No one likes performance reviews. Traditional reviews are neither pleasant to give nor get. They make everyone feel anxious and usually end in disappointment for all involved. Done badly, performance reviews can lead to performance deteriorating rather than improving. You will hardly be surprised to learn that over half of employees poled believe their performance reviews are inaccurate.
If you are in an organization that still uses traditional annual performance reviews, here is some advice on how to get something positive out of what can be quite often a pretty negative experience.
- If you are surprised by anything that your boss brings up in the meeting, is it because you didn’t fully realize how import something was? Now that you know, do you need to refocus?
- Did your boss bring up your successes during the year? If they didn’t, could it be because they didn’t know? I am not suggesting that you turn into a shameless self promoter… no likes that, but don’t be a shrinking violet either.
- Do you think your boss expects more from you than your colleagues, and as a result gives you a tougher review? If the answer is yes then that’s probably a good sign, you are probably more likely to get promoted than your colleagues.
- Get clarity: make sure you clearly understand what’s expected of you, put what your boss has said into your own words, repeat it back, and ask if you understand him/her correctly. There is nothing worse than not meeting expectations simply because you weren’t sure what they were.
- Find out what success looks like to both you and your boss. How will your success be measured? The clearer that path is, the less scope there is for disagreements about performance.
Finally, suggest that your boss considers investing in some performance management software. Cloud applications don’t cost the earth and are proven to generate excellent return on investment.