Dr. Hinson’s Pros and Cons of Year End Reviews

Dr. Hinson’s Pros and Cons of Year End Reviews

Hi, everyone! It’s Dr. Hinson here and in today’s blog I’m sharing my thoughts on our yearly practice of reviewing the whole year at the end, or year end reviews. We do them for movies, music, TV shows, politics, books, you name it, as well as for our own business goals and objectives. But are they useful? Is there another method of review we could be using? Some of you may have seen my video rant on New Year’s resolutions last year – if not, fear not, I’ve an updated version dropping on December 27th – but the short version is that I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, or making BIG, scary goals at the start of the year. I much prefer to make small, manageable goals as I go along, when I feel like I have something, professionally or personally that I want to work on.

Correlating this to year end reviews, my initial instinct is to shy away from BIG evaluations where we look at the whole year as one long procession of events. There are many events that happen to our businesses throughout a year, and we go through periods of progress and regression. So for this blog I wanted to talk through some pros and cons to conducting year end reviews. We’ll start with the more obvious cons, so that we can direct our pros to make improvements on the process.

Cons of Year End Reviews

  • I think the primary con of conducting year end reviews is the tendency to only look at the big picture. Did I achieve my goals? Did we reach our profit or growth projections? These are all important questions, without doubt, but I can’t help but think that we might be missing important information when we only look for quantitative success (success measured by numbers or data).
  • Every business has to balance the books, so in some ways, year end financial reviews are part of the game. That being said, another con of year end reviews is they negatively impact how we view our progress through the year. When success is measured only against the larger fiscal goals, it’s harder to see some of the less obvious achievements and progress we’ve made (that may result in financial success in the coming year).

Pros of Year End Reviews

  • It has to be acknowledged that there is some benefit to analyzing the year as a whole. One of the pros is that looking at the big picture can help us identify patterns and areas for improvement or change, by looking at how each quarter panned out against our goals for the year.
  • Looking at trends and examining patterns allows us to form a complete perspective regarding our professional and personal goals. Reflecting on the past year can be a good exercise to help you evaluate your growth and plan for the next year.

If I were to leave you with one take-away from this brief discussion of year end reviews, I would advise that you use the review process intelligently. By this I mean, there are valuable things we can learn from year-end, comprehensive reviews, but it’s also important to evaluate your progress throughout the year, at key strategic moments (after a big launch or change in personnel) but also at seemingly random times. Evaluation should be a constant process, something that we always think about, not just at the end of the year.

So as we approach this period for year end reviews, I hope you are planning for ways to implement smaller, more specific reviews, into your evaluation process for next year! If you feel that the Good Doctors can help with this process – please reach out and start a conversation!

Are you getting ready to set goals for 2019? We’re offering a FREE webinar next Monday, December 10th at 12pm EST. We’ll cover our top tips for strategic goal setting and get you started on the right path for 2019! Find more information, download our FREE workbook, and register for the webinar here. 

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