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A Comprehensive Guide on the Mid-Year Review in Organizations

By Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

A Comprehensive Guide on the Mid-Year Review in Organizations

A mid-year review can be invaluable for both employees and employers. Not only does the standardized feedback process create a transparent framework for evaluation, it also provides a platform for more general discussion about job satisfaction that can reduce staff turnover.

So, let’s dive into it and understand a little more the significance of a mid-year review and what are the best ways to implement it in your workplace.

1. What Is a Mid-Year Review?

A mid-year review is an evaluation process that takes place twice a year. It’s an opportunity not only to set goals, but also to discuss an employee’s career path and to advise on any upskilling they may need. Less formal than an annual review, mid-year reviews generally help keep up a flow of information between a manager and their reports. The best ones should be two-way streets, with an opportunity for constructive feedback on both sides.

2. What is the Purpose of a Mid-year Performance Review?

The purpose of a mid-year performance review is to assess the progress of an employee’s measurable objectives, address any issues with their behavior or achievements, and create a space for them to let you know about any concerns. It should be an engaging experience that reaffirms an alignment in vision between a manager and their team.

3. What Do You Say in a Mid-Year Review?

One of the great things about this concept is that it gives employees the opportunity to voice their own perspective, which helps keep them engaged in the workplace. To get the ball rolling, you might ask such mid-year performance review questions as, how are you feeling about the year so far? Or, is there any area you feel you are struggling with? This may very well lead fluidly into other areas related to their performance, such as the need for more training.

4. What is the Importance of Mid-year Performance Review?

4.1. Feedback Opportunity

If there are areas where an employee is not meeting expectations, a mid-year review is the opportunity to explore why this is the case. It may be the employee is not even aware there is a problem, which is why it’s helpful to have a structured experience where issues can be raised. Of course, not all feedback should be about improvement. It’s just as important to reaffirm an employee’s confidence and foster engagement by using the session to also highlight some of their successes or where you think they are exceeding expectations.

4.2. Open Communication 

Sitting down one-on-one with somebody you manage isn’t just a chance for you to evaluate them, but is also a means for the employee to relate any places they are struggling or feel they need more support. In the pell-mell of daily office life, they might not feel there is a right time to raise an ongoing concern. A mid-year review can help reassure them that they have a regular forum to ask any queries about their trajectory within the company.

4.3. Simplified Year-End Review Process

Sometimes it can be hard to summarize – or even remember – all the things that have taken place in a 12-month period. By having a mid-year performance review and evaluation, it means you have a more recent data point to work from. It also means you can have a more casual interaction than the annual review to update objectives and refocus the KPIs of a role. 

4.4. Improves Employee Engagement and Morale

Employee engagement is closely linked to employee turnover: doing the former reduces the latter, sometimes by as much as 43%, according to Gallup. Mid-year reviews give staff the chance to discuss how they’re getting on, so that they feel heard and valued. It also means they know they have a more regular, formal forum to discuss career progression or any concerns.

4.5. Troubleshoots the Problems Ahead of Time 

Rather than waiting for 12 months to roll by, more regular performance appraisals mean problems can be identified more rapidly. This, in turn, means solutions can be more quickly deployed, such as training courses or adjustment of workload. Plus, having a discussion every 6 months means you can check with an individual whether they foresee any problematic areas ahead of time.

4.6. Strengthens the Relationship Between Managers and Employees

Regular dialog between any colleagues can be beneficial to fostering understanding and creating more candid relationships, but sometimes it’s easy to overlook that fact in the manager-employee dynamic. The importance of mid-year reviews isn’t just limited to tackling specific challenges, fixing certain behaviors or assessing job targets, it’s also about having a friendly professional catchup – one that’s often designed to be less formal than year-end reviews.

4.7. Aligns Company’s Goal with Training and Upskilling Programs

Work life is a constant process of improvement and development. Another importance of a mid-year review is that it provides a platform for a manager to suggest training and upskilling that can be undertaken in the ensuing months, with an eye to helping an employee’s career progression as well as their success in their job. This can also work the other way around, with an employee given the chance to suggest courses or sessions that might help them improve their performance.

5. How Do You Write a Good Mid-Year Performance Review?

5.1. Prepare a Plan Ahead of Time

Make sure both you and your staff are prepared for the review a few days in advance. By doing this, you will have more time to review their achievements over the past 6 months and consider if there are any places their performance could be enhanced. Good preparation will lead to a more productive session, resulting in more tangible outcomes.

5.2. Evaluate the Employees on Basis of Soft and Hard Skills

When you’re thinking about necessary skill sets, it can be easy to exclusively focus on things like knowledge of SEO or Photoshop capabilities, but good communication and organization are also important – and learnable, if necessary. When you’re conducting the evaluation, bring in both hard and soft skills for a more well-rounded review. 

