In our first article of a three-part series on performance appraisals, we discuss HR's three wishes this holiday season when it comes to performance reviews. The second article provides insight and tips to help managers prepare for performance appraisal meetings with employees.
In this final post of the series, we take a look at how employees can take a proactive approach to the performance review process as a way to ensure ongoing career development.
The annual performance review is often viewed one of two ways:
- A dreaded event where we brace ourselves to hear criticism.
- A last ditch opportunity to jockey for ratings/positioning to increase our compensation and advancement in the company.
Do you know it doesn't have to be that way? In fact, it shouldn't be that way at all. Contrary to what you may believe or may have experienced in the past, the focus of your performance review should be on your development.
Not a first-time discussion of your performance in the past year, and not a debate about your eligibility for merit increases, but rather an interactive discussion about your development and career goals and the steps required to reach them.
To ensure development is the focus, you can't be a passive participant in the process.
If you really want to rock your performance review, you need to properly plan for it. Your objective is to take charge of your career progression, ensure your manager has a broader picture of your performance and career goals and that the meeting is a dialog focused on your development.
Here's how to do just that in three simple steps:
1. Conduct a Self-Evaluation
- Even if your company doesn't formally do them, complete a self-evaluation.
- Think about the competencies your organization values, and your goals from the past year, and rate your performance citing specific examples. Be honest in your ratings.
- What you want to do is share your perception of your performance with your manager so that you are an active participant in the review.
2. Prepare a List of Areas for Development
- From your self-evaluation, identify areas you can improve, why you feel it is important to develop those areas and propose an action plan.
- Identify areas where you would like to expand your skills/experience/expertise as part of your career growth and progression.
- Ask for coaching, mentoring, training, or whatever support you need to develop, improve or be more successful in your role.
3. Draft Goals for the Coming Period
- Don't wait for your manager to tell you what your goals are.
- Be proactive and draft some goals using your job description, organizational goals and your skills and experience.
- Look for opportunities to expand your duties, broaden your knowledge, or take on more responsibility.
Proper preparation and participation is how you can rock your performance review. If you take these three steps you'll show your manager your interest and commitment to your own career development and to the success of the company you work for. Read this reference article for more information on preparing for your performance review.
Now go rock that review!
Read Parts I and II in this series: