How to Hold an Effective Mid-Year Reviews in a Pandemic

We get it. It’s all a lot right now. Some days it takes every ounce of energy just to make it through. Who has time for mid-year reviews?

Why not just skip them this year?

After all, a great mid-year review is a lot of work.

They take time to prepare, not to mention the Zoom fatigue of all those intense conversations.

Your team will be relieved, right?

One less thing to worry about.

Safer to postpone. After all, they’re not MANDATORY. Thank goodness.

But wait…

Yes, this is certainly not the time to “evaluate” or even worse, EXTRAPOLATE  performance and potential —as we overheard happening this week:

“Yeah, I guess we’ve learned who can lead during uncertainty and change and who cannot.”




This is not even close to an even playing field right now.

Don’t discount the potential of a normally high-performer who suddenly has two toddlers climbing all over them during your conference call because daycare is closed, an elderly parent in a nursing home they can’t visit, and a country in complete turmoil trying to figure out where to go from here with all this racial injustice.

Your team doesn’t need judgment, evaluation, or conclusions.

But they do need your support more than ever.

What if you started by asking them to come prepared to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. AND really listen.

Here are a few conversation-starters.

7 Questions to Ask in a Mid-Year Review (Pandemic Edition)

1. What has been the most challenging part of the last three months for you? How can I best help?

2. What don’t I understand about where you are right now that I should?

3. I’m curious about what you’re learning about how to be most productive now. Are there changes to schedules, meetings, or the way we work together that might help you be more effective in your work?

4. What is scaring you most right now?

5. What are you most excited about?

6. What’s the most important thing you are working on? What work do you think we could eliminate to ensure you succeed at that?

7. What would you add? What’s the most important question to ask right now?

Related: 7 Ways to Encourage Creative Thinking in Your Team