Annual review survival training


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What nobody in HR has ever told you about your annual review and how to prepare for it. The insider scoop!

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  • Performance Management as an ongoing process requires engaging in two primary activities: Establishing & Communicating Clear Performance Expectations Regularly providing feedback to employees so they always know how their work and actions either meet or don’t meet those expectations. We tend to focus on the “requirements” e.g., the appraisal (and more recently, goals) and approach them as “tasks” to check off a list at the beginning and end of year. Research is clear that the activities that have business impact are the informal conversations THAT BUILD TRUST throughout the year. This is where PI&T managers should focus the majority of their energy.
  • That said, we still need to get through this year’s annual review. Consider the appraisal the same as doing your taxes at the end of the year. It has to get done, it’s not fun. But if we managed our money well through the year and saved all the receipts, the tax return takes a lot less time. The same goes for appraisals.
  • That said, we still need to get through this year’s annual review. Consider the appraisal the same as doing your taxes at the end of the year. It has to get done, it’s not fun. But if we managed our money well through the year and saved all the receipts, the tax return takes a lot less time. The same goes for appraisals.
  • Review the competency and the behaviors that are expected in the competency. Review the ratings on page one of the form. Some behavior expectations in a competency may not apply to a specific employee. Rate them on the behaviors that do apply. If none of the behaviors apply to your employee (e.g., a manager level employee who may not have direct reports), assess them on whether they apply the competency with peers, team co-workers, etc). Only document N/A if NONE of the competency behaviors listed apply to the specific employee in their current position (should be rare) Some manager-level employees who do not have direct reports may still act as “leads” either in their discipline or on a work team.
  • So we’ve learned a few things over the past few years about why PM is important, and why it’s so hard. So What should we do differently?
  • Can you ask one or 2 of these questions every month? Or 3-4 each quarter at least?
  • Annual review survival training

    1. 1. Welcome to this self-directed presentation. You can either let the slides move forward on their own, or use the arrow keys on your keyboard if you want to go a bit faster. Tips & Help for Employees to Get the Most out of their Annual Review APPRAISALS
    2. 2. This presentation is designed for any employee who has ever wondered… This presentation was created by an HR leader who believes it’s long overdue to tell the real truth behind the one annual (or semi-annual) activity that is often the most hated in most large companies. Tips & Help for Employees to Get the Most out of their Annual Review APPRAISALS
    3. 3. How should I write my self assessment? My work can’t be “measured” so how will my manager evaluate my performance? How can I get more frequent feedback than my annual review? (Why do we do these stupid reviews anyway?) How do I work with a boss who’s in a different state? I got a new manager late in the year. How are they going to evaluate me?
    4. 4. We hope this has never happened to you…
    5. 5. What is a Performance Appraisal, really? Paraphrased from a recent article by Dick Grote.
    6. 6. “ But I was told to write measurable goals!” <ul><li>This might all sound surprising if you were asked to write “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) goals at the beginning of the year. Chances are, if you did set goals, it was really hard to define the “measures.” That’s ok (really, it is…) </li></ul><ul><li>(Did your boss clarify how your work would be evaluated and what results he or she expected? That’s all the “goals” you need. Seriously. Don’t make this harder than it has to be!) </li></ul>
    7. 7. How is Performance Evaluated, Really? Insisting that there must be quantifiable metrics can lead us astray in accurately evaluating the quality of performance. How do you assess the performance of a programmer? If you’re thinking, “Number of lines of code written” as your sole measure, you might want to rethink it. True merit requires the writing of elegant and parsimonious code. A skilled IT manager can recognize this when she sees it, but there is no quantitative metric. Paraphrased from a recent article by Dick Grote.
    8. 8. How is Performance Evaluated, Really? Some people mistakenly insist that objectivity requires quantitative metrics and that appraisals that are based only on managers’ opinions are inappropriately subjective. But if you’re like most employees, what you really want is this supposedly “subjective” information. You want to know your supervisor’s opinion of your performance. You want honest answers to your most important questions: Paraphrased from a recent article by Dick Grote.
    9. 9. (A very short note about ratings & raises) <ul><li>Sometimes employees (and managers) mistakenly think the only reason a company requires appraisals is to establish a performance rating in order to determine a pay increase during the salary planning cycle. </li></ul>In fact, in many companies (especially large ones) the performance rating is only one of several variables that are used to determine if, and how much of a merit increase an employee might get.
