Nervous about year-end performance evaluations? Worried that you won’t get the recognition that your work deserves? Instead of staying anxious, why not take proactive steps right now to increase the chances that your evaluation will line up with your own assessment of your work?
Here are three ways you can help ensure that your work gets recognized when year-end reviews are done.
1. Write your own self-assessment. Instead of just waiting to receive an evaluation from your manager, why not do an as-objective-as-you-can-make-it assessment of your performance and share that with your manager ahead of time? Doing this can help you frame the discussion about your performance, jog your manager’s memory about accomplishments that might have slipped off her radar, and highlight any other factors in your favor.
Many companies include self-assessments in their performance evaluation process. If yours does, make sure you turn it into your manager early – you want her to have it before she starts writing her own evaluation of you. But even if your company doesn’t normally do self-assessments, you can still write up your own and provide it to your manager. It doesn’t have to be formal; a quick bulleted list of your achievements this year and any special highlights works well.
If you provide this kind of document to your manager before she does her own evaluation of you, you might find she even pulls directly from it when she writes her own.
2. Ask your colleagues to give feedback to your manager. Ideally, as your manager prepares your evaluation, she would solicit input from people who work closely with you. But not every manager does this, so if you have colleagues who have insightful perspectives on your work, ask them if they’d share their input with your boss. For example, you might say, “Sarah and I are preparing to do my annual performance review, and if you have feedback on my work that you think would be helpful, I’d love it if you’d share it with her.”
3. Start planning for your evaluation early. If you get a performance evaluation every December, start thinking about your evaluation 12 months earlier, in January. Ask yourself what you want your evaluation to say at the end of the year, and then plan out what you need to do to achieve that. You can even put together a plan with monthly or quarterly milestones to make sure that you’re on track – which is far better than not thinking about it until December and then realizing that you should have done things differently throughout the year.
In addition, it’s helpful to keep an evaluation file that you add to throughout the year. If you try to remember in December what you achieved months ago, you might struggle to remember specifics – and you’re likely to forget that you got a great piece of praise from your VP in March and a glowing testimonial from a client in June. But if you keep a file where you jot down notes on successes, it will be easy to pull information from it at evaluation time.
Of course, it might be too late to apply this advice this year – but you can plan now to apply it next year!
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