As a consultant, I often get asked to take part in employee reviews. When a consultant has been working with a company for a period of time, it’s often considered to be a good opportunity for a set of third party eyes to evaluate employee performance. From this perspective, you’ll get good, honest and unbiased feedback. What I gather from participating in so many employee performance reviews is that many employees fall into a category of having either temporal or seasonal issues.

What are these issues and how do they relate to job performance moving forward?

Temporal issues are time related issues. Is the employee going through some sort of a family crisis? Did this employee just receive several new and involved projects all at once that they are now struggling to keep up with? When issues come up with these employees, they are often short term and time related.

Seasonal issues are recurring issues. Some employees have seasonal recurring depression. Perhaps they don’t perform as well at all during winter months, while they are perfectly up to speed during the warmer months. These employees may have a completely different output in the summer vs the winter. Maybe they have recurring issues within the week. Are they performing well Monday afternoon through Thursday afternoon, but then struggling Friday morning through Monday afternoon? Lacking focus or drive. Recurring issues centered around a specific time frame could be seasonal issues with an employee.

The employee performance reviews themselves are a process used to evaluate and provide feedback on job performance. This includes steps to improve or redirect employees. When we talk about temporal vs seasonal issues, which is harder to overcome? What is more detrimental to a workspace? Temporal issues, while time related, are often times short lived. These issues occur when an employee is caught in a state that is unnatural to their normal working rhythm. Whether it be a death in the family, a short turnaround time for a big project or something similar –these issues are short term. Otherwise, these employees are performing well.  Seasonal issues are much harder to address. Having issues that are recurring over certain days or months of the year is difficult.

It’s important to identify what type of performance influencing issues your employees are having in order to target and improve them. Employee performance reviews are an important part of the collective process that is running a business. You have to check in to see how every part of the team is running and how those parts can be improved, helped or redirected. What are your thoughts on employee performance reviews? Do you think a majority of issues are temporal or seasonal? What is more detrimental to an employees’ work? Comment below!