How to facilitate a performance review via self-reflection

When Inventium moved to our Be Your Own Boss (BYOB), self-managed teams structure, one of the biggest questions we had was how to review performance. The answer? A quarterly self-reflection. It’s now become a critical part of our culture and how we achieve our goals as a team. It gives team members an opportunity to self-rate their performance against their goals and provides a chance to build their ability to accurately self-reflect – one of the most valuable skills people can have.

Aim

To conduct an employee-led performance review via self-reflection.

Resources

Method

  1. At the end of each quarter, book in a ‘Self Reflection Week’ in your team’s calendars and encourage them to block out time in that week to reflect. They don’t need the whole week – just one hour or so at some stage during the week.
  2. A week prior, prepare and share the self-reflection questionnaire and ask the team to submit it by the end of the Self Reflection Week. Keep it relatively simple with around five questions. We frequently mix up the questions each time to keep people thinking! Here are some of our favourites:
    1. What have been the top three things that have made you most proud this quarter?
    2. Where have you failed this quarter and what did you learn from it?
    3. What are you most looking forward to next quarter? How will you achieve this?
    4. How have you lived out our values this quarter? Choose one and give an example that best exemplifies this value’s key behaviours.
    5. If you were running the team/company in future, what would you do differently or double down on?
    6. Reflect on your ‘work self’ this quarter. How would you describe your demeanour and relationship with your colleagues? Is there anything you’d look to change for next quarter?
    7. What is the biggest thing stopping you from achieving your goals this financial year? Share with two other teammates and ask for their advice on how you might be able to overcome this.
    8. Where are your biggest opportunities for learning and development? How do you plan to make progress on these?
    9. Reflecting on how you work best, is there anything else we can do as a company to help you do your best work?
    10. Reflect on where you think you can have an even bigger impact on the company/team (where you don’t currently have the opportunity to do)?
  3. Ensure that you always include a question asking the team member to score/rate their progress on all of their goals and identify any areas which require further clarification.
  4. In the following week/s, book a 45-minute discussion with each of your team members to discuss their self-reflection. Discussion should focus on:
    1. What the team member has done really well
    2. Progress towards goals – are you both aligned on this?
    3. Successes and learnings – discuss their reflections on any failures and what they learnt as a result
    4. Removal of any identified blockers
    5. Tweaks to any of their OKRA’s (goals)
    6. Constructive feedback both for yourself and the team member
    7. Looking to the future – make sure the employee leaves feeling energised about the quarter and year ahead and clear on what they need to achieve
  5. Repeat quarterly.

Outcome

Often we get stuck in ‘busy’ culture and don’t take the time to look back on what we’ve achieved and learned or proactively look ahead. The Self-Reflection process provides a regular and structured opportunity to do precisely this. It helps team members become crystal clear on their goals and expectations. Over time, it allows them to better understand their strengths, behaviours, relationships and working style. It also encourages employees to identify and resolve their own challenges. Ultimately, providing more flexibility and autonomy over the performance review process leads to more motivated and engaged team members.