In episode 13 we considered employee performance reviews from the perspective of part-time employees and asked: how can you combat the stigma that comes with being a ‘less-than-full-time working’ parent?
In that episode we discuss the three most important things you can do to position yourself, keep the focus of the review on what is really important – your contribution, not time – and assert yourself with confidence.
Performance reviews and the part-time stigma (Ep13)
Here, we thought we’d share our more general advice for tackling your performance review. Just so you know that we know what we’re talking about, Jo is an employment lawyer and often advises her employer clients on best practice for managing employee performance and Lucy is the supervising lawyer at her firm, responsible for carrying out performance reviews of her team annually. If anyone can help you through your review, it’s us!
So, how should you approach your performance review?
This is important. When we asked our Facebook group what they thought of performance reviews they told us that they “dread them”, they are “such a waste of time” and an “annoying HR obligation”. We understand that having a performance review isn’t quite the same as having a cocktail on the beach, but they don’t have to be terrible either. Remember, a positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances, instead of your circumstances having power over you.
Understand the review from your employer’s perspective
People often forget that their employers are running a business. Businesses exist to make a profit. For you to be valuable to the organisation, you need to add value. Think about the ways in which you add value and contribute to the business’ success, not just how you do the things expected of you in your job description. Think about how you have contributed to the running of the business, trained or mentored other staff, contributed to business development and marketing, brought in new clients or developed new processes and procedures to streamline your work.
Prepare for the review
Get a clear understanding of the process that your employer will follow and make sure it is followed. Know what paperwork needs to be completed and when. Take some time to reflect on your achievements over the last year so that you can clearly articulate how you have added value to the business. Don’t be shy about promoting your achievements – that is what it is all about! Jo’s tip is to keep a list of key achievements throughout the year to make this process easy, but if you haven’t done that, scroll through your files, client lists and calendar to jog your memory. Consider writing your own job description (if one doesn’t exist) so that you can determine whether or not you have met your work requirements.
Focus on the future
Although “review” suggests looking back, it is also important to prepare for the future. Take the opportunity to ask your manager what they think you should focus on. Ask for constructive criticism. Showing that you are thinking about your future role in the business will demonstrate your commitment to your position. Then set some goals and action strategies to help you achieve them
No matter how much preparation you put into your review, we accept that they are a two-way street. The feeling that your manager doesn’t take your review seriously can be disheartening to say the least. But if this is the case, you should still use your review as an opportunity to check-in with your own career goals, not just within your current position, but your broader ambitions. Have your career goals changed? Does your current employment still align with your ultimate goal? If not, what can you do differently?
If you have any other tips, or would like to share a personal experience with performance reviews, please comment below or over in our Facebook community.