How to make the most of your performance appraisal
Some of you have worked round the year, some of you, round the clock. Congratulations, it-'s appraisal season finally, it-'s time you get your worth....
Some of you have worked round the year, some of you, round the clock. Congratulations, it's appraisal season finally, it's time you get your worth. From listing your achievements and contribution to the organisation and team at large, this is just the perfect time to let the right people know that you're an asset to the organisation and are willing for more. Savita Gaekwad, managing partner, Antal International, a global recruiting firm, tells you why and how you must make the most of your performance appraisal.
The performance review is essentially meant to review your performance -- monthly, quarterly or annually -- and rate your strengths and weaknesses. If you're writing your own review, list your achievements and failures with integrity.
Do not furnish incorrect information or take credit for something you haven't done.
At the same time, do not hide your mistakes and failures.
Appreciate your colleagues
The annual performance review is not just a test of your own merits.
It also helps the organisation understand your equation with your colleagues.
So, while you write your own review, talk about the opportunities that came your way and thank your manager or colleague whenever you got to learn a new skill.
Appreciate the instances when a certain team member assisted you in finishing a task or project.
Be prepared for negative feedback
While it may only seem apt to assume that you have worked hard and will receive positive feedback at the end of the year, there is an equally good possibility that you may also receive negative feedback. Be prepared.
Just as much as you take credit for the good work, do not be defensive about negative feedback.
Instead ask questions with the intent of improving your skills.
Ask yourself or ask your reviewer where you are going wrong and how you can improve.
Find out what you can do for the organisation at large.
Find a mentor
Look for a mentor within or outside the organisation who is positively interested in your career.
Share your ideas and career plans with your mentor and ask for suggestions from time to time.
While giving feedback, this person should be able to act like a neutral mirror pointing out both your strengths and weaknesses.
The interaction should be meaningful and influence your career in a constructive way.
At the same time, steer clear of people who have vested interests and give you vague feedback.
Be realistic about your expectations
You must try and have realistic expectations from the review.
For example, you cannot expect a promotion within six months of you joining the organisation.
Even if your manager fails to deliver on his/her promises -- a promotion or salary hike, for instance, be patient and try not to sound too materialistic.
While you must have an open conversation and voice your opinion, it is important to not let remuneration or perks be the sole reason for initiating the conversation.
Talk to your friends in similar job profiles in other companies to understand if you're getting a good deal in your present organisation.
Discuss these points with your immediate manager or reviewer and find out how you can grow in your career.
Check for consistency
Ask yourself how much of the information in your review is true.
Check whether the feedback has been consistently bad for a long time.
In any professional's career there will be times when there is a crest, but there has to be a valid explanation to it.
Try and understand if there were any distractions -- family or personal issues -- that kept you from giving your 100 per cent.
It is next to impossible for any employee to deliver an impressive performance year on year, but nevertheless, if you find that the reviews have been inconsistent or unfair you need to step up and take charge.
At the same time, if you've been consistently receiving negative reviews there is a good chance that you there is a communication gap -- you've misunderstood, ignored or failed in fulfilling your responsibilities.
Use this time to step up to the occasion and take corrective action.
Make a wise decision
If you feel the review has been largely unfair towards you because of the reviewer's personal vengeance and that you deserve more, you have every right to take a second opinion.
Consult a senior or mentor and understand if they feel you deserved better.
As the famous saying goes -- employees leave managers, not the organisation.
However, do not quit your job in a huff or with the intention of 'I'll teach you a lesson'.
A good employee is always an asset to an organisation.
Do not hold your grudges against any person in your professional life as you never know if and when you'd have to face them again.
Do not let a certain performance review affect your career and scar your future professional relationships.
Remember that performance appraisal is a year-round process. Besides the goals and targets set by your manager and organisation, you need to set realistic and individual goals too and work towards it as well.
At the end of each year, strive to see that your accomplishments tower over your mistakes and that you continue to add value to the organisation that hired you.