5.3. Establish the KPIs

Key performance indicators help provide a measurable structure to a person’s job. There are a whole list of benefits as to why this can be useful, including supplying clarity around expectations, motivating employee performance and benchmarking success. Some mid-year review objective examples might include new contracts signed (sales) or tickets solved (IT customer service), depending on the role.

5.4. Give Positive Feedback and Criticism

There is a right way and a wrong way to structure feedback. Rather than demoralizing staff with blunt, harsh criticism, try and frame your comments in a positive light. Instead of saying, “You did a very bad job the past two quarters?”, for example, you might say, “How do you think you could improve your performance going forward?”

5.5 Encourage Discussion

Listen carefully to your employee’s mid-year performance review answers and engage them in a discussion about how they feel about their role. It may become apparent that they think their targets are unachievable or that they don’t have the right tools to succeed. These are likely to be solvable issues, but you won’t even know about them unless you encourage dialog.

5.6. Maintain Documentation

All the hard work you put into a mid-year review will be wasted unless you properly note down what was discussed and what was agreed. There are numerous readymade templates available for free online, but you can also build your own or customize an existing model.

5.7. Ask for Feedback from the Employees

What other support could you be providing? Could you manage someone differently to get the most out of them? Different people in your team may have different ways of working, and you should be amenable (within reason) to adapting your working relationship accordingly. Before their session, make sure your employees know that you are open to their feedback as well, so they aren’t blindsided by the question during the review.

5.8. Summarize a Mid-Year Review 

The best way to summarize a mid-year review is to detail all the key points in a document file, keeping it on record for yourself as well as sending a copy to your employee. This means you both have a written roundup of exactly what was discussed, what future actions need to be taken and a point of comparison for the next mid-year review.

6. How Do You Respond to a Mid-Year Performance Review?

The whole point of mid-year performance reviews is to drive an improvement in performance while keeping staff engaged. Once it’s completed, the worst thing you can do is to erase it from your memory until the next evaluation. If there are any action points for you to take – say, discussing some training courses for hard or soft skills – make sure you follow up, as your employees will appreciate that you are actually paying attention to their needs. Similarly, absorb any constructive feedback and make necessary adjustments to your management style.

7. Mid-Year Reviews Examples

7.1. Standard Performance Review


Employee Name: 

Employee Role: 

Manager Name:

Manager Role: 

Date of Review:

Rank the following on a scale of 1 to 5:

  • Quality of work: 
  • Communication:
  • Organization: 
  • Problem solving:
  • Reliability: 

Please answer the following questions in more detail:

  • How are you feeling about the year so far?
  • Have there been any issues or concerns that have arisen?
  • (For Employee) Is there anything your manager could do to help you succeed?

Objectives outline:

  • What were the set objectives from the last review?
  • How well have these objectives been achieved?
  • What are the objectives for the next mid-year review?

7.2. Goal-Linked Performance Review 


Employee Name: 

Employee Role: 

Manager Name:

Manager Role: 

Date of Review:


  • What are the current goals?
  • Have these goals been achieved since the last review?
  • What are the goals for the next review?


  • Were there any obstacles that prevented you from achieving your goals?
  • Are there any obstacles you foresee going forward?
  • What can we do to overcome these obstacles?


  • What opportunities have you enjoyed in the past six months?
  • Thinking about your overall career progression, what opportunities do you think would get you closer to achieving your personal objectives?
  • Are there any skills or training opportunities you think would benefit your career?


  • What actions do you need to take before the next performance review?
  • What actions do I need to take before the next performance review?
  • Are there any other pertinent decisions that arose from the above discussion?

7.3. Manager-Focused Feedback


Employee Name: 

Employee Role: 

Manager Name:

Manager Role: 

Date of Review:

Summary of Past Goals:

Summary of Future Goals:

Please answer the following queries:

  • What can I do to help you achieve your goals?
  • Is there anything I can do to foster your engagement at work?
  • Was there any time you felt you needed more support?
  • What aspects of my managerial style do you find beneficial to your work?
  • Are there any aspects of my managerial style that could be improved?

8. FAQs

8.1. Why should we conduct a mid-year review?

The importance of a mid-year review lies in the fact that it provides a set time for you to check in with staff. Rather than waiting 12 months to praise, identify problems or re-adjust objectives, a biannual framework means you’re more likely to stay aligned with your team in terms of what is expected and what the future looks like. 

8.2. Are mid-year performance reviews right for your company?

Mid-year performance reviews are appropriate and beneficial for most companies, as more regular feedback boosts employee engagement and performance, while allowing managers to ensure their team is on the right track and delivering as expected. 

8.3. How do you conduct a mid-year review?

There are different ways to conduct a mid-year review, but it’s usual to include a combination of a scoring system alongside questions designed to elucidate any struggles an individual is having with their workload. 

For example, a manager might rate their employee on a scale of 1 to 5 around criteria such as organization and problem solving, while also asking a query like, “How are you feeling about the year so far?” It’s also normal to set new KPIs and assess past ones, so there’s a measurable metric with which to analyze performance.

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