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The Gen-Yers Guide to Surviving Your Performance Review


Published on

24 Tips to help you master your performance review and manage your career

Published in: Business, Technology

The Gen-Yers Guide to Surviving Your Performance Review

  1. The Gen-Yers Guide to …24 TIPS TO HELP YOU MANAGE YOUR CAREER
  2. INTRODUCTIONIf you’ve picked up this so-called sur- office for the dreaded performance ap- Workplace Environment (ROWE) eravival guide, then congratulations! You’ve praisal, goals were playing a role in the is upon us. By getting up to speed ondecided to be your own captain on the outcome. cutting-edge workplace practices now,sometimes-turbulent seas of the modern you can lead the sea change in yourworkplace. You’ve moved to master your If you decided to set, track and record organization. And your coworkers (andown performance review destiny. goal wins—and if you indeed effectively even your managers) will thank you. performed against those goals—you canMy friend, you are already ahead of the walk into the review with legit confi- As you move through this guide, it’sgame just by picking up this eBook. dence. If you’ve never taken the time to important that you take some time toNow, we’re going to help you ace your set, track and record goal wins, don’t reflect at each step along the way. Re-interview and better manage your career hang your head. It’s never too late to ally think about your answers to theso you can get the pay raises—and the start. Start now! questions within, and be ready to makepromotions—you deserve. changes that will help you ace your This eBook isn’t all about goals. No, not performance appraisal and advance yourBefore we dive into the 23 tips we prom- by a long shot. But you’ll notice that career.ised, let’s take a quick look at how goals goals are a running theme—and forplay into your career success. See, long good reason. Modern Corporate Americabefore you step into your manager’s is all about results. The Results-Only
  3. A Brief History of Performance ReviewsHave you ever wondered how the though. Modern workers are mobile,dreaded performance review got started? virtual, social, and they collaborateTwo words—Industrial Revolution. from anywhere and everywhere in real time. The quest for work-life balanceYes, you can trace the makings of is still alive, but social networkingmodern-day performance appraisals platforms and mobile technologiesall the way back to the 1700s when have blurred the lines between workAdam Smith, the Father of Capitalism, and life.proposed that work could be made moreefficient by breaking it up into simple century. That led to the birth of the Hu- Indeed, a new generation has emerged.tasks through specialization. man Relations Movement. Management That new generation is you. And since styles evolved. The government got into performance appraisals are still anBut it was Frederick Taylor, the Father the incentives game. And by the 1970s unfortunate reality—at least for the timeof Scientific Management, who developed performance management fever spread being—WorkSimple is going to helpthe concept of work design, work like wildfire. you ace yours. So without further ado,measurement and production control read on for 23 tips that will help youthat transformed industry in the 20th Much has changed since the 1970s, maximize your performance review.
  4. Before the Review
  5. Check the Corporate PulseCorporate culture is more than a buzzword. Your corporate culture is the foundation on which you will buildthis stage of your career. Understanding your corporate culture will help you play by the rules of the game—or perhaps be the catalyst to change them. Here are four tips for taking the pulse of your corporate culture:TIP #1 TIP #2 TIP #3 TIP #4THE CULTURE CHECK THE COMMUNICATION CHECK THE INWARD CHECK TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUEBefore you sit down with your Don’t just look at the corpora- What are your core values? Findboss, be sure you really under- What’s the communication flow tion and its workers—look within your values and your voice. Oncestand your corporate culture. like? Is there an open-door policy? yourself. Do you understand the you discover them, build on them.Do words like practical, punchy, Do informal meetings arise at the company goals? Are the companyprogressive, and modern apply? water cooler? Is each cubicle an values clear in your mind? HaveOr do terms like bureaucratic, old- island unto itself? How do your you set goals for your career? Dofashioned and conservative do the coworkers like to communicate? you work on your job-relatedtrick? Is your company top-down? E-mail? Instant Messaging? Inter- goals alone or are you moreBottom-up? Social? Mobile? office paper memos? collaborative? Are you a results- driven contributor who supports the goals of other teams? You may need to shift your own attitudes to drive your career ahead.Part of your success in any company is understanding the corporate culture and your coworker’s styles. But the larger partof your success is the measurable results you drive. Be prepared to demonstrate those results in your performance review.
