With the year winding down, you may want to take some time to reflect on your team’s successes and challenges in 2023. Whether you get the team together for a group discussion or meet with your employees one on one, having year-in-review conversations can help foster curiosity and connection, according to Karin Hurt and David Dye, the co-founders of Let’s Grow Leaders. 

Don’t approach these discussions like you would a performance review. Instead, keep an open mind and see where the conversation goes. You might be surprised to learn what your team members have to say about their personal highlights from the year or what stood out to them the most.

In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we share the seven questions that Dye and Hurt recommend asking during these meetings.

  1. What are your personal bests? Dye and Hurt suggest giving your team a list of “best ofs” to choose from and inviting each person to share one or two of their personal bests. Some ideas could be best day, best accomplishment, best team contribution and best customer win. They recommend following up with: “What made these best-ofs so great, and how do we get more of them next year?”
  2. Which of our projects/efforts/contributions was most impactful to the organization? When you ask this question, you help your employees see how their daily work aligns with your company’s bigger priorities. According to Hurt and Dye, the natural follow-up conversation is to talk about how the team can continue to contribute in impactful ways.
  3. How have you grown this year personally and professionally? Dig deeper by getting specific. For example, ask your staff members in what areas they developed or what new skills they learned. Hurt and Dye say you could also ask them to talk about which areas of their performance have most improved.
  4. Who helped you most this year? How? What difference did it make? This question makes a great meeting starter, Dye and Hurt say. It’s always good to include gratitude in your end-of-year discussions.
  5. What’s your biggest lesson learned? Your employees’ responses may surprise you. Keep the conversation going by asking how they learned these lessons and how they plan to apply their knowledge in the coming year.
  6. What would you do differently if you were to live this same year again? Hurt and Dye say this is a good question to set the stage for priorities, strategic changes and new habits for 2024.
  7. What important question should we add to our year-in-review discussion? Open the floor to your staff members. Find out what specific topics they’d like to bring up.

Wondering what made your employees’ highlight reels or what stands out as their biggest takeaways from the year? Start the conversation by asking some of the questions above. These discussions can be a great way to end 2023 on a high note and foster greater connection going into the new year.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Karin Hurt and David Dye are co-founders of Let’s Grow Leaders, a training firm focused on human-centered leadership development.