For many employees, the performance management process is often layered with misinformation, fear, and a lack of clarity.
It is wrongly assumed that performance reviews are tied to appraisals when actually, the fact that they happen together is only a consequence of the fact that final reviews tend to happen at the end of the year, as do appraisals. However, the mystique of performance management is such that not everyone has a clear idea of what it entails as well as what they need to do in order to prepare for it. And of course, it is natural to fear something that you do not know.
This article aims to help uncover the vagaries of the review process and in the process, help you better participate in the process. Because it is not enough that your manager knows how to get through the review process. You also need to know how to navigate the process.
Here is what you need to do before the performance management process.
Prepare in advance
The groundwork for the review process starts way before the performance review actually happens. Depending on the culture of work in your organization, frequent feedback meetings might be the norm or not. If they are, good for you because most of your work is done since you have a manager who is somewhat aware of what you are doing.
But if that is not the case, it will benefit you to keep records of your work and your achievements in short, easily digestible points, which you can then share with your manager during the review process. Some managers have a good memory and can remember most of the contributions an employee had made over the course of a year. Some managers need their memories to be jogged. A record of your work can help with that. Dates and figures are also a great way to ring bells.
And lest you feel like this is bragging, remember that it is not wrong to talk about your achievements. You need to highlight them, showcase your skills, and of course, show evidence. Bragging about them, on the other hand, is making the entire thing all about yourself, regardless of how much you contributed. This brings us to our next point.
Speak for yourself
Employees often think that their work speaks for itself. But that’s only true to a certain extent. A manager isn’t a mind-reader and cannot guess what you have done and what you have not. You need to speak for yourself and clearly state what you have achieved, what you have not achieved etc. When appropriate, talk about how you collaborated with your teammates and if you feel like one of your teammates deserves praise, do mention that to your manager. Speak for yourself, on occasion speak for others as well, but never ever remain silent during a meeting. The meeting will then be over before you can even blink.
Be prepared for pushback
Not everyone is going to be riding the positivity train with you. When you present your work and talk about your performance, you are doing so from your perspective. It is important to know that your manager might have a different perspective. An opposing viewpoint is not a scathing criticism (in healthy workplaces at least), it is simply a different opinion. Be prepared to argue your point in some cases and some cases even accept that you are not up to the mark.
There’s a lot of articles out there that demonize the performance management process and make you feel like it’s a horrifically tough exam. However, all you need to do is remember that it is a process just like any other and make sure that you are well prepared to participate in it.
Engagedly is a performance management application with elements of employee engagement. To find out how we can help you improve performance management and engagement at your organization, request a demo today!
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