  6. The Work AuditBefore you sit through your performance appraisal, you’d better know where you stand. Audit your work soyou can sit behind your manager’s closed door with confidence, armed with demonstrable results that show-case you as a rising star in the organization. Here are three tips to help you do just that:TIP #5 TIP #6 TIP #7MAP YOUR ROUTINE SAVE YOUR WORKSTORY YOUR RIPPLE EFFECTHow do you manage goals? How does what you do on a dailyWhat do you use to track progress In any performance review in- and results. Your WorkStory helps basis impact your team? How doestoward your goals? Google Docs? terview, your WorkStory—your you—and your manager—see your it impact other teams? What aboutA clipboard and a legal pad? professional reputation that starts career strengths almost at a glance. the company? In other words,Some other system? How often do building from your first day on the This is a strong tool in your career what is your ripple effect on youryou measure your progress toward job—can do the talking for you. development. company, its customers and evengoals? The more systematically— Before you sit down with your its customers’ customers? Whenand the more frequently—you boss, gather e-mail, documents, you can see the big picture, youmonitor progress toward any given and presentations you’ve worked can better communicate yourgoal, the better your chances of on. Focus on the top five projects value to the organization.reaching that goal that highlight your contributionsArmed with this information, you are ready to show your manager in no uncertain terms why you are so valuable to the company—and why you should get a raise, promotion, or whatever else will incentivize you to further maximize your performance.
  7. Be a Goals–Oriented WorkerDemonstrating your ability to execute on corporate goals—as well as set intermediate goals towardthose grander objectives—can set you apart from the pack. Here are four tips to help you shine in yourperformance review: TIP #8 TIP #9 RATTLE OFF YOUR ACTIVE GOALS ARE YOUR GOALS REALLY ENOUGH? Managers love young employees Short-term goals should take 45 Questioning your goals with tall goals. So be ready to days or less to accomplish, e.g. and tactics is a constructive discuss three to six active goals attending a continuing education process, especially considering on the spot. These can be a blend class to learn a new skill. Long- you might have to stick up for of shorter-, short- and long-term term goals could take several your goals during your perfor- goals. Shorter-term goals usually months or longer to accomplish, mance review. Knowing what take less than 30 days to achieve e.g. meeting sales projections on and may be linked to some larger a new product. Be ready to rattle questions to expect will help, company or team goals, e.g. devel- off your active goals during your and asking a few questions of oping a new corporate brochure. performance review. yourself can prepare you.Here are three simple questions to ask yourself about each goal you set: (1) How does this goal impact my company? (2)How does this goal impact my team and other departments? and (3) How does this goal impact me personally andprofessionally? Take the time to develop solid answers.
  8. Be a Goals–Oriented WorkerTIP #10 TIP #11OWN YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS LOG YOUR FIRE DRILLSRecord how you contribute to building team morale. Record- Always log your fire drills, AKA fire drill and record how theseyour coworkers’ goals as well as ing your contributions as a team “interrupt goals.” Interrupt necessary distractions impactedto team, department and larger player helps you see your impact goals are fires that you raced to your work. Calculate yourcorporate goals. Showing ways in on the team—and share it with put out because your manager’s hours on fire drill projects andwhich you support the goals of your manager. priorities suddenly shifted— the impact it has on the organi-others is not only important inacing your performance appraisal, and they distract you from zation. If you can’t prove out anit also goes a long way toward making progress toward your overall ROI, add a metric to as daily goals. So log every many details as you can.The key to being a goals-oriented worker is reflecting, recording and communicating—and it’s a continual process.Always be ready to share and demonstrate progress toward your goals. It’s the stuff promotions are made of.
  9. A Feedback FocusResults. It’s ultimately what your boss is looking for from you—and what your boss’ boss is looking forfrom him. If you can walk into the performance review with a results-driven focus, you are sure to impress.Feedback is always helpful toward that goal. Here are three tips for fostering a feedback focus: TIP #12 TIP #13 TIP #14 CONNECT THE DOTS EVERYONE LOVES HIGH FIVES COLLABORATE & CELEBRATE Expanding your support and feed- Recognize—and document— One of the keys to getting an back beyond your department will the efforts of your coworkers. advantageous performance review help you connect the corporate Broadcast your kudos as far and is to highlight collaboration and dots. Wait five to nine business wide as possible. Help everyone integration. The more you give days after you make a deliverable, understand that recognition is feedback, the higher the chances and then ask for feedback. That important. By doing so, you’ll win that you will receive it as well. So feedback helps you see how your friends and influence people. At start collaborating and integrating. goals are linked to team, depart- the end of every week ask yourself: You reap what you sow. ment and company goals. When “Whom did I give feedback to?” you see the bigger picture, you can and “When is the last time I gave see where your contributions are a virtual high five?” making the biggest impact.Connect with coworkers and provide status updates and kudos through social networks, or social platforms—or even e-mail.Take the perspective that the team’s success is your success, and be one who helps breed a corporate culture of recognition.
