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Have you done your performance review yet?

Posted by Justin Field on June 21, 2010


Well, folks, we are in the midst of our annual performance review season.  You won’t guess the Number 1 question I get asked (well, maybe you’re smart and you will guess it):  why should I do a performance appraisal?  What’s in it for me?

Sadly, most people take a selfish and purely financial view of the corporate world.  If the performance review doesn’t result an any salary increment, then why do it?  What’s the point?  And that is one possible view of the world.  To those people, I ask:  aren’t you interested in getting any feedback about how well you’ve done over the past year?  Don’t you want to know if you’ve done anything badly?  Or something that you could learn to do better in the year ahead? 

Don’t you want to grow your own skills and competencies?  Or would you rather just sit, like a lump of coal, and do nothing with your career and with your life. 

Since you’re spending at least 40 hours a week at work, and perhaps significantly more, wouldn’t you want to be happy and motivated and fulfilled and flooded with energy every morning as you wake up?  Or would you rather sit around and moan about your manager and your co-workers and let the world wash over you? 

Now, some folks might like to let the world wash over them.  They’re not interested in feedback.  They’re not interested in developing themselves and their careers.  And I say:  good luck to them.  Because it’s pure luck that they have managed to keep their jobs during the GFC and it’s pure luck that their manager still thinks that the employee should stay on.  In fact, what do those employees know anyway?  They’ve never bothered to wonder; they’ve never bothered to ask.

So, look around you, take stock of your world, and get stuck into your performance review.  Don’t make it tedious and boring — make it your chance to shine and your chance to get some realistic feedback about where you are and where you want to go.  Put lots of detailed, specific evidence in about your achievements during the year (you’ve saved all those laudatory emails, remember?).  And ask your manager about how you can go further and take it to the next level.  I bet they’ll be happy that you’ve shown the interest, that you want to be successful and that you want the best for yourself and your career.

5 Responses to “Have you done your performance review yet?”

  1. Meg Bear said

    Of course, I love this post Justin. Leaving your career to luck is a strategy but not one that is likely to pay off in the long run. Thanks for posting!

  2. Jonathan said

    Justin, maybe the problem is with the term “performance review” and it’s obvious association with how you performed over the last year (or time period) and therefore how you should be bonused. Maybe instead it should be a “development review” or a “future assessment” which talks about how you should invest in your career. Deming famously suggested that we should eliminate management by objectives and abolish the annual rating system. In its place he suggested that we substitute leadership. I tend to agree (in the proper circumstances). See http://alignment.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/eliminate-management-by-objectives

    Jonathan

  3. [...] TalentedApps – Justin Field [...]

  4. Actually, the key to any performance review process is USEFULNESS. And not just useful for HR or Managers, but useful for individual contributors.

  5. [...] Justin Field judges your surf skills with, Have you done your performance review yet? [...]

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