Giving Feedback At The Mid-Year Performance Review


I’ve spent the past few weeks talking about the importance of the mid-year performance review particularly during the pandemic. Giving effective feedback is a leadership competency that is crucial in your one-on-one discussions with your employees as well as your boss and your peers! 

Keeping your team members motivated during this feedback session can be tricky. Below are some tips on giving feedback:  

Effective Feedback Techniques: 

  1. Prepare by gathering information about specific behaviors or outcomes you want to discuss with your employee. “Capturing” the moment will set the context for your feedback and resonate better with your team members. An example might be “At our sales meeting yesterday…(describe details of what you observed)”. 

  1. Ask for permission to give feedback rather than just going into examples. This demonstrates respect and instills a sense of dual partnership. Give balanced feedback about things they are doing well as well as those that need improvement. It’s also helpful to show empathy around your own experiences about receiving performance feedback!

  1. Describe behavior in terms of someone’s actions, not about themselves as a person. Simply stating what you observed can make the behavior known without bringing emotion into play. 

  1. Share the impact their behavior had on you, as their leader. For example: “When you talked over Cindy in the meeting last week, I felt like you didn’t think her information was important to you.” Sharing this way helps your employee see beyond their own behaviors and how it affects others. 

  1. Ask what they want to do to improve their performance. People are much more motivated to respond to your feedback if they “have skin in the game”. 


Motivating employees is a critical leadership competency anytime, and even more so at performance review time. You have prepared for the session with the intent to have an open and inclusive space with your employees. Now, what can you do to keep them motivated while offering feedback and suggestions for improvement? Let’s look at this a couple of ways; how you communicate so they hear your input and how you communicate with them in a way that aligns with their key motivational needs.

Behavioral Needs

Let's look at ways you can communicate so the employee easily grasps your key messages? One effective way is using behavior style via DISC. DISC is simply the science of observable behavior. There are four predominant behavior styles that I wrote about in a previous BLOG. You can carefully observe the individual members of your team and determine the following; how they like to be communicated with, how they prefer to receive feedback, how they like to be managed and even how they respond to conflict. I use the DISC behavior style assessments in my coaching and consulting practice. It’s an online assessment that gives you details about employee behavioral tendencies. Below is a chart that outlines these different preferences by behavior style:


Leaders may have a desire to communicate to others the way they like to be communicated to. I know from experience that people are way more willing to engage with you if you calibrate your own style to that of your employee. This is the first way to keep motivating employees in their performance discussion.

As you can see, there really is an “art” to giving feedback and keeping your employees engaged and motivated during and after the midyear performance review has been completed. If giving feedback poses challenges for you especially at performance review time, I’m here to help