Many organizations have their annual performance review right around the corner. If you are going to think of the annual review as a ferocious beast or an unscalable mountain, then acing your review is going to be hard.
But if you think of it as one more process that you need to experience, or if you look at it like a stepping stone to the next big thing in your professional life, then it becomes a lot easier. Of course, this does not mean that the process is not fraught with worry. But as with all things important ( or life-changing), preparation is key.
As an employee, what can you do to ensure that you exit the review process with flying colours?
Prepare in advance
The groundwork for a review process starts way before the performance review actually happens. Depending on the culture of work at 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, you can have a casual conversation or formal ones with your managers, once every 3 months to review expectations and goals. These meetings will help you understand what is clearly expected of you, thereby making it easier for you meet your goals. Don’t ever be afraid to initiate communication. You will benefit from it greatly.
Record All Your Work
Record your accomplishments, the work you do, the challenges you face, any problems you failed to overcome etc. And by recording, I don’t just mean make a note. You need to have proof of the work you did. You need proof that you easily reference. 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.
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.
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. Your work is shaped by how you view it. It is important to know that your manager might have a different perspective. He might view some of your work and accomplishments differently. 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 performances ( in our honest opinion though, bad practices should be demonized) and they can make you feel even worse about the process. Remember that is a process like any other and use these four tips to do the best you can!
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.
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