Performance reviews are periodic evaluations of how one has been performing for the period under review. They are meant to help show what progress you have been making against the goals set at the beginning of the period. They are useful for companies in evaluating the progress their employees are making towards achieving the company’s goals and objectives. However, performance reviews are also important to you as an employee.
Granted, the modern workplace has a new culture in which employees are given feedback regularly and consistently. This is based on the need by millennials to receive instant feedback. However, performance reviews still have their place in the modern workplace and you can use them to your advantage to achieve career growth.
Performance reviews are systems of receiving feedback on your performance over time, as opposed to being areas of punishment. In companies where the system is not well-developed, they are dreaded activities which are used to bash employees. However, in companies with proper structures and a culture of growth, they act as a good way of helping employees keep making great moves in their career. Here is why you should pay attention to performance reviews.
You Get to Know Which Areas to Improve
A performance review is basically an evaluation of your skills and competencies, in relation to your job. They help you know what areas you are excelling in and which ones need a little more. Work. the role of reviews is to basically provide insights into what skills you are utilising well hence achieving your goals and where your weaknesses lie.
When conducting your performance appraisal, it is a good opportunity to learn from your supervisor which areas you are excelling at and which ones you could be better at. This way, you get to constantly improve your skills over time, which will be instrumental in growing in your career. Therefore, take advantage of the performance review meeting to know which areas you should work on, as this will help you grow over time, through consistent improvement.
You Get to Communicate Your Concerns
While performance appraisals give your supervisor a chance to communicate to you what you have been excelling at and what you need to work on, they are also a chance for you to communicate your areas of concern. This is a chance for you to let your supervisor know what support you need to work better or achieve your goals. For example, if you need certain tools to do your work better, you could communicate this or if you need your boss to change his management style, you could also raise this.
Thus, it is an interactive session in which you also get to actively communicate what can help you and the company grow. This is because it can be hard to communicate such issues regularly or your boss may forget. However, when you raise them at a performance appraisal, you also get a chance to have a deeper discussion of why you think what you are raising is important.
You Get to Take Stock of What You Have Been Doing
At the close of every quarter, businesses take stock of what they have achieved, against their set targets. This is important in helping them evaluate their successes and learn from their failures. It also helps them set the agenda for the next quarter, with the goal of staying on track with their annual objectives.
The key to achieving increased productivity is to know what you have been doing and then making plans on what you need to do going forward. Thus, performance appraisals can help you take stock of what you have been doing to achieve your goals, which will then inform you what you need to keep doing and what you need to improve. This will help you improve your performance over time.
You Get to Discuss Future Expectations
Performance appraisals are a chance for your boss to also tell you what is expected of you in the next quarter. It is a good chance to set the agenda for the next period so that you know what to focus your energy on. However, while your boss gets to communicate what is expected of you, you also get a chance to have a discussion on the road map for the next period. This will ensure that you give your input on what is to be done in the next period, which will go a long way towards giving you ownership of your work and activities.
With your input, you also get to let your supervisor know what is practical and what is not, based on your resources, time, and skills. It also gives you a chance to communicate what support you need in terms of training and resources, to achieve what you have agreed on. The result is an ability to get down to work with little difficulty since you are in on the roadmap from the planning stage.
You Can Discuss Your Happiness
It may sound like you are making it the responsibility of the company to make you happy but you are not. Being happy means that you are satisfied with your job and that you find it fulfilling. When you are satisfied with your job, you are likely to be more engaged, which also makes you innovative. Therefore, make it a point to discuss your happiness and how it impacts your job. It is important to ensure that you are fully engaged at work so that you can focus on delivering on your responsibilities.
Performance reviews need not feel like a punishment. They are an opportunity for you to learn about yourself and your performance so that you can improve over time. This will also help you in learning how to evaluate yourself, which means that you can always carry out periodic analysis of your skills and capabilities independently, for self-improvement purposes.
How to Prepare for A Winning Performance Appraisal
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.