Performance Review ≠ Career Development

Performance review

Most companies have them. Each year, or each half year, you write out your accomplishments for the period and rate your own work. As a manager, you also write up feedback for your reports for that period based on your own memory and employee 360 feedback. Your directs will be qualified for compensation adjustments or promotion based on your feedback, ratings and how you present the package to the approval team, usually involving the HR team.

Career Discussions

The main objective for career discussions is to learn the future of our directs. It’s your opportunity to grok them and build a relationship where you may guide them towards their career goals in a more direct way. Your team will benefits from this by growing towards their goals, and you will benefit from a perpetually motivated and dedicated team to move you and your work forward.

  1. Discover what your direct reports’ career aspirations are
  2. Create a career action plans
  3. Follow up and evaluate the actions regularly


Everyone has different motivators, and different value systems. It’s important for you to discover these for your reports. Some useful questions for this discussions are:

  • From childhood to now, what are the events and environments that you excel the best? When are they most easy? When are they more challenging?
  • Think about the happiest moments you have at work, what are they? What is the environment like? Who else were involved?
  • Imaging now that you are very successful at your career, what is it that you are doing?
  • Think about 2 to 3 years from now, what do you want your life to be?

Action plans

Collaborating with your directs to come up with a short and longer term action plans is the next step. Here, it’s your opportunity to outline options that benefits the business and grow your employees. Key here is to create impactful work instead of just a list of tasks.

Track and evaluate

The worst you can do is to setup an action plan, revisit is seldom, entertain casual discussions around it, and repeat this cycle yearly. This is not helpful for the employee’s growth, and not moving your business forward.



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Helping teams grow and deliver. At Actagan, we help you focus on building relationships and do the tactical work for you.