Performance appraisal is a process by which the employer evaluates the job performance of individual employees. It is generally a periodic event and the cycle may vary from organization to organization. It can be yearly, half yearly or monthly based on the policies of the organization.
At the beginning of the cycle, some set of objectives and targets (agreed by both employee and employer) are assigned to the employee. Generally, this activity is done by your line manager. It is expected from the employee that he achieves all the objectives by the end of the cycle.
At the end of the cycle, the employee is first asked to self access his performance and then the manager evaluates the performance. Based on this exercise, a rating is given to the employee which suggests that either he has worked exceptionally, exceeded the expectations, met the expectations or does not meet the expectations.
Various perks may be linked to this exercise and the rating received by the individual, like promotions, salary hike, termination, transfers etc.
Now that we know, how critical performance appraisal is, it is important to understand the role of the employee in this exercise. Even if you have performed well during the entire period, but if you are not able to show your achievements to the manager during your appraisal, all your efforts will be in vain. Performance appraisals should be taken as an opportunity to demonstrate the achievements and show your value to the organization.
Here are some important guidelines that need to be followed by an employee to get that perfect review and rating from your manager
Job Roles and Responsibilities
When you are assigned a job, be clear about what is expected from you. If you are unclear about your roles and responsibilities, discuss it with your manager. Once you are clear about your duties, you will be able to set a scale for you, where you must perform all those bare minimum duties.
Goals and Objectives
At the beginning of the PA cycle, you along with the manager are expected to set certain goals and objective for a period. When performing this activity, be very clear on each objective and in case of doubt, discuss it with the manager. Do not just blindly accept all the objective given by your manager. If you find any unrealistic or irrelevant objective assigned to you, let your manager know about it.
Identify the key objectives, and define a plan to achieve those objectives.
Apart from goals defined by the manager for you, thinking about your own personal goals. Give a thought on what you want to achieve. You may be looking for some certification course, some training or an on-site assignment. Set your personal goals and define a plan to achieve it.
Defining a plan is not enough. You should also track it, to know your progress. At regular intervals just keep a check on how you are progressing. If you find some objectives not on track, think of a plan B and try to bring it back on track.
Always keep a record of all your accomplishments, appreciations from others and any positive change that you have brought in. This will help you list down these while showing your progress to your manager. Also, do not let these achievements to be just with you. Whenever you achieve something, let your manager know about it also.
When you do good work, you are bound to get good feedback and appreciation from your clients, peers and colleagues. Keep a record of all such emails. Whenever possible, ask people to send the appreciations on emails.
Before the appraisal, proactively ask the people you work with closely, to send a feedback about you in an email to your manager. Positive feedback from others will be a great plus point for your review.
Learning should never stop. One should self-access oneself and identify the areas of improvement. If you think you are lacking somewhere, look for a training and overcome that weak area. Always think about new skills (both interpersonal and technical) that you can learn which will add a value to your profile as well as work. Show this urge for learning new things to your manager. This will show your progressive attitude and help gain some good points in your review. Also, your manager will look always forward to recommend your name for the new training.
Having discussions with the manager
Do not run away from a dialogue with your manager. Do not wait till the end of the year for the manager’s review and feedback on your performance. Instead, proactively set up one to one regular meetings with your manager to discuss upon the progress you are making, identify the areas of improvement and get a feedback from the manager. This will help you to overcome your weakness and improve upon weak areas before the final appraisal takes place, and avoid those negative points to be written in your review.
Keep a check on your behavior, attitude, professionalism while at the office as well as away. Always follow the company policies and be a rule abiding citizen. The kind of person you are, shows up in your work and attitude in office. So be professional in office, work on your interpersonal skills and show a positive attitude in office. These things will indirectly affect your performance review.