Performance Reviews, how best to deal with it?
Performance reviews are a great way to obtain constructive feedback from your supervisor. Take time to prepare for it, go in with an open mind, listen to what is being said, ask questions to be clear on expectations, create a plan to incorporate the feedback, and then execute, with a repeat in 6-months or a year, based on your companies review cycle.
Preparation for the review
Create a list of your successful accomplishments, obtain the details in terms of time, cost, and quality, these are the easiest factors to measure and adds meaningful insights into the value it has created for the company. Expand to the difficulty level of task/project, the leadership / management provided, coaching of the team members, etc, to provide full context of your achievement. Make sure that the focus in your part of the project or task, and do not take credit for the project as a whole undermining your team members or peers. Remember, you are part of the team and a strong individual contributor, maintain that balance.
– Supervisor perspective
While this might be difficult, give it a try, review your task and project for shortcomings that may have occurred or things that got done, but could have been done more efficiently. Listing these things out would allow you to gain a perspective on your Supervisors potential points. Intent is not to list items for argument but to help realize for yourself the thought the process to put yourself in their Shoes, while unlacing yours, and obtaining empathic intelligence.
During the review
– Maintain professionalism
Respect the process, and things discussed at the meeting is as part of the business, do not take these things personally. Remain calm and maintain your professionalism, the review meeting is not an MMA fight for victory but the intent is to obtain constructive feedback. Make your points, but do not become argumentative.
– Establish expectations for the next review
Setting clear expectations is very important, make sure that each goal follows the SMART mnemonic acronym, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
– Obtain feedback
Everyone has their strengths & weaknesses, and while most supervisors play to an employee’s strengths, they did want an improvement in their weakness, or change in the workflow pattern, etc. Keep an open mind, and obtain feedback on your performance, remember it is constructive feedback, and all comments are in relation to the business, nothing is personal.
– Appreciate the time
The supervisor taking the time to meet with you, review your past performance and then providing feedback that would facilitate your future growth is a big-time and effort commitment. The fact that they did that, be appreciative of it, they could have spent that time doing something else (that they might enjoy as well).
– Create a plan
To succeed, you need a blueprint on how to act on the feedback received and incorporate it into your work routine. It should include regular check-ins with the supervisor, reviewing improvements seen, and items that still need to be worked on, etc. The more granular your plan is the more things you have thought through, don’t try to build an airplane when flying from one destination to the other.
Make the conscious effort to follow the plan that you have created to ensure success in future review meetings, and a successful growth within your company.
It is true that in most cases employees don’t leave businesses, but they leave supervisors. If unfortunately, you walked out of the review meeting with a feeling that there is no point in being in the current job, start putting out discreet feelers for other opportunities. Ultimately you are important and given the amount of time one spends at work it is best to work in a place that is the best fit for both you and your employer.