Climbing The Corporate Latter! Tips To Sailing Through Your Performance Appraisal
Source: Open Talk Magazine 10/12/2010 23:47:00
Moving up the corporate latter to a higher paying position is an exciting and nerve racking ordeal for many of us. However you must first successfully make it through the performance appraisal.
With the right preparation and a calm mind, you can sail through your performance appraisal with flying colors and get that advancement you’ve been desiring for a long time.
A performance appraisal is held to assess the overall performance of an employee. Most employees however get anxious about a prospective raise in salary or advancement in position, and also about the interview itself. On the other hand, other employees view a performance appraisal as a chance for the management to ‘grill’ an employee based on his previous year’s performance.
A performance appraisal is the perfect opportunity for an employee to showcase all the work and effort that was put forth in the previous year. There is nothing worse than walking away from a performance appraisal feeling that you should have said this or that or that you should have been better prepared. So let’s get you prepared to get the most out of your up-coming performance appraisal!
Filling Out The Performance Appraisal Form
Most organizations give their employees a performance appraisal form to fill out which features questions about working in the organization, specific job responsibilities, working in a specific department and so on. Think carefully before filling in any information because a form with scratched out words or sentences creates a bad impression right off the bat. If there are any questions that you don’t totally understand, it’s best to consult with a senior colleague or an HR personnel for clarification. Do not use an appraisal form as a forum to vent frustrations or anger. This form is simply meant to give the senior management an idea about your role in the company, your expectations and target achievement.
Assess Your Performance
Put yourself in your manager’s or boss’s shoes and assess your performance objectively. What were the targets set before you? Did you achieve them? Did you undertake any tasks that were not part of your job profile? Did you go above and beyond the call of duty or simply just what was required? How well did you fit in with the rest of the team? These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself. Analyzing your performance in an objective manner provides you a sense as to what you should expect and helps you prepare your response.
Maintain A Work Diary
Most of us carry planners for planning day to day activities, but here’s something different to try. Maintain a diary exclusively for work related activities. Jot down any activity you have undertaken as part of your job requirement, any team building task you participated in, any seminars and workshops you attended as well as other tasks you performed. Don’t forget to mention details such as the time, place, and date as well. On the day of your performance appraisal, take this diary with you and show it to the appraisal panel. You can be sure that they will be impressed with an employee who is organized and efficient.
Many employees make the mistake of using a performance appraisal as the right time to show off one’s achievements, exaggerate records or take credit for someone else’s work. Remember that the appraisal panel would have done their homework on you as well prior to the interview. Being honest is important, because there is nothing more embarrassing than being caught red handed while telling a lie. If you were unable to meet all your targets or fulfill all your responsibilities, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Instead talk about the plans and goals you have outlined for yourself in the coming year.
Simultaneously, speak up and let the appraisal panel know about any extra initiatives you have taken. This is the right time to let them know that you are a proactive worker, a team player and a hardworker.
The Art of Diplomacy
During a performance appraisal, it is important to maintain eye contact with the panel, to listen carefully to what is being asked and to think carefully before answering. If you are unhappy with your current job role or responsibilities and you feel that your potential is not being put to the test; then now is the time to say so. However, choose your words carefully and make your point without getting angry or blaming your boss and colleagues.
It may be tempting to complain about a team member, but unless it is an incident of harassment or something equally serious, refrain from taking this path. On the other hand, talk about the good aspects of the job such as how a training session was beneficial for you, or the fun you had during a team building exercise.
By utilizing the tips place before you, you’re all set to impress your senior managers the right way and show them what an invaluable employee you are.