• Paula

Getting the most out of your end-of-year review

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

It’s easy to get caught up in planning for what comes next forgetting to evaluate the passing year taking into account all of the highs and lows along the way. Our insights from the previous year can make planning for the next a million times more effective. Looking back and reflecting on adopted strategies and understanding any successes or failures are an essential part of the process, for any business large or small.

Conducting an end-of-year review is a valuable way of taking stock and aligning continuous goals vs the next steps in your business journey. Check out our SavvyDesk guide to help you plan for a successful year ahead:

1. Make a review agenda.

Determine how much time you’ll need for the end-of-year planning and make sure to schedule enough time to be thorough. Consider who needs to participate in the review with you and give team members time to think about their input. Set some basic ground rules and communicate the aim of the review to all. Most importantly, determine your core objectives, develop a solid agenda, and get essential buy-in from your team.

2. Understand what it is you want to evaluate

Clearly define key agenda topics and have a list of questions that can help guide the review process and steer discussion points. This will help to retain focus and avoid falling down cavernous rabbit holes. Start with this year's main accomplishments and assess how these goals were met including details about what went well. Also consider key areas where you failed to hit the mark, and ask yourself why? Was the goal unrealistic, was execution or delivery poor, or were there any mitigating circumstances? Including strategic members of your team not only provides invaluable insight but also allows them to relay or understand any challenges and give feedback.

3. Unpack key metrics.

Break down your Key Performance Indicators including, P&L, customer retention and loss, subscriber growth, leads, customer LTV, client engagement, web traffic - and understand how your current strategy is performing. If you don’t already monitor metrics with your business, it’s a good time to start. Hire a consultant to get you on the right track and learn how to measure for success.

4. Break down key strategies and tactics.

Understand how any market tests performed and recognise any key trends. Did key tactics actually work, and if not try to understand why through greater discussion.

5. Team Performance

Reviewing team performance should be a continuous process - and that includes leadership evaluation too. Understanding the overall impact of team performance during the end-of-year review and listening to leadership feedback goes hand in glove with business analysis. It is also time to celebrate the wins and recognise individual progress along with company culture and values whilst discussing ways to align them.

6. Define goals for the year ahead.

Once you have reviewed your current goals and evaluated progress, it is time to consider next steps and set new goals for the year ahead. Choose at least 5 targets for next year in relation to what was accomplished and consider introducing new execution strategies or building on successful methods that have been tried and tested previously.

7. Arrange regular reviews.

Establish a clear framework and subsequent workflow moving forward with clearly defined expectations, roles and responsibilities. Monthly or quarterly reviews are needed to keep everyone on track and up to date with progress. These mini reviews also provide an opportunity to re-visit and re-evaluate to allow for any vital change in focus.

8. Finalise and write your plan for next year.

Once you have had your end-of-year review it is time to sit down and finalise the plan while fresh insights are clear in your mind. Clearly define the goals/objectives alongside the strategies/tactics and how you plan to achieve them. Understanding what did and didn't work in the current year helps you create a better future plan to support your growth in the year ahead.

Constant evaluation culminating in a carefully planned end-of-year review is our top tip for continued growth. Ask yourself how you can fix something, if you don't know what is broken? How can you celebrate the wins if you haven't measured their place in the bigger picture?

If you don't plan an end-of-year review you will start the next with the same problematic systems - so clearly establish what did and didn't work for you and create a powerful response for the future.

Are you in need of sales strategy support? Let SavvyDesk help guide your teams to better performance by working smarter.

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