  10. During the Review
  11. Discussion Dos and Don’tsThe dreaded performance review can be worse for some than going to the dentist. After all, if you brush and flossevery day then you know what to expect from the dentist. If you walk into your performance review without a clearpicture of how you contributed to the company’s goals, you may be justifiably nervous. Consider these three dos anddon’ts for your performance review: TIP #15 TIP #16 TIP #17 GUIDE THE CONVERSATION STAY IN SYNC DON’T GET DEFENSIVE If you are well-prepared for your It’s not easy to sit back and You can agree to disagree, but performance appraisal, you can listen—but it’s important in be careful not to get defensive. help guide the conversation. Have order to stay in sync with your If you don’t agree with the feed- your WorkStory ready, along with manager. You really do need back your manager is offering, your current goals, and be ready to hear his feedback. Let the be sure to show him rather than to discuss it so your manager can conversation ebb and flow. Ask tell him why you don’t agree. get to know you—and your work results—better. questions about the feedback, Show documentation that bol- such as, “How can I improve in sters your argument, if you have this area?” or “What teams do it. And if you don’t, then accept you think are most impacted by the feedback and ask how you my work?” can improve. A good attitude will take you a long way.Remember, gathering coworker feedback can also be helpful. You can share this information in your performance review.Always ask for deeper level feedback if your manager provides surface level comments. And listen, listen, listen.
  12. After the Review
  13. Rethink Your GoalsOnce you’ve survived your performance review, start preparing for the next one now. Hopefully, you receivedvaluable feedback that will offer you insights into how you should approach goals going forward. But even ifyou didn’t, now is the time to reassess your goals.TIP #18 TIP #19 TIP #20GOAL CONTROL TOSS OUT IRRELEVANT GOALS WEEKLY REPORTINGCommit to goals with the right Trash goals that are no longer Get into the habit of reporting Remember, you get hired basedtiming. That means accurately relevant, or at least move them on your goals weekly on your work portfolio but youforecasting goal timelines, under- to a “draft” folder so they don’t using a tool like WorkSimple’s are ultimately measured basedpromising and over-delivering on drain your focus from more Social Goals. Publish your goals on your goal performance.projects, and keeping a close eye immediate, results-only goals to your manager, coworkerson your workload. Remember, the that impact the organization and supporters to breed openmore achieved goals you showcasein your WorkStory, the less now. You can always revisit communication and collabora-your manager will focus on these goals in the future when tion. Social Goals is not justcompetencies. they may even be more rel- for HR—this system is built evant. You could just be ahead for you. of your time!Goals should always be top of mind, even when you have to rethink your goals.By exercising strategic timing and tossing out goals that aren’t mission-critical, you’ll drive stronger results that will get you noticed.
  14. Teamwork Makes the Dream WorkPart of success in the world of work is taking on a team mindset. Let your team know what you are workingon, and take an interest in what they are working on. Help yourself succeed by helping your team succeed.Your manager will notice.TIP #21 TIP #22 TIP #23 TIP #24ADVERTISE YOUR GOALS DECONGEST YOUR PLANS MIND THE GAP PAY IT FORWARDContinue to build your WorkStory Watch your workload. As new Rather than quarterly or annual Help other coworkers under-by showcasing your success in projects come up, always look reviews, try to get feedback stand your recipe for ayour cube, on social networks, and back to your goals so you can from your manager monthly. successful performance your social goal platform every stay focused on the impact your This is part of making an effort By doing so, you will play aweek. Tracking your accomplish- daily work is having on those to understand what is going key role in the Performancements now will pay dividends in goals—or how the fire drills on with your coworkers and Management Revolution.the future. are distracting you from them. managers. And this sort of Document, document, docu- self-management positions you ment. Work Simple’s Social Goals as a leader who’s interesting makes this as simple as posting to in keeping the big picture in your favorite social network. mind.A closing thought: Always align goals with your passion.If you are passionate about your goals, it’s more likely you’ll meet them—and even exceed them.
  15. Find Out More About WorkSimpleHow to Get StartedVisit us to sign up for a the FREE Forever version of WorkSimple’s Social Goals with full accessto all core features at Contact WorkSimple to get started at (415) 671-4714 oremail WorkSimpleWorkSimple’s Social Goals is a better way to share goals, work together, get and give feedback, andmake everyone on the team shine. Individuals, small teams and large, global organizations alikeuse WorkSimple to put an end to bad performance reviews. WorkSimple is deployed in minutes,and is as easy to use as your favorite social network, so you and your coworkers can quickly startsharing goals, feedback, and recognition.Learn more at