Wondering how to review personal development?

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Personal development cannot be neglected in personal or professional life. It helps you identify the strengths and weaknesses of yourself or the person you are reviewing. Personal development reviews not only optimize existing capabilities and skills but also improves current performance.

In this article, you will learn all about how to review personal development of your employees.

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Personal Development Review

Personal development reviews are considered the most important meetings of the year. But, no matter how important these meetings are, employees tend to view them negatively because of their past negative experience.

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It is the duty of the manager to convince the staff that these meetings are important. Managers are responsible for making these meetings as productive as possible. Employees should be able to open up in front of the managers and must tell the truth in these meetings to make them effective and helpful.

There are many things that a manager can do and must do to make these personal development review meetings effective for both the employees and the organization.

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Not sure what we are talking about?

Here’s everything you need to do, as a manager, to make personal development reviews of your employees successful.

1. Believe in the Importance of Personal Development Reviews

First things first, a manager must believe in the importance of personal development reviews themselves. You are not going to get anywhere with these reviews if you consider them to be a waste of time. Your disinterest will also reflect in the review meetings, and your employees will also not take these reviews seriously.

2. Challenge the System If It Doesn’t Work

Why do you think that these personal development reviews are a waste of time? Are you not sure about the merits of the process? Do you think it can be improved?

If yes, then as a manager it is your duty to challenge the system. You should initiate a system that can make the process productive for the organization and the employees. If you are unable to do so, it is your failure.

Managers have access to high-level management and they can discuss the issues with top level management. Raise your concerns about the personal development review procedure if you are not happy about it. Improve it as much as you can so that the organization and employees can benefit from it.

A positive attitude is essential for successful personal development reviews

3. Have a Positive Attitude

Many times, the system works fine; however, it is the attitude of the people that results in failure.

If a manager considers personal development reviews as an inconvenience or simply a waste of time, employees will think the same. In addition, your attitude will also reflect in the meeting. The meetings will, in fact, become a waste of time.

On the other hand, if you see these meetings as productive and important, you will be able to benefit from them. Personal development reviews give an opportunity to the employees to grow, flourish and progress. When you dedicate proper time to each employee, you will see that these reviews can also increase employee engagement.

4. Give Them Undivided Attention

It is very important for the employees to open up in these personal development review meetings. This is only possible when the manager gives them undivided attention. If you schedule a personal development review meeting with an employee, dedicate that time solely to them only.

Clear your schedule and don’t allow anything to interrupt the meeting. Engage with the employees. Listen to them and give them your feedback. Put away your phone and listen to them intently and keenly to get the best out of personal development review meetings.

5. Review Meetings are a Two-Way Street

If you want to encourage trust in your employees, tell them that personal development review meetings are a two-way street. Managers will review their employees’ personal development and employees can take this as an opportunity to discuss their views about the organization.

In addition, they should also be encouraged to give feedback about your performance as a manager.

As a manager, it is also important to ask your employees if there is anything that they want to discuss off the record. If it is something important to the organization, you can encourage them to include it in the final report. However, don’t force anything on them.

You will only lose their trust if you force them. Also, don’t go behind their back and add it in the report. They trusted you and you should respect that. However, try your best to improve the situation.

6. There Shouldn’t Be Any Surprises

There shouldn’t be any surprises in the personal development review meetings if you have been managing your employees properly. It is important to talk to the employees throughout the year and not just during the meetings.

If your employees are shocked about the review, then you must not have talked to them all year long. If an employee is underperforming, then it is your responsibility to sit with them and discuss their performance. You should also make a plan for them that can help them improve their performance.

However, don’t bombard them with under-performance revelations when you haven’t given them feedback to improve all year long. Arrange more frequent face-to-face meetings with your employees. Personal development reviews should not be viewed as a chance to hash out what both parties have been bottling up for the past year. It should have a more productive agenda that works best for both the employees and the organization.

Learn how to get more information without forcing employees

7. Don’t Force Them for Information

Silence can be a very impactful tool when it comes to personal development reviews. If the employee isn’t giving you too much information or if you want them to express more, then don’t blatantly ask them for more information.

In fact, pause before you ask them to expand. They will themselves open up more to fill the silence. Furthermore, you will not be forcing them for more information. They will be providing it with their own free will.

8. Review the Whole Year

If you conduct yearly personal development reviews of your employees, then you must consider the entire year. You should look at the overall performance of the employees. Were there any unusual incidents the past year that may have impacted their performance? If yes, then take that into account.

Don’t just focus on negative things only. Also, look at all the positive achievements of the employees and then give them incentives accordingly.

