Performance reviews are the bane of everyone's existence - in my professional opinion. No one likes to complete them, no one likes to read them and then having to measure each of your employees based on these documents or program readouts is about as fun as having an organ removed.
For my recent graduates working full time for the first time and even for those of you who consider yourself "ready" to do your end of year performance documentation, here are my thoughts on how to make it "fun" or as fun as possible.
When you are hired for a position, there is usually a job description that becomes, by default often, your goals for the year. Sometimes you are brought in and charm everyone and a job is created for you and then the job description truly matches more about who you are and what you are bringing to the table. Other times you are hired for a job like "Analyst level 1" and that job description leads into your "goals".
What do goals have to do with your performance review? Well, those goals become entered into your employee file either through a review system or just using Word and then you are judged based on those goals. For your first year on the job, expect to be reviewed twice - once at the 6 month mark and again at the year mark. Your yearly review will follow the company's schedule though -maybe this is done every November or every June. Every company is different.
Know what your goals are and if you can provide input into them, do so. Do not over-promise on your goals, though. Do have some "stretch" goals - things that will be a challenge to accomplish - but do not have too many of these or else just like when you were in school, you can wind up with a failing grade on your performance review. All companies use some form of the scale meaning:
Throughout your year, keep an eye on your goals and maintain "proof" on how you did - if you get a compliment regarding one of your goals or other accolade, keep the email in a folder called "performance review". If you are struggling on some of your goals, get help sooner rather than later. Ask if you can be tutored or ask for advice on how to handle the issue. Be proactive. Do not say you are worried about your performance review -just be conscientious and focused and proactive if need help to achieve your goals.
Follow company protocol in writing the document or using the system. If there are 360 reviews where other people rate and review you anonymously, take advantage of that but be careful always during working with others - always be professional and helpful in your company even if there are no official 360 reviews because this will always be part of how you are considered a great employee or an employee who is merely tolerated. I will write more about relating with your co-workers over the next few weeks.
Do your best, document it concisely and appropriately and include metrics and other documentation if possible when doing your performance review. Once you submit the paperwork, you will be reviewed by your management and usually given a face to face meeting to discuss the results and review any remediation plan (if necessary) or given information on your reward (if any).
If you company does not do a formal performance review process, what is done to measure employees? What do you think of the performance review process? Is my description and advice helpful or on point? Happy Hunting!
Lisa Vento Nielsen