    10. 10. (A very short note about ratings & raises) <ul><li>The primary variable of course is the company budget. In tough economic times (like now) a small, 2% budget must be allocated fairly among a lot of employees (if there is any budget at all). </li></ul><ul><li>Your range in the market, range in grade, and even in comparison to others with similar qualifications and experience in a peer group are all evaluated first. The individual rating usually only impacts the merit increase by a small fraction. </li></ul><ul><li>(Example: A high performer at the bottom of their grade will get more than a high performer who is at the top of their grade.) </li></ul>
    11. 11. Why do we dislike Performance Reviews so much? Just for a minute, stop to think about it… Can you think of lots of obvious reasons?!
    12. 12. Why the torture continues:
    13. 13. It’s all about the limbic system Did you know your brain does not know the difference between a physical threat and an emotional threat? For human beings, status within a social group is a basic survival requirement.
    14. 14. Neuroscience & Performance Reviews <ul><li>“ Performance review training manuals tell managers to give “constructive performance feedback.” The problem with “constructive performance feedback” is that, like a wolf sniffing a meal across a field, even a subtle status threat is picked up unconsciously by our deeply social brain, no matter how nicely it’s couched. As “constructive” as you try to make it, feedback packs a punch. The result is that most feedback conversations revolve around people defending themselves.” </li></ul>-- David Rock, Your Brain at Work, p 206
    15. 15. We’re not (only) a rational species. The deeper, more primitive brain regions have priority and the most influence on behavior (survival first!) As soon as a threat is experienced, our limbic system takes over. The neocortex (the “rational mind”) shuts down. “ Fight or Flight”
    16. 16. Good preparation can tame the “primitive brain.” <ul><li>Preparing a meaningful self assessment, and building good rapport with your manager are the best ways to calm your limbic system and not go on the defensive. </li></ul>
    17. 17. What not to do Seriously. Don’t panic. We’ll show you how to get through each step and survive.
    18. 18. The appraisal is just one small piece of the puzzle <ul><li>The annual review is typically only one part of the year-long performance management process. As an employee preparing for a review, it is helpful to understand the continual process as well as the goals of the annual review. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Managing performance happens all year long 12 1 2 3 11 6. Annual Review 1. Set Goals 2. Plan Development 3. Evaluate 4. Monitor 5. Feedback If you think of the months of the year like hours on a clock, you can better visualize the year-round process of all the steps to managing performance. Ideally, with good year-round communication, less time and effort are needed for the Annual Review.
    20. 20. Annual Review & Appraisal Survival Guide
    21. 21. Annual Review & Appraisal Survival Guide In other words: don’t blame the tool if the process isn’t working . Take control of the process and work around the tool if needed. Don’t equate the PROCESS (preparing to receive performance feedback) with the TOOL Whether your company uses an online software system or a paper form, the tool probably has lots of limits in what it can do to make the process as efficient as possible. In some cases it seems to make the process even more difficult than it should be!
