dreading work, lacking energy, struggling to concentrate on the job, and/or having difficulty sleeping at night? If so, according to The Mayo Clinic, you may be approaching or already experiencing job burnout.
If you’re feeling these things, chances are pretty good, you know the source. Maybe it’s conflict with a supervisor or colleague, maybe it’s deadlines or objectives that are impossible to achieve, maybe it’s chronic uncertainty about your job, or maybe you’re just not doing work that aligns with your strengths and motivators.
If you know your major stressor is temporary, you may do best to wait it out, but make sure you are focusing on self-care as much as possible while you do. However, being out of alignment with your core duties is not the kind of problem that will go away on its own or solve itself.
If you’re a competitor with no chances to compete, a people person working in solitude, an analytic dealing in generalities and hypotheticals all day, an innovator who always needs to strictly follow the rules, you are out of alignment. This can make all your daily work feel like a struggle. It’s not that you can’t be successful for a short time, but not being true to the needs of your personality is rarely sustainable and is almost always stressful.
The good news is the change you need does not always have to be that dramatic. It may be enough to make a small shift in your responsibilities – take on something new, swap something that doesn’t motivate you with someone who it does motivate. If management is sympathetic and flexible (which they should be, since helping minimize stress for employees improves productivity and profitability!) there’s potential for adjustments that could benefit both you and a colleague. That’s a win-win!
Even if you’re totally happy with your work, culture, colleagues, and company (or especially if you are) humans require some kind of growth to stay motivated. We’re curious creatures who love to learn. Do you have goals beyond your basic responsibilities that you’re working toward? If not, this is a good time to explore your interests and speak with your manager about opportunities. Covering for colleagues during their breaks can provide an excellent chance for cross-training and exploration of different duties.
If you have growth goals in place or set New Year’s resolutions, how is your progress at this midpoint of the year? This is the time to look back and praise yourself for how well you’ve done or to make adjustments to your goals, if circumstances, opportunities, or interests have shifted. You’re only halfway through the year – there’s lots of time to adjust and get moving!
Knowing about yourself can help you maintain career satisfaction, productivity, and engagement and mitigate stress. A behavioral assessment, like the Omnia Professional Development report, can help you identify what you need to ensure success for the rest of 2022 and beyond. Reach out to your Omnia Success Team member for more information.
I’ve always had a strong work ethic. I blame (and thank) my mom for that. On my 15th birthday, she dropped me off at Kroger (a grocery store chain, in case you don’t have them in your neck of the woods) and told me not to call home until I had a job. She had a job through high school, her parents had jobs through high school, and I was going to join the generations-old tradition of having a job through high school. And I took immense pride in my work. I still do.
The problem was I was already starting a burnout process that would take 12 years for the bubble to burst. Through high school, I worked as much as I could. The summer before my senior year I had worked my way up to an Assistant Manager position at a Hollywood Video, often closing the store at 1 am on school nights. The building still sits empty a mere 2-minute walk from my house, glaring at me. In my 20s, I worked for a business process outlining firm and traveled the world. I would spend 36 hours flying to the Philippines to spend 12 hours working, crashing at the hotel for a few hours and moving on to the next site.
At 27 years old, I was living in Manhattan and taking pride in overworking. It had become glamorous. I posted social media selfies at 9 pm as the only one at the office. What I didn’t know was I was sacrificing my own health and wellbeing for a company that wasn’t paying me any extra money for the often 20 hours I worked over my salaried time.
I had a breakdown. I was exhausted. I was mentally, emotionally, and physically depleted. Finally, I’d had enough. I left my office job, left “the daily grind,” and started a new life finding peace in work/life balance.
Here’s my advice to business owners, managers, and those in the trenches experiencing burnout.
At first glance, work/life balance may seem like equalizing a seesaw, with work on one side and attending to personal needs on the other. In this view, one may mistake work/life balance as the attempt to maintain stability on the “seesaw.” To do so, many people attempt to find productivity hacks, software that promises a more hassle-free way of doing repetitive tasks, or even a job with a flexible schedule.
However, time management isn’t the solution, nor is the lack of time the reason why one fails to have work/life balance. Instead, a well-balanced work and personal life revolves around having healthy attitudes surrounding your job and personal life, including:
Given these attitudes, a work/life balance is basically feeling content in every decision that is made. It does not begin with someone managing their time to accommodate the task in front of them. Instead, it should start with how someone is going to approach such tasks.
When employees feel that they’re not in control of their time, burnout and various illnesses are inevitable. I felt this a lot. My hours were not my own. I was on someone else’s clock, even when I shouldn’t have been. One study shows that when employees no longer have time for themselves it will ultimately lead to absenteeism and stress, which can affect how they’ll function at work. Another study reveals that companies failing to help provide work/life balance will have more dissatisfied employees.
All people experience stress in their lives. However, just because it’s a common occurrence doesn’t mean that burnout or stress coming from the workplace shouldn’t be addressed. Burnout on the job is usually experienced when employees feel overwhelmed by their work responsibilities; it may be too much for them to handle.
