Cuttsy+Cuttsy

Monthly reviews - are you mad?

Mathew Cutts | 28 June 2017

Annual or even six monthly reviews can be hard enough to implement so why on earth would you decide to do them every month?

We started introducing monthly reviews 18 months ago and it was one of the best decisions we have made as an agency. Everyone knows that the speed of change is ever increasing. Information is now instantaneous, so relying on setting objectives every six to twelve months is madness, as is officially checking how someone is progressing twice a year.

So how have we implemented this?
We have introduced monthly Proud meetings which start with two simple questions:

1. What have you done in the last month that you are proud of?
2. What are you going to do in the next month that you will be proud of?

We then review four objectives (both long- and short- term) that we have set in line with the company’s strategic plan

We also review any training needs and of course there is also the chance to discuss anything else that the team member would like to.

Advantages

  1. The meetings are regular so can be shorter than traditional reviews
  2. Everyone gets regular feedback, not just your top and bottom performers
  3. Training needs can be addressed quickly
  4. New objectives can be set as soon as an existing one is completed
  5. Objectives can be quickly changed if they are no longer applicable
  6. You have a monthly record of achievements to relate back to, especially good if a team member needs a boost
  7. The team is more involved in the direction of the business and therefore promotes a more inclusive and honest culture
  8. As a business you can adapt to the changing environment quickly
  9. Your team should and do feel more valued
  10. Feedback is on work that has recently been completed (who remembers the detail from work that took place 12 months ago?)
  11. Staff retention, you get to re-engage those who for whatever reason lose their way a little and at least it’s only for a few weeks!

Disadvantages

  1. Time
  2. Paperwork
  3. Not in depth enough


Let’s address the disadvantages, starting with time. Our jobs as managers and as leaders is to motivate and encourage our team, so 45 minutes a month for each of your direct reports should be easy to find. If not, you probably manage too many people or don’t manage at all.

Paperwork, keep it short, no more than one side of A4, make it a simple form and do it immediately. At the end of the year you will have a 12-page review document, so how in depth do you require?

By meeting monthly everyone is more used to having performance conversations. It is now the norm for us, so discussions about the good and the not so good happen automatically, without any festering and ultimately lead to improvement.

We implemented this for business reasons and we are seeing some real positive outcomes, but the greatest output is being able to watch people grow, develop their skills and achieve things in a much shorter time than they imagined possible.