Performance reviews are stressful for both you and your manager. Neither one really wants to do it but both know it has to be done. Typically, your manager has less information about your performance than you do. You’re in the best position to control the outcome of your performance review if you know how and what to do.
These steps can make the performance review a lot easier and possibly more productive:
- Research – Neither you nor your boss are going to remember all that you’ve achieved during the past year. Most results are post-Covid, but some are pre-Covid. Your effective management of the transition should be considered.
- Prepare – Create a list of all your accomplishments over the past year, both major and minor. Sometimes a minor event has great value over time. Also consider projects you were asked to do that were outside of your job parameters.
- Identify – What were the measurable outcomes of your results? How did you contribute to the outcome? Increased revenue or productivity? Decreased costs or expenses? How did you add value? %? $$$? Efficiency? Effectiveness?
- Define – What was the impact of your contribution on the function, department or organization? Sometimes these contributions are forgotten, like increasing productivity with less people, shifting from an office to a remote environment, or training the staff to work effectively as a remote work group (a difficult task)
- Provide – Your manager should have a copy of this material in a concise and powerful way at least two weeks before your performance review. This information will fill in the gaps that your boss has forgotten and also remind him/her of the contributions you have made to make the year a more successful one.
Most bosses don’t remember all that you have achieved. Bosses tend to remember recent events that affected them directly. One negative event may crowd out 10 positive events. Present those 10 positive events with success stories detailing the problem, the action you took and the results achieved.
Here are some other considerations:
- It’s important to know what your boss thinks, especially if you’re working remotely. Ask for a performance meeting to look forward to goals and backward to successes
- The meeting should be a two-way conversation. Ask what you need to do differently to be more successful or attain a higher level of performance
- Focus on the future. Don’t get into an argument with your boss. Ask what you could have done differently.
- Focus on how your boss can help you perform better: Increased communications for a deeper understanding of the issues or opportunities, clear goals so the strategies make sense to you, quicker response time when a customer problem is surfaced, more frequent progress reviews so if you are off-track you can realign your efforts more quickly.
Performance appraisals can be a positive event if you’re prepared with facts, along with a strategy to look objectively at how you can mutually increase performance and results.
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