Reflect & Envision™

An exercise to empower leaders and their team.

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Performance reviews have been a staple in organizational management for over a century. However, they have long evoked a sense of foreboding among professionals. This traditional approach, often condensed into an annual evaluation meeting, prompts a critical inquiry: Does this retrospective assessment encapsulate the entirety of an teammate’s contributions and growth potential?

At PD, the efficacy of performance reviews have never been a subject of debate. We don’t do them. In an era where continuous improvement and agile methodologies are paramount, the question arises: Is there a more effective strategy for providing feedback and nurturing the development of our teams?

At PD, the traditional model of formal performance reviews has been eschewed in favour of a more collaborative approach; one that puts the majority of reviewing and goal-setting on to the individual. We refer to this exercise as Reflect & Envision, or R&Es for short.



What is an R&E Doc™?

An R&E Doc is a self-assessment tool that empowers team members to lead their own performance evaluation. This approach gives individuals ample time for thoughtful reflection on their annual performance, fostering a deeper, more personal analysis of their growth and contributions.


What are the benefits?

The R&E Doc is a tool of empowerment, benefiting both management and team members. It alleviates the pressure of on-the-spot thinking for team members and reduces the need for time-intensive meetings for management. This preparation ensures that both leaders and team members arrive at discussions well-prepared, mitigating the awkwardness, stress, or confrontational nature often associated with traditional performance reviews.

Ownership of the R&E Doc lies with the team member, who identifies their own strengths and weaknesses and charts their path for growth and success. This self-directed approach shifts the dynamic from a traditional teacher/student relationship to one where leaders act as coaches and mentors, fostering a more collaborative and supportive environment.


Better than a performance review

The R&E Doc centers on the individual, emphasizing their personal goals and aspirations. It enables team members to articulate their growth journey in their own words, reflecting on their evolution, shifting priorities, and evolving interests. This approach reduces the reliance on face-to-face interactions with leaders. With goals and feedback already documented, the path for each team member is clearly established, irrespective of whether a formal meeting occurs. This process ensures that the individual’s objectives are recognized and set, fostering a sense of autonomy and self-direction.


The philosophy behind the R&E model

The Reflect & Envision document recognizes the delicate nature of human psychology and the tendency of our egos to resist feedback. By placing the power of evaluation in the hands of the team member, it flips the traditional feedback model. Team members not only provide their own feedback but also assess their level of self-awareness. The act of reading and reflecting on their own words can be a powerful catalyst for embracing new possibilities and perspectives. This approach is designed to foster a growth mindset, encouraging adaptability and continuous personal development over a fixed, static mindset.


Insights for Managers

Feedback, ideally, should be an ongoing process, offered daily, weekly, or monthly, and sometimes even immediately, rather than being reserved for an annual review. Waiting a whole year to address issues or celebrate successes can hinder timely growth and adjustment. The Reflect & Envision document plays a crucial role in this more dynamic approach. It empowers employees by enabling them to self-record their areas of excellence and opportunities for improvement. This self-assessment tool not only informs managers about where encouragement is needed but also equips them to effectively support their team members’ goals. With the R&E Doc, managers are better positioned to guide and track an individual’s progress, making the management role more about facilitation and less about directive oversight.


Frequently Asked Questions


  • How are team members held accountable?
    Accountability is key in any team and it starts with the leader. The first step is establishing a culture that emphasizes responsibility and accountability. Next, it’s vital to hire team members who are serious about their own growth and part ways with those who aren’t. High-performing individuals naturally seek accountability. Leaders should aim to guide, not micromanage, avoiding the frustration of babysitting team members and instead fostering an environment where growth is self-driven and mutually beneficial.
  • When should my team do this?
    Annual reflections, complemented by a mid-year review, are typically adequate for most teams. It’s beneficial for team members to engage in regular self-assessment and schedule discussions with their leaders. Initially completed at the start of the year, usually in January, it’s recommended to revisit the document at the mid-year mark. This routine allows for adjustments in goals and milestones, accommodating changes and ensuring that personal development plans stay relevant and in sync with both the individual’s growth and the organization’s goals.
  • How big should my team be? What is the ideal team size?
    The Reflect & Envision exercise is scalable, offering benefits to individuals, small teams, and organizations of any size. However, it’s important to recognize the practical limitations in the number of R&E Documents a single person can effectively review and discuss with team members. In larger organizations, it becomes crucial to have leaders who possess the maturity and relational skills necessary to successfully spearhead this initiative within their respective teams. These leaders play a pivotal role in ensuring that the exercise is both manageable and meaningful, fostering an environment of growth and reflection across different levels of the organization.



Start your team on R&E Docs

Follow the link to our 2024 Reflect & Envision Doc and make it yours.

If you’d like the original Google Doc template, please reach out and we’ll share it with you. 🙂


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The Author

Pierre Monké
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