You’ll have read lots of information about how to conduct an appraisal with your team members.
But what about when you, personally, are being appraised by your boss? Do you spend time preparing well and laying the foundation for your own success?
Firstly, ask these questions:
Am I satisfied with my own performance in this appraisal period?
Have I achieved all the objectives set out for me?
What went well and what went not so well at my last appraisal?
What objectives do I need to set for this next appraisal?
What did I learn from the last time I appraised one of my staff members?
Answers to these questions will assist you in the preparation of your own appraisal.
Let’s look at a checklist of ideas that will help you become more confident in what you have to do to succeed in your own appraisal:
1) Understand what the main objectives are and how your performance is monitored: If you’re going to discuss your pay and remuneration, find out what the terms of reference are first.
2) Lay the groundwork: Your manager should give you adequate notice and guidance on the structure of the meeting. Review your past performance and plan your objectives for the next few months.
3) Focus on key areas: Discussions should revolve around the key tasks or projects you thought went well and not so well, your overall performance, areas of improvement, plans for future projects and your short and long-term development plans.
4) Ask for specific feedback: If your boss gives you fairly woolly or generic feedback, ask them to be specific; you want to know exactly what their expectations are. If they say ‘you need to show more assertive behaviour’, ask them for examples and specific things you can do and say.
4) Dictate how you can be helped to improve: Propose your own solutions to problems that may be interfering with your performance. This is a great opportunity to show your boss that things could improve if you could get help.
5) Discuss your current and future priorities: Your boss might be trying to align company goals and objectives, while you are dealing with day-to-day minutia that takes a lot of your time. Agree what your key priorities need to be to assist your boss achieve their goals as well.
6) Agree goals and objectives: You can reassess the factors contributing to changes in your business environment. Make sure you are both aiming for the same target.
7) Agree further training and development for yourself: You should agree a general programme of skills and talent acquisition for yourself that will continue to make you a valuable team member and asset to your boss. The more you learn and develop, the better chances you have for future promotion prospects yourself.
8 ) Agree the evaluation and set yourself up for progress: Make sure your final evaluation is agreed and ensure you are clear on the measurables for the next time period. Write up the agreed action plans and determine how they are going to be monitored. Keep a record for yourself and plan regular reviews with your boss so there are no surprises at your next appraisal.
Remember that preparation is key. As Warren Buffett said “Noah didn’t start building the ark when it was raining”. If you apply all the ideas and ground rules for your own appraisal, you give yourself a great chance to progress and prove your worth to your boss and your company.