With that said, since workplace stress is unavoidable, it’s in every business owners’ interest to exert any effort to make sure that their employees don’t feel unnecessary burnout due to their work. One solution you can take is to encourage team members to take some time off work or even incorporate a paid-leave program for your company. By doing so, you’re giving employees a chance to live their lives as they see fit without worrying about any penalties.
Giving employees the freedom to choose their work hours does more than enabling them to accommodate both job and personal responsibilities. Offering a flexible work schedule also allows staff members to work during their most productive hours.
Some people love working during the day, while others work best burning the midnight oil. Also, since children may be a distraction for many, some may find that they’re most productive if their children are in school. Essentially, work/life balance enhances productivity. Employee productivity translates to more profits for your business.
In addition to increasing productivity, promoting a healthy work/life balance will bring benefits when it comes to company profitability. For one, a balanced work and personal life boosts physical and mental health, which means fewer sick days. Secondly, attaining work/life balance implies having control of one’s finances, eliminating the need to take on more tasks than an employee can handle.
Lastly, when staff members are not drowning in their assignments, they will be more receptive to constructive feedback and additional training to foster personal growth. As a result, you’ll have staff members with varying skill sets and valuable industry experience, eliminating the costly need to hire more employees.
First things first, always encourage your employees to take care of their mental and emotional health. An employee who is overly stressed out will likely experience fatigue and sickness –– the brain’s muscles will go into “overdrive,” resulting in body aches and lethargy.
Let your employees know that if they are experiencing any of these signs, then they may already be struggling emotionally and mentally:
Once one or more of your employees have experienced any of the signs above, and it’s clearly work related, it’s part of your job to intervene. Not only is taking care of your employees’ mental health crucial, but doing so will allow your company to enjoy the following benefits:
One of the ways for an organization to have long-term success is by giving and receiving feedback. However, for your employees to have work/life balance, it’s not enough to give them a performance review, although this is an essential part. Encouraging feedback in all areas of life will be beneficial for them, which is why this mindset should be promoted in the workplace.
A close friend, family member, or trusted colleague has a front row seat concerning any changes in an employee’s demeanor. By asking them about any negative changes, an employee can reevaluate how their work has hindered them from attaining happiness. This way, employees can think of ways to avoid becoming consumed with their work, such as taking a lunch break or catching up with a friend or colleague.
An overstuffed workload can be detrimental to an employee’s health, regardless of how fast or efficiently they submittheir work. Hence, make sure to assess every employee’s workload.
Business managers who regularly communicate with their teams will be aware of who’s stressed out or unnecessarily busy and who has the capacity to efficiently work on a task. By catching up with employees, managers can determine if an employee is:
A team member who is uncomfortable with their job means they can’t handle it in the first place. To avoid giving assignments to the wrong employee, be open to any possible concerns employees may have with their tasks. It’s best to always remind employees that they can speak up about any difficulties or problems they’re currently working on.
An employee who is considered the “go-to person” in the office is usually the one who’s juggling different tasks and assignments, especially if they’re already expected to back up or correct the output of less productive co-workers.
The solution, then, is to review how your company assigns tasks. This means that you must make sure that the daily assignments every employee receives are achievable. You can even add some padding hours to make room for contingencies.
Moreover, employers should encourage employees to avoid taking on extra work if they’re already feeling stressed and overwhelmed. This is especially true if adding to their workload will intrude on their ability to handle non-negotiable personal responsibilities, like spending time with their children.
Of course, having work/life balance isn’t possible if employees spend the majority of their time working. So, make sure that you always encourage employees to take some time to devote to their hobbies, take vacations, and have good quality sleep.
Furthermore, giving employees time for themselves is beneficial for a company, too. In fact, one piece of research shows that employees who are still in touch with their hobbies are more satisfied with their jobs and have a lower chance of burning out.
Not everyone you hire will excel in the job they’re in. If you have an employee who is really struggling with their role, it’s time to have a difficult conversation with the employee concerning what comes next –– whether you terminate them or assign them a different role.
The whole hiring and recruitment process can be expensive. In fact, it’s estimated that the whole process can cost around $240,000. To make sure your company only hires the right people –– those who are fit for and passionate about the roles they’re about to take –– have a reliable pre-employment assessment. Doing so will increase your company’s chance of finding the right employees and even increase employee retention.
The main purpose of a flexible work environment is to remove stressors, boost job satisfaction, and even urge employees to incorporate healthy habits into their lives, like exercising and eating the right types of food.
Here are some aspects of a flexible work environment you can apply:
Just because an employee loves their job doesn’t mean they’ll no longer feel drained by their work. Hence, in addition to giving team members a flexible work environment, also ensure that you’re giving them a non-draining atmosphere.
A non-draining work environment is crucial to the point that 94% of executives and 88% of employees agree that it’s an essential part of a successful company. A positive corporate culture can:
I’m very fortunate. I got out of the grind and found a company I love that promotes work/life balance and associate well-being. If you’re looking to improve employee retention, use The Omnia Assessment to find out what motivates people in order to create more effective teams and build stronger relationships. The Omnia Assessment is the best tool in any company’s playbook.
