Monday, April 2, 2012

Am I Doing A Good Job? How To Prepare For A Job Performance Evaluation

     It's the most wonderful time of the year!
     No! Not the holidays...yearly evaluation season! Some of you have the luck of having it more than once a year. :)

     Hopefully, the feedback you receive from your manager is not a shouldn't be.

     Ideally, your manager is providing you with daily, monthly - at least quarterly assessment reports. If this isn't happening; you should be initiating it. And no, "no news is good news" is never the way to go.

     Evaluations are exercises you should drive, not your manager. After all, a lot rides on that session...most likely what your raise in salary will be (and in some extreme cases - continued employment).

     Here is an exercise that I learned from the Carole Kneeland Project (For Responsible Journalism) that can help you self evaluate by reaching out to not only your manager, but peers (and if you oversee the work of others...the team you lead). This process will help you stay on track or get back on track as well as nurture relationships at the office.

     You ask your co-workers to participate in a simple exercise that helps you get a better idea about your performance from key people, who's observations are invaluable in your continued growth

     Ask them to please chart down (an email) anywhere between 1-3 bullet points for each category.

    Continue, Start and Stop:

     Continue: What you think I do on a daily basis that is valuable to you and to the work that I do. This is the performance that you think is positive and productive...key to my success.

          (ex. Continue to problem  avoid issues in the execution of projects by being inclusive with all members of the team in the planning stages. It is common for persons in your positions to dictate action plans to a team without consulting them (and getting their two cents on the pros and cons of the project) in the planning phase...only to later realize that what was promised couldn't be delivered. By you being inclusive with the entire team...time, resources and money are saved.)

    Start: What you think I should begin implementing in my daily routine that would help me improve in my role and also help the team be successful.

          (ex. Start being more assertive in meetings by presenting ideas that are in line with our division's mission, relevant to our customers and grows the company's brand. I see you listen and chart down notes in the meeting, but seldom is your voice heard. The perception is that you are not prepared and engaged).

     Stop: Let me know the practice you think I should immediately stop because it is disrupting the working environment and putting me at risk.

          (ex. Absolutely stop having  instant negative feedback sessions and even constructive feedback sessions in the middle of the office. These conversations should be had in private and not for all to hear. I feel demoralized when you not only tell me what you think I did wrong with my report, but also raise your voice. While I understand the reason why you might be upset...I would appreciate it if you asked me into your office or at least to a conference room where we can discuss the issue one on one).

     Once you collect the data (again, 3-5 bullet points) look for the common threads. If a majority of the people said that you should start being more assertive in meetings than chances should. You want to develop an action plan for yourself (first) based on the similarities of people's observations.

     Also, choose no more than 4-8 people (from each position). What I mean is...the way your peers see you will be different than the way the staff you lead and certainly your manager(s). Be consistent with the type of people you ask for feedback (all peers, all persons you manage, all managers).

     It's never easy to ask someone to evaluate you and your work. And it's natural for you to take the feedback personally and get defensive...don't. 

     Trust me, when you ask people for their opinion (basically telling them that you respect them and trust that they will be honest and candid) - your stock automatically goes up.

     If you follow this exercise, you will never go into a formal annual evaluation meeting not knowing what will be discussed.

     As always, thanks for taking the time to read my article and please share it - if you think it would be useful to others...Hugo

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Hugo for sharing this interesting piece of writing, you have really great job I like it.