What a performance appraisal is all about
The Dreaded Performance Appraisals! These are a measure of the achievement of your tasks and how efficient you were in the process. Most career employees look forward to this stage of their ‘business year’ since it is an opportunity to showcase what they have been able to accomplish as well as the implication of a green flag toward a promotion or a raise in remuneration (Of course, where opportunity allows). Your next performance appraisal need not scare you. Get tips on how to prepare and impress your boss.
Truth be told, sometimes, when you are behind on your tasks, or your results betray you, you do not look forward to an appraisal, focusing on the possible result that the employer/appraiser may not be as quiet as you would desire when displaying their abilities of how good they are at keeping records of your “fails” across the appraisal period.
Snapping back to reality, and on a more serious note, performance appraisals frequently mean a review of your past performance (achievements), within a specified period and providing you with feedback on your improvements. So, if there’s been little or no performance, the same shall be reflected as little or no appraisal on your salary and position.
Performance appraisals vary from company to company. The most frequent appraisal is done after 12 months but some organizations have one in every three to six months, particularly if your employment is performance based. There are some with reviews that are monthly which build into the annual appraisal.
Some appraisal cycles are defined by the completion of tasks, for example, a project-based workload’s achievement can be reviewed at the completion of the project. This sometimes defies defined timelines, meaning that the project could be completed before the expected completion time or even after the expected completion time or along with the usual organizational review cycle of six months or one year. A performance appraisal, nonetheless, is important for your career growth. Here are tips on how to ace it.
Understand your main duties in the organization
Before going in for an appraisal, it is important to have a detailed look at your duties and responsibilities. This is because the performance appraisal will focus on why you are in that organization and how well you accomplish your main tasks. This also gives you a chance to state any duties and responsibilities you might be handling that are not within the main duties. As a result, you can take this as an indicator of growth and make a case for yourself if a promotion opportunity comes up.
Additionally, take a keen look at your weekly, monthly and quarterly reports to see any patterns that may indicate growth in terms of skills and competencies. This also helps you to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.
Review your last performance appraisal
We have established that companies hold regular analyses of each employee’s performance. During these reviews, you get feedback on your strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments and areas that need improvement. As such, you should have a look at this feedback and compare it to your current state, to see whether there has been any growth and positive or negative change.
During your appraisal, your past performance is evaluated and the roadmap for the coming months is prepared. Take note and be keen on how your roadmap for the coming months is being decided, as this often defines your future and all the leaps you might make in your professional life.
Make a list of your accomplishments over the period under review
Of course, you need to show that your input is of help to the company. So, list down any projects or activities that you may have been involved in, your input and how you helped the organization to achieve its objectives. Ensure that your accomplishments are in line with your duties and responsibilities and they relate to the organization’s overall goals.
Note any training you may have undergone and how it fits within your day-to-day activities and how it has helped you in achieving your goals. This also means that you should have information about any emails, verbal praises, awards, certifications or recognition within the period being scrutinized in your performance appraisal. It is imperative to have particular examples to back up your claims so that your manager is aware of particular inputs from your side.
Have a list of areas that you think you need to improve on
Once you evaluate your performance, it is important to identify areas that need improvement. This makes it easy to ask for any assistance you may need from your boss and raise this during your performance appraisal. This also indicates that you are aware of your expectations and what you need, to grow as an individual and as a company.
Areas of development should also be in line with your career goals and they give you clear indicators of what needs to be done to get ahead. This is because career development is closely tied to continuous learning and you can always learn from your team members.
In conclusion, performance appraisals need not be stressful. Take the sessions as a way of evaluating progress in your career and in the overall growth of the organization. This helps you to identify and seize growth opportunities. Remember, good preparation makes it easy for you to tackle the appraisal skillfully and comfortably. Always take the feedback you get from your manager positively as this is what will help you to identify areas that can help you grow and stand out.
Of course, this is just my experience as a team manager, Your experiences or questions can be of valuable help to me and other process managers to improve the appraisal process.
If you agree, disagree or have a different experience, Include your comments, questions or feedback below.