Empowering Women

The Annual Performance Review – Thoughts and Observations

It’s that time of year in most companies – time for the annual performance review.

Performance review methods may differ from organization to organization but there are some universal approaches that serve as a good reminder:

• Employees should never hear about positive performance or performance in need of improvement for the first time during a formal performance discussion meeting unless it is new information or insight

• Effective managers discuss both positive performance and areas for improvement on a regular basis

• In the interest of providing regular feedback, performance reviews are not an annual only event

• Developing a cadence of career development discussions are also critical elements of employee meetings

Key pieces of an employee performance review:

Goals should be clear and concise.

KPI (key performance measures) and Behavioral Competencies are typical components of an employee’s plan. It is imperative that employees know exactly what is expected of their performance. Without a written agreement and a shared picture of the employee’s goals, success is unlikely

Make how you will evaluate the employee’s performance clear.

Describe exactly what you’re looking for from the employee and exactly how you will assess the performance. Discuss with the employee her role in the evaluation process. A significant component of this evaluation discussion is to share with the employee how your organization will assess performance.

Prepare for the discussion with the employee.

Never go into a performance review without preparation. If you wing it, performance reviews fail. Practice is essential. The more you can identify and give examples, the better the employee will understand and be able to act upon the feedback. For above average performing employees and performing employees, positive feedback and discussion about how the employee can continue to grow their performance should comprise the majority of the discussion.

Don’t neglect the areas that need improvement…especially for an underperforming employee, speak directly

Some thoughts to consider:

An employee must do more than just perform to be considered an outstanding employee. Performance is table stakes – the ticket to the game. Differentiated action is what constitutes outstanding ratings – an innovative idea implemented successfully with a positive impact to the business.

Hard work does not necessarily equate to higher performance ratings. Don’t equate work effort with success or exemplary performance.

An observation for employees:

If you assess your performance above meeting expectations it is important to write up a paragraph or two about why you deserve that rating. Make sure to use objective terms and data points as supporting documentation. Data is crucial for any evaluation that involved budgets, time, or savings.

Truly take the time to assess your performance with the knowledge that achieving performance and meeting expectations is true success – employers look at the meets/achieves as measures of successful performance. With challenging performance goals and behavioral expectations – meeting expectations is a lot of hard work, effort, and innovation required.

Empowering Women

Giving Thanks

As we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season it is so easy to get caught up in the business of life – year-end deadlines; strategic plans for the year ahead; parties; family gatherings; gift exchanges; baking; cooking; cleaning. We can quickly lose sight of the ability to – Stop. Pause. Reflect.

As I enter the holiday season this year I do so with a very different lens. I am pushing myself to a place of thanksgiving; of gratitude; of meaning and of appreciation. I am going to try and slow down the pace. The frenetic energy that can occur during this time of year can be contagious and consuming.

So as I stop to reflect back and think ahead I am keenly aware of the following:

  • I miss my husband terribly but I am grateful that I had 30 years of marriage to my best friend with an amazing set of memories to lean on
  • I must establish new holiday traditions and be okay with the fact that they may change every year. I know what I can do for this coming year and I will do what feels comfortable for me with no pressure from anyone. I own how I make the holiday season manageable for myself
  • I need to manage some time during the day to prioritize what needs to be accomplished by the end of the year from a business perspective and manage those activities in an organized fashion
  • I will think carefully about the year ahead (2018) and the key strategic initiatives that are manageable and meaningful – those will be the jump off points for 2018

I have so much to be grateful for and so much to give thanks over. I have an amazing family. My children are working together and with me to support each other through this journey. I have a wonderful career with meaningful work. My company provides people with the products and services to live (and enjoy) life and I get to come in every day and be of service to the business and my team on behalf of our customers.

My daughter shared this quote with me and so apropos to share as a part of this week’s blog.

“When asked if my cup is half full or half empty, my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup.