How to Prepare for a Successful Fiscal Year-End Review Employee Discussion

successful fiscal year-end review employee discussion

The fiscal year-end review is an essential process for organizations to evaluate employee performance, provide feedback, and set goals for the upcoming year.

As a manager or team leader, conducting these discussions effectively can greatly contribute to a motivated and engaged workforce. Below are some valuable tips for preparing and conducting fiscal year-end review employee discussions for high performers, mid-performers, and addressing the challenging conversations with low performers.

High Performers

When it comes to discussing the performance of high-performing employees, it is essential to recognize and appreciate their achievements while encouraging continued growth. Here are some tips for facilitating effective discussions with high performers:

1. Provide specific feedback

Highlight their accomplishments and strengths, acknowledging their contributions to the team and the organization’s success. Specific examples will make your feedback more impactful and show that you have been paying attention.

2. Set stretch goals

High performers are often driven by challenging goals. Collaborate with them to set ambitious yet achievable targets for the upcoming year, ensuring they remain motivated and continuously improve.

3. Discuss growth opportunities

Recognize their desire for personal and professional development. Discuss potential opportunities for advancement, special projects, or additional responsibilities that align with their interests and abilities.


For employees who fall into the mid-performance category, the year-end review discussion is an opportunity to provide constructive feedback and support their growth. Here are some tips for conducting effective discussions with mid-performers:

1. Offer balanced feedback

Begin by acknowledging their accomplishments, strengths, and areas where they have shown improvement. Then, address areas for growth and development, providing specific examples and actionable suggestions for improvement.

2. Collaborate on improvement plans

Engage the employee in the process of creating an improvement plan. Discuss their goals, development opportunities, and the support they may need to enhance their skills and performance. Encourage them to take ownership of their development.

3. Regular check-ins

Schedule periodic follow-up meetings to monitor progress and offer support. Show your commitment to their growth by providing guidance, resources, or training opportunities that can help them achieve their targets.

Low Performers

Having discussions with low performers can be challenging, but it is crucial to address performance issues honestly and constructively. Here are some tips for handling difficult discussions:

1. Prepare with documentation

Collect evidence of performance issues, including specific examples, metrics, and feedback from colleagues or clients. Documentation will help you provide objective feedback and maintain professionalism.

2. Use the “SBI” approach

When giving feedback to low performers, use the Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) model. Describe the specific situation, the observed behavior, and the impact it has on the team or organization. Focus on the behavior rather than personal traits.

3. Collaborate on improvement plans or consequences

Give the employee an opportunity to address their performance issues. Discuss potential improvement plans, training, mentoring, or other resources that can support their growth. Alternatively, if their performance fails to improve, be prepared to discuss potential consequences, such as performance improvement plans or reassignment.

Preparing for fiscal year-end review employee discussions is essential to ensure productive and constructive conversations. By tailoring your approach to high performers, mid-performers, and low performers, you can effectively acknowledge achievements, support growth, and address performance issues. Remember to approach every discussion with empathy, active listening, and a focus on fostering a positive work environment. These discussions can contribute to the overall success of your team and organization while empowering employees to thrive in their roles.

If you’d like to discuss tailored solutions to lead these meetings even more effectively, review our suite of services or schedule a call today for a consultation.

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