It has been roughly one year since your last performance review. Nearly one year since you agreed to certain goals and deliverables with your boss. The moment of truth is upon us as we enter the season of annual performance reviews. Are you confidently approaching the season or dreading that one-on-one?
The rating system and criteria doesn’t change that often so you should have a solid understanding of the areas you will be reviewed on. You probably have a good idea of where you stand on each item. What is unknown is how those who complete a 360 on you will feel and what they will say. It is also unknown where you finished with the goals and objectives that were agreed to.
If you have been ignoring your team most of the year it is understandable that you are unsure how they will fill out those lengthy 360 surveys. If you have been working with your team, developing and coaching them and continuously pointing out their successes while putting plans in place for their opportunities you have nothing to worry about.
If the last time you looked at your development plan and last year’s review was last year you are likely filled with panic trying to recall if all the goals and objectives were met. If you fall into this category you will probably spend hours trying to find the document (that you swore last year you would keep front and center of your attention).
How to prepare of this year’s feedback and review:
- Dust of last year’s review and development plan and take an inventory of what was accomplished and what is still being worked on.
- Most development and goal plans change over the year – build a list of your achievements, take the right amount of time thinking through these things so that you capture them all.
- Identify the goals that were achieved and those that are still being worked on. For those still being worked on, include a compelling reason why they were not completed and what it would take to get them completed.
- List any new skills that you developed or improved throughout the year.
How to avoid annual feedback dread next year:
- Keep your review and goal plan easily accessible so that you don’t lose sight of what you are supposed to be focused on.
- Make reviewing the goal plan a regular topic in your one-on-one meetings with your boss. This can be done monthly or quarterly depending on the complexity of the goal plan.
- Make adjustments as new goals are added so that you fully understand what the priorities are as they will change frequently throughout the year.
- Invest more in your team – keep their goal plans handy and review them regularly in their one-on-ones.
- Use the 360 results you received and focus on improving in areas that were identified as a trend. Make sure those things are captured in your new development plan so that progress can be monitored and improved.
- Periodically solicit feedback from your team on any items that you chose to improve to make sure you are giving them what they need and that they can see that you are working to improve those items.
- Keep a weekly journal of what was accomplished, where you fell short and the progress you are making on your goals. This will make preparing for the review next year simple because you won’t have to spend too much time reflecting over the whole year and possibly missing some important details.
To be successful, we need to keep our eyes on what is important. It always starts out with a performance review and feedback at the start of the year. As the year goes on, priorities shift, goals change and objectives get more tough. Keep track of your progress and your current priorities so that next year it won’t be a season of surprising feedback but a season of joy along with a sense of accomplishment.