Getting to grips with your mid-year review
You may think that a half-year review isn’t a big deal, but for Assistants, the chance to discuss job performance, objectives and reward should be taken seriously.
We don’t often get to spend that much time with our Executive talking about ourselves, and we have to grab every opportunity to discuss our role.
So here are my 6 top tips for your mid-year review.
Make sure you have a mid-year review.
My first tip is relatively straightforward, right?
Well, no, for some Assistants, it can be quite difficult even to have a mid-year review.
An annual review is usually linked to pay rises and bonuses, so most Executives will conduct a review at the end of the year for their Assistant because HR need the paperwork.
Mid-year reviews are often seen as a ‘nice to have’ or utterly unimportant, so it is put off or forgotten altogether.
As I’ve said already in this article, the excellent thing for Assistants is that we have control of our manager’s diary to schedule a mid-year review ourselves.
I can’t stress how important it is to have two reviews per year at the very minimum.
The Assistant role is hard. It is even harder if you have no idea what your manager thinks of your performance.
Don’t rush the review.
Assistants should have the same amount of time dedicated to their review as any other member of staff.
It is easy to think we can squeeze our review into a 20-minute catch because we don’t think it is that important or because we see first-hand how busy our managers are.
Do remind yourself that your role only functions if your manager is happy with your performance. If issues need to be addressed or even processes that could work better, the mid-year review is the perfect time to discuss them and move forward.
What objectives have you met?
I’ve been seriously guilty of shoving my yearly objectives into a drawer and forgetting about them until the mid-year review and then stressing that I haven’t met any of them.
When you work in a role as demanding as ours sometimes, time doesn’t allow you to evaluate your performance.
That is unless firefighting is an objective, and usually, it isn’t.
Forgetting your objectives as soon as the paperwork is signed isn’t productive or helpful for career progression.
If you are in a similar situation leading up to your mid-year review, dust off your objectives and spend some time looking at what you have accomplished over the last six months, you might be surprised at how much you have done.
Are there any objectives that can be achieved relatively quickly if you dedicate a little time to them? For example, if you have a training objective, can you book yourself onto a course before your mid-year review so that you have something to tell your manager during the discussion.
There are other factors you should consider when reviewing your objectives.
- Are the objectives still relevant?
- Has your role changed in the last six months?
- Do you need new objectives for the rest of the year?
- Are the objectives too challenging or not challenging enough?
These questions can and should be raised during your mid-year review.
Print off supporting documents
If you have received any nice emails or feedback from colleagues or clients, make sure you bring the evidence along to your mid-year review.
You are not gloating or showing off. You are merely giving evidence that will support your performance.
Managers are often accused of not understanding the role, and I often hear assistants say that their managers do not know what they do.
Here is an opportunity to tell them what you do and show them how well you do it.
Look forward to the rest of the year.
Split your review into two sections that cover the last six months and the rest of the year.
Review how you have been performing and look at what is coming up over the next six months.
This is an excellent time to look at your managers’ objectives for the rest of the year and how you can help support them.
This is also an excellent opportunity to ask for more work if you are not being challenged or support if you have too much work.
The mid-year review is a great time to reflect on your performance and overall feelings towards your role.
You must be honest with yourself and with your manager. It is also necessary that they are frank with you too.
I don’t suggest you tell your manager you hate your role, and you hate them – as much as you would love to, brutal honesty is not going to get you a pay rise! Instead, if you are having issues or are unhappy, discuss the problems with your manager in a constructive manner.
Before the review, spend some time noting down what has worked over the last six months, what you have enjoyed and also what hasn’t been working and what can be improved.
Come prepared for the meeting, take a deep breath and speak. Perhaps they were unaware of the problems and just needed to be told.
If you are delighted and love your manager and the role, tell them that too! Who doesn’t like to be told they are a good boss!
Mid-year reviews are an essential element of your career development.
After six months, you can check how you are progressing through your objectives and goals and make any necessary changes.
If you are unsure what to discuss during your mid-year review, here are ten questions that you can ask and discuss with your Executive. These questions will help you flesh out what you have achieved and what you need to work on for the rest of the year.
Ten questions to ask during your mid-year review
- What has been going well for the last six months?
- What can be improved for the next six months?
- What am I doing that is most helpful for you?
- What can I do to make your job easier?
- Are there any additional projects or areas of work I should be looking at over the next six months that are not part of my current goals and objectives? – This could lead to more growth (if you have performed well over the first six months).
- What are your goals and objectives for the next six months, and how can I help you achieve them?
- Are there are patterns in the way that I work that I could change for the better?
- If you missed any of your goals for the first two-quarters of the years, what can I change so that I hit all of my goals for the rest of the year?
- Are there things I could do that would make our relationship better?
- If I stay on course with this level of performance, what salary and bonus should I expect next year?