How To Nail Your Company Year End Review

Every year, many companies host a company-wide review of the past year and set goals for the one coming. This is a perfect time to celebrate your team’s successes and recognize areas where you could all improve.

An annual review is an excellent opportunity for managers and employees to reflect on the past year’s challenges and successes and help their team members identify ways to elevate their performance.

Here are some tips that will help your company’s year-end review go without a hitch, both for an employee and a manager.

Tips for an Employee:

If you’re an employee and feel nervous about your company’s end-of-year review, you’re not alone. Here are some tips that will help you through the process successfully:

Come Prepared

Make a list of what you want to discuss ahead of time. This is to ensure that nothing is left out and there isn’t any confusion about what needs to be covered during this meeting. It’s your opportunity to express yourself so give yourself the best chance of having it go well by being prepared.

Keep Track of Your Achievements Throughout the Year

Keeping track of your achievements throughout the year will help you identify what goals to set for yourself at the end of the year.

And knowing how far you’ve come can give you a good idea of where there is still room for improvement. This way, if someone provides feedback about an area that could use work, it won’t be news to you.

If you don’t keep track of it, it will be more difficult for your manager to know what you’ve been working on and how successful you were. You can also write out a list of goals that will help further your career or company in the upcoming year and any mistakes from the past year so that they aren’t repeated.

Recognize Any Challenges You Faced and How You Overcame Them

If you had any challenges this year that were difficult, it’s important to recognize them and talk about how you overcame them. Although no one is perfect, if there was an area where your manager could have helped out more or given advice on what the best action would be moving forward next time, now is an excellent time to bring this up.

At the end of every year, reflect on what you’ve accomplished and set goals for yourself to be more successful next year!

Come To a Review With an Open Mind

As you go to your year end review meeting, it’s important to keep an open mind and be ready to listen. Even if you feel like the things your manager is saying don’t necessarily apply to you, it’s still crucial that you hear them out as there could be something useful in what they’re trying to communicate.

Create Action Steps With Deadlines So You Can Start Working on Them Right Away

Create action steps with deadlines so you can start working on them right away. It’s okay if your list is long because it allows you to prioritize what needs to be done first and how much time each task will take.

Don’t forget, even if something isn’t officially part of your review process, now would be a good time to discuss these action steps so that your manager can help give their opinions on the steps you suggested.

Ask About Any Changes You Want

Asking about any changes you want to make moving forward will give your manager a chance to address them now rather than having an awkward conversation in the middle of the year.

A few examples could be a more flexible schedule or more challenging tasks. However, read the room and be careful about what you ask for because if something isn’t possible, it would be better to know sooner rather than later.

You can also request a meeting with your manager’s boss if there is an issue that needs to be addressed by someone in a higher position of authority within your company.

Stay Calm Throughout the Review

Remember to stay calm and stay cool. You want to make a good impression, so pointing fingers or insinuating that your manager is wrong won’t help you get what you need from this meeting. If something doesn’t seem right, use “I” statements rather than “you” statements because they will come off as more professional and less aggressive.

Tips For a Manager:

Employees go through a lot in a year, and it’s your job to take the time to appreciate all of their efforts. Once you’ve made sure your end-of-year review is thorough, don’t forget that employees want feedback on what they can improve on next year. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your end-of-year review:

Make Sure You’re Clear on the Objectives of Your Meeting

It’s important to make sure you’re clear on the objectives of your meeting. You can either write them down or keep a document open in front of you that lists what needs to be covered during this time.

Once everyone is on the same page, it will help eliminate any confusion and clarify what feedback will be given at the end of the year. This way, if something isn’t clear, you can explain it today to your employees instead of having an awkward conversation later in the review process.

Prepare in Advance

Prepare in advance by creating a schedule and handing out handouts. This will help everyone stay on track, especially if you have a lot of points to cover during the meeting.

If there is a presentation or report that needs to be given, it’s also helpful to bring those items with you so they can review them before the year end review starts.

It’s also helpful to prepare questions beforehand so that you can go over any necessary information with your employees. The last thing you want is your employee feeling anxious and uncomfortable during the review.

Put Together a List of What You Want to Accomplish at the Meeting

While you’re creating an agenda, include both short-term and long-term goals to prioritize what needs to be addressed immediately and what is expected of the employee in the future.

Remember that not everything has to be discussed during this meeting, especially if more important issues need your attention. Also, realize that employees might have a different perspective on certain things, so they may want to spend some time discussing these topics privately.

Don’t forget to address your employee’s career path during this meeting. Identify what they need to do to move up and if any roadblocks prevent them from getting the next promotion or position available within the company.

Send Out Invitations or Notifications Early So That Everyone Can Prepare for It

It’s also important that you inform your employees about the meeting early enough to prepare for it. Send out invitations or notifications via email, and don’t leave them waiting until the last minute to figure out if their schedule will allow this time slot.

This way, you make sure everyone knows when this meeting needs to happen instead of feeling surprised by a notification at an unexpected moment.

It’s also important to be considerate about the time and place of this meeting. You can monitor your time through time tracking software to keep you on schedule.

If the review needs to happen during work hours, then make sure you’re taking into account that your employee might need their own time before or after the assessment so they can prepare without feeling stressed out.

Arrive Early and Greet Attendees With a Smile

Arrive early for this meeting so you can greet your attendees with a smile. You want everyone to feel relaxed and excited about the discussion rather than anxious or nervous.

Be Sure That Everyone Leaves on Good Terms, Regardless of How Well They Did During Their Review Period

Once you’re done with this meeting, be sure that everyone leaves on good terms. This is the perfect opportunity for your employees to provide feedback about what they appreciated during their year and how they see themselves growing in the future.

Regardless of how well or poorly someone might have performed over the past year, make sure everyone feels confident in their future at the company.

Don’t Forget to Congratulate Your Employees on Their Hard Work and Thank Them for All They Contributed Throughout the Year

It’s crucial to end the review positively by congratulating your employees for their hard work and thanking them for all they contributed throughout the year. This can help boost their confidence and motivate them to continue working hard.

Don’t Forget to Take Notes About This Meeting So You Can Refer Back to Them Later During Future Reviews

Take notes or write down what you want to remember about this meeting so you can refer back to them later during future reviews. This way, you’ll be able to look over what went well and how employees have been doing throughout the past year before updating them on their progress or sending out invitations for next year’s review.


A year end review is a great way to provide feedback and set expectations for the following year. Knowing where to go and how to proceed after the review can help employees feel more excited about the future and even boost morale, increasing productivity and company growth.