For a growing number of employees, the annual performance review is no longer just a once-per-year occasion.
A recent Office Team survey showed that 39 percent of executives report their companies schedule performance reviews either quarterly or bi-annually. That number is an increase of over 10 percent in the last few years.
What that translates into is that companies believe in quantity as well as quality when it comes to performance reviews.
That is especially true with new or newer employees.
Many companies have the policy of conducting the first performance review after a new employee has been on the job for 90 days. They will also conduct one after six months, then after a year. That provides management with a good foundation of what to expect from that particular employee.
Performance reviews are as important to the employee as they are to management. It is an opportunity for an employee to express interest in different types of work, and various challenges.
Goals are the main focus of most reviews. Goals are usually tailored to the individual as well as the position.
Being a proactive employee who gets involved in the process, an employee is an empowered key in their own career.
Here are a few tips on what an employee can contribute:
· Before the review, make a list of accomplishments and how specific efforts or initiatives benefited the organization.
· Management will solicit input on what to achieve in the coming months. They also look for input on any changes made to the employees’ role. Consider the support needed to meet the objectives.
· How an employee listens and responds is crucial. Think of the meeting as an opportunity to work with management to develop a plan that will be career advancement.
· Use the review to diplomatically provide management with constructive feedback. This is an opportunity to request more guidance or resources. But it should be a time to air dirty laundry.
· Always finish the discussion by setting specific goals to work towards. To make the next review more productive, start tracking achievements and challenges now.
· Make sure there is a specific written action plan. A review should result in more than just how things went the last six months.
For many employees, the idea of a performance review ranks right up there with a root canal.
Many workers are apprehensive about performance reviews. But with preparation, these meetings present an opportunity to highlight their accomplishments, identify future goals, and make a case for a raise or a promotion.
Frequently, the timeliness of the review is as critical as the content. Employees generally know when it is time for a review, especially if they know it is close to the time the company may be giving out pay increases.
Preparation is another key aspect of the review process, from both perspectives.
Employees should gather information that supports their stance, such as praising letters or emails from customers. A list of annual achievements should be constructed, with the focus on items that were above and beyond the call of duty.
Managers who conduct employee reviews need to be able to clarify the employees’ role in achieving department or company goals, and how there performance compares to others in the group (but not specific names). It is important for an employee to know how their effort matched up against others.
If both sides take the time to properly prepare, a performance review can be an important tool in the development of a great working relationship.