For those living in agency land, the end of the financial year traditionally signals the beginning of mid-year reviews when pats on the back, promotions and pay rises are all possibilities.
Cut to 2020 when in most agencies, pats on the back are a breach of social distancing, promotions are suspended as we return to lockdown, and pay rises are frankly out of the question with the economy in recession.
In light of these things, many companies I work with have decided to do away with their mid-year performance reviews. If you’re an employer, this makes perfect sense as not only are promotions, bonuses and salary reviews off the table but with the sudden shift from onsite to remote working, many aspects of the traditional performance review may no longer apply to their workplace structure.
However, if you’re an employee, you should still be actively pursuing the opportunity to have a mid-year review with your employer.
Whilst traditional performance reviews and financial perks are (likely) off the table for 2020, there is no reason why the review itself can’t be reimagined and adapted to the strange times we find ourselves in.
If you’re an employee, there are still plenty of benefits to be gained from a performance review including:
- Receiving feedback about your strengths and weaknesses, both in terms of skills and productivity, but also the role that you play within the office culture.
- Negotiating other elements of your contract. This could include:
- Non-monetary benefits – Things like a car park, gym membership, weekly coffee allowance, laptop, an ergonomic workstation for home etc.
- Work flexibility post-COVID-19 – Finish early on Fridays at 3.00 pm or have the flexibility to continue working from home (WFH) two days per week etc.
- Upskilling opportunities – Ask your work to contribute towards or cover the full cost of you completing an online course that will grow your skillset or improve your productivity (and in turn, add value to the companies offering to clients)
- Future bonus opportunities- Ask if a bonus structure could be put in place for this financial year, to be paid out if you achieve certain KPIs by the end of financial year 2020/2021
- Show initiative by making suggestions on ways to improve the performance of the team you work in or the wider office environment. This might include things like team lunches, updating team communication, or even practical things like healthier snack options in the communal kitchen.
- Signposting where you want your career trajectory to take you Letting the company you work for know where you plan to go (post-COVID or even long term) in turn enables them to begin thinking about employee retention strategies and perhaps even earmarking you for career progression next time the opportunity arises.
Broaching the topic
The easiest way to engage with your manager regarding the topics on your mid-year agenda is to adopt the self-development survey method. This is a survey designed to get you to think about your working life, career plans and professional development, which can then be used by employers to provide you with feedback, support and opportunities. Taking this approach enables you to take the lead and signpost the areas of your development you want to discuss, and can be adapted to any workplace environment.
Besides all of the benefits I have mentioned above, showing initiative and asking for a mid-year review distinguishes you as someone who cares deeply about your professional development and long-term career. Remember: letting people know you are ambitious is a power move and one that could open new doors for you.