9. Don’t Fudge

If the employee is doing something wrong or is under-performing, then it must be discussed in the personal development review meeting with them. Don’t just slip the information into the report without discussing it with the employees in the meeting.

If there is anything that needs to be included in the report, it must be brought up in the meeting. You will only lose the trust of your employees if you go behind their backs. In addition, these tactics will also jeopardize your chances of conducting meaningful and successful personal development review meetings in the future.

Learn about how to plan a personal development review meeting

Personal Development Review – Contents of the Meeting

Following contents must be a part of personal development review meetings with your employees:

Review Progress

  • Review past year’s performance
  • Discuss the objectives that were agreed upon in the last review meeting
  • Discuss any issues that may have impacted their performance in the last year

Review Evidence

  • Review all the evidence that you have gathered
  • Discuss it with the employees before including them in the final report
  • Create and record short-term action plans that can help improve their personal development in the future

Review the Personal Development Plan

  • Discuss and review all the learning activities that have been undertaken in the last year
  • Evaluate the personal development activities that the employees took part in and completed

Create New Objectives

  • When creating new objectives, always consider the common core objectives, personal objectives, team priorities and organizational objectives
  • Create new objectives that have to be achieved in the next 12 months
  • Discuss these objectives with the employees before penning them down to ensure that both the parties are on the same page

Create a Personal Development Plan

  • Discuss the newly set objectives with the employees
  • Agree on the personal development plan for the next year
  • Create short-term goals
  • Keep the personal goals of the employees in mind when creating their personal development plan
Learn about the components of meaningful personal development reviews

Meaningful Personal Development Reviews – What Are They?

Personal development reviews are done to improve the performance of employees. It increases their job satisfaction and also keeps them motivated and encouraged to work. For a personal development review to be meaningful and successful, it must have the following features:

  • Motivates and encourages the employees
  • It must give them a clear sense of direction to achieve new goals
  • It should make the employees feel heard
  • They should be provided with constructive and positive feedback
  • Negative feedback should also be given. However, as mentioned before, it shouldn’t come as a surprise

Things to Remember on Your First Personal Development Review

Is this your first personal development review meeting?

If yes, then we have some tips that can help you ace it.

1. Be Prepared

Preparation is the key if you want the personal development review meeting to be meaningful and impactful. You need points to discuss in the meeting. Make regular notes on the tasks that you perform. Think about what tasks make you happy and what you enjoy the most. Also, think about the tasks that you think you are not really good at.

What were the objectives and goals given to you in the last personal development review meeting? How many of these goals did you achieve?

All these things will be discussed in the personal development review meeting.

Tell the manager about the contributions you have made to the organization

2. Make Your Contributions Visible

Personal development review meetings are conducted one-on-one with managers. This is an opportunity for you to highlight your work and bring attention to your contributions to the organization. These meetings are mostly informal chats.

You must think about some important points that you can discuss at the meeting before you leave. Think about your work and contributions and highlight them in the meeting. This will tell the manager how effectively you are pursuing your goals.

Simply tell the managers what you like doing and what drains your energy. Tell them if you have created any personal goals to achieve this year. Give the manager an overview of your work that has contributed to the benefit of your company.

All these discussions will come in handy when it’s time for salary negotiations and appraisals.

3. Think Strategically

Your manager is more likely to be receptive if you incorporate your priorities and desires into the company goals. However, don’t make any unrealistic claims. Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) goals and work hard to achieve them for yourself and the organization.

4. Be Honest

Personal development review meetings are a forum where you can discuss a variety of topics. Consider your manager as your mentor and ally, not your opponent. Give them the opportunity to help and guide you. Talk to them about the things that are bothering you.

Personal development review meetings are successful and meaningful when both parties are honest with each other.

5. Be Professional

In personal development review meetings, it is important to keep your approach professional. If you want to send a message across to the manager, do it professionally. Most managers are not interested in emotional issues. They want to see how something can benefit them and the organization.

Therefore, just be professional throughout the meeting.

You must discuss and talk about your goals, developments and problems with the managers regularly

6. Keep in Touch with Managers All Year Round

You must discuss and talk about your goals, developments and problems with the managers regularly. Don’t wait for personal development review meetings to talk to them. You will forget a lot of important things if you wait for annual review meetings.

If you have feedback about something, give it there and then. Is there something or someone bothering you at work? Talk to your managers. Are you struggling with a project? Ask for assistance.

These simple tips can help employees prepare for personal development reviews.

Now that you know how to review personal development of employees, make use of these tips to improve the performance of your employees.

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