One of the many cool things about personality assessments is that they are a springboard for any human resource initiative, problem, or interaction. Filling an open position? Assess your top performers to build a job benchmark. Having conflict on a team? Use the Omnia assessment to understand the communication style of the parties involved. Getting ready to facilitate a training class? Start with the assessment to determine the learning preferences of the participants. Ready to promote employee well-being? Our assessment can even help with that.
Certain kinds of stress can be good, like the stress that accompanies reaching for goals or going through positive life changes, even the stress we feel exercising. But when we think of stress normally, especially at work, it’s not in a good way. Bad stress can be quite insidious and unhealthy.
A manager, we’ll call her Joan, sends an email first thing Monday morning to her employee; we’ll call her Maeve. Joan writes, “I’d like to see you in my office at 2 pm” and immediately sends out a calendar invite. Location: Joan’s office. Joan just wants to check in, see how Maeve is doing, and thank her for always doing such a great job. Joan respects Maeve, enjoys working with her, and feels confident Maeve’s assignments will get done right without any intervention from her… she wishes more employees were just like her. She also wants to ask for Maeve’s opinion on a project that the product team will be working on. She knows Maeve is an expert with terrific insights. Joan just has to draw those insights out sometimes.
Sounds great, right?
Not so much. At least not for Maeve.
That email created a high-anxiety, stressful, worry-filled day.
Well, not if you understand Maeve’s personality type. Maeve is a supporter. She’s naturally cautious, reserved, and analytical. It’s what makes her so great at her client service job. She falls into the Administrator personality group (one of Omnia’s 17 personality groups). She is naturally accommodating and always wants to be counted on to get things right. She has natural attention to detail and works hard to avoid criticism. She is conscious of people’s feelings; she never wants to be perceived as pushy or demanding though she demands excellence from herself. Individuals in this personality group can dwell on mistakes, analyze conversations a bit unproductively, and operate within a fairly constant state of tension…and that’s on a regular, stress-free day!
As a result, Maeve worried about the conversation with Joan. Did she do something wrong? Did she make a mistake in her documentation? Did she say the wrong thing to a customer or to Joan? Maybe she forgot to log off her computer and run the required updates? Was Joan upset that she needed to leave a little early last Tuesday? Was the company downsizing? Was she going to get fired? She’s seen people get terminated in that office -- why does it have to be in Joan’s office?! And as she spiraled just a little bit more and more between Joan’s email and the meeting at 2 pm, the stress in her was, of course, building.
That kind of stress is, simply put, bad for our health and our emotional well-being. The last thing you want is for your employees to get heart palpitations from a meeting request or feel any unnecessary stress at work. We all have plenty of stress as it is without, however unintentionally, creating more.
So, what could Joan have done?
It was all so simple really. Reading Maeve’s Omnia report, Joan would have had the answers. Most analytical supporters, like Maeve, need information and time to process their thoughts. The meeting request simply needed details or at the very least a reassuring word that the meeting was going to be a positive one.
Here is an example of various ways to avoid the stress-spiral day.
Email 2 (we know how email 1 turned out): Good morning, Maeve. I’d like to meet with you at 2 pm. All good stuff, need to talk about a project. Invite to follow.
Maeve has an okay day, though she worries that she should have something prepared for the meeting. What project? Her hands are so full right now, what if she can’t do the project. At least she’s not getting fired.
Email 3: Good morning, Maeve. I’d like to meet with you at 2 pm. All good stuff, you’re doing a great job. Would also like to talk about a project that the product team is working on. Invite to follow.
Maeve feels good, but insecure because she hates being put on the spot. She wishes she knew more about the product project so she can think it over and come to the meeting prepared. Being put on the spot is the worst!
Email 4: Good morning, Maeve. You’re doing such a great job! I’d like to meet with you at 2 pm and just touch base on how things are going for you. We haven’t connected one on one in a while. Is there anything you need? Also, the product team is working on a new usage-trend report for clients and is looking for some advice on what should be included. Since you talk to our clients every day, I’d really like to hear your thoughts.
Eureka! Maeve is excited. How nice to hear that Joan thinks she is doing a great job and just wants to see how she’s doing. That’s so thoughtful. And, YES, she does have ideas about usage trend reports. A client was just asking about something like that the other day. She’s glad she has most of the day to get her speaking points together. Joan is the best manager ever!
Joan, feeling confident now, sends a similarly detailed message to Jared, a top sales rep and a member of Omnia’s Visionary personality group. He’s assertive, talkative, fast-paced, and big-picture-focused. Jared doesn’t read the whole email, wishes Joan would just send a calendar invite and save the info for the meeting. Jared is briefly annoyed he had to open an email in the first place. “It’s such a waste of my time, I need to be selling!”
Joan decides to take a nice, long vacation.
Want to know the communication preferences of your team? Omnia can help. Our quick, accurate personality assessment is ideal for selection, retention, engagement, and yes, even employee well-being. Stop the stress spirals today!