Conducting the Annual Review Meeting

  • Hold the meeting in a confidential space, preferably not at your desk.
  • Welcome the employee; put the employee at ease.
  • Invite employees to share their perception of how the past year has been.
  • Listen and take notes.
  • Maintain good eye contact and attentive posture.
  • Reflect back to the employee your understanding of what the employee said.
  • Don't interrupt, but ask questions for clarification.
  • Be objective – avoid personal bias and feelings of favoritism.
  • You can encourage conversation by asking questions such as these:
    • What are you the most proud of?
    • What are some of the obstacles you have faced?
    • How has it been for you to be a part of this team?
    • What do you like most/least about your job?
    • How can I support you more effectively?
  • Compare the actual specific performance results and behaviors to the objectives. Stay away from an attitude or personality focus.
  • There should be no surprises for the employee regarding their performance as feedback should have been provided throughout the year.
  • Consider performance in all areas. Do not assume that excellence in one area implies excellence in all areas or that poor performance in one area implies poor performance in all areas.
  • Ask the employee for ideas about how to resolve problems.
  • Emphasize strengths, as well as areas that need improvement.
  • Be honest and be prepared to discuss any items on the review.
  • Support the employee's effort to improve.
  • Summarize the session and end on a positive note.

Closing and follow-up

Both the supervisor and the employee should sign the review. Signing the review does not mean the employee agrees with the review; it means that the review has been shared with the employee. The employee can provide a written response, which is optional. Provide the employee with a copy, and keep one for your records. Follow unit/college protocol regarding sending the signed document to MSU Human Resources.