    22. 22. What to do <ul><li>Gather Your Information. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We’ll give you 4 easy tips to gather the most relevant information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Write Your Self-Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in the Review Meeting </li></ul>
    23. 23. Tip 1: Look at last year’s Appraisal <ul><li>If you have the same manager as last year, this will refresh your memory and help identify themes or issues that emerged. If you have a new manager, this is a good way to communicate items you think should be carried forward. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify accomplishments from last year and decide what might be built on for this year (e.g., if you “drove down costs” last year, did you keep those costs down this year?) </li></ul>
    24. 24. Tip 2: Consider your Job Description <ul><li>Your supervisor likely considers the responsibilities and expectations of your role or position when completing your review. Help him or her better understand what you do that meets those expectations, or maybe extends beyond those expectations. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Tip 2: Consider your Job Description
    26. 26. Tip 3: Review notes from Meetings <ul><li>Gather notes from one-on-one meetings with your boss as well as team meetings. Identify accomplishments and issues. How have you accomplished objectives and resolved issues? If you supervise or lead other people, include the successes of your team. If your subordinates are successful, you are successful. Don’t forget to identify ways in which you’ve developed your employees. </li></ul><ul><li>Review reports you’ve written. Search all the documents you’ve created during the year by date. Identify key reports or deliverables you’ve prepared. Consider what effect they had on the organization. </li></ul>
    27. 27. Tip 4: Look at your E-mail <ul><li>Sort e-mail by Name (Sender) and identify additional projects, tasks, ad hoc efforts. Identify some of the feedback, thanks and kudos received by team members, task leads, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>You’ll be surprised at what you find that you’ve forgotten about! </li></ul>
    28. 28. The Hardest Part “ Employee Self-Assessment”
    29. 29. Performance Competencies <ul><li>Many large companies evaluate performance on two things: Performance Goals (what work gets done) and Performance Competencies (how the work </li></ul><ul><li>gets done.) </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to your manager and/or </li></ul><ul><li>HR department to learn what </li></ul><ul><li>these competencies are and </li></ul><ul><li>how they are evaluated. Of </li></ul><ul><li>course, having this conversation </li></ul><ul><li>at the beginning of the year is </li></ul><ul><li>more useful for you. </li></ul>
    30. 30. Assessing Competencies & Goals Most companies us a 5 point scale, but some use 3 or 7 or even 10. They might call the middle rating “acceptable” or “solid performer” or “purple giraffe.” It doesn’t matter what the label is, nobody likes to get that “middle” rating, but typically that is a good rating. Just like school, some managers are “hard graders” and some are “easy graders.” That’s the reality of the situation, regardless of how “objective” a company tries to make the process. Some companies are finally introducing more meaningful ways to identify high performers, but it’s still pretty typical to see a scale similar to this in most large organizations. 1- Unsatisfactory: Inability to demonstrate competency even with supervision. Corrective action required. 2- Needs Improvement: Meets competency expectations some or most of the time, but frequently requires direction. 3- Meets Requirements: Does not require direction to achieve competency. Consistently meets expectations 4- Very Good: Consistently meets expectations and occasionally exceeds expectations AND/OR can coach others to achieve competency. 5- Exceptional: Exceeds expectations most of the time. Regularly coaches or teaches others to develop the competency.
    31. 31. Finally: Be Prepared for The Meeting <ul><li>Review the evaluation in detail with your supervisor. Start with the overall rating, then talk about specifics. </li></ul>
    32. 32. Finally: Be Prepared for The Meeting
    33. 33. So we’ve learned a few things today… What could you do differently next year?
    34. 34. The Employee’s role in year-round communication <ul><li>These days, many employees work in a different location than their direct manager. If you do not interact regularly (daily, weekly) with your Manager, send them an email once a month and let them know: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What you’re working on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your progress on performance goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenges you’re facing, accomplishments you’re making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How they can best support you </li></ul></ul>
    35. 35. <ul><li>You should be very proactive as well for your own career management. Contact your Manager routinely and inform him or her of your current assignments, challenges, progress and successes. </li></ul>The Employee’s role in year-round communication
    36. 36. FWD: Kudos <ul><li>Did you get an email from a client or co-worker thanking you for something you did? Forward it to your manager. </li></ul>Create a “Kudos” email folder and save all the thank yous and recognition you receive throughout the year. Review the emails when you’re preparing next year’s self-assessment.
    37. 37. Trust-based relationships <ul><li>In addition to making work and communication more effective and efficient, having a good, trust-based relationship with your manager (or managers) is the best way to prevent your limbic system from taking over during the appraisal cycle. </li></ul><ul><li>Do your part to engage with and build a good relationship with your manager. </li></ul>
    38. 38. Just remember: It’s ALL About the Communication <ul><li>Let me tell you about my week. </li></ul><ul><li>Let me yell you about what I’ve been working on. </li></ul><ul><li>Can I update you on Project X? </li></ul><ul><li>I have some questions about this project. </li></ul><ul><li>I have some concerns and would appreciate your perspective. </li></ul><ul><li>Can I share some suggestions? </li></ul><ul><li>Let me tell you about my goals for this assignment. </li></ul><ul><li>Let me review my plans to achieve my goals. </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve learned some interesting things on this assignment. </li></ul>12 1 2 3 11 6. Annual Review 1. Set Goals 2. Plan Development 3. Communicate 4. Communicate 5. Communicate 6. Communicate … And so on…
    39. 40. Why we created this presentation