Appraisal Time Again

Admit it, at least I can, the appraisal period is stressful and uncomfortable. No matter how amazing my performance was during the period, there are always thorns of doubt trying to choke the seeds of confidence. Like the time I forgot to send the email to a client, or the time I missed a deadline. Or that other time, when it was not entirely my fault, but I was partly to blame.

I know we have monthly feedback sessions, and those are as comfortable as pulling a tooth, however, there’s always a feeling like my Manager is not showing all his cards and he has one last trick up his sleeves. The end-of-year appraisals are especially hectic because anything can happen. Based on profitability and company-wide performance, the promotion pool might get bigger or smaller.

Whether you work in a start-up or a multinational, this rule is universal – promotions/salary reviews are interpreted and implemented based on ‘management’s discretion’. What does that even mean? Just before you ask why you’re reading, such a gloomy article – look on the bright side – appraisals are an opportunity to remind your Manager of all your achievements in the period under review. It is almost the only time when you bring out the book of remembrance and read ‘only’ the portions that have your name. You go down memory lane with your Manager and remind them of why they hired you.

It’s like an interview, but this time you already have the job, and you reiterate the value you have added over the period being considered. Don’t get it wrong, there’s a thin line between pride, bragging and selling yourself; don’t cross it, or you might come across as self-absorbed or even narcissistic. However, do not be too humble to articulate your achievements.

Remember, the key to an amazing appraisal is being prepared. If you fail to adequately plan, you are planning to ‘adequately’ fail. Here are some steps you can take to help;

STEP 1: Review your KPIs/objectives for the period – no matter how long you have been on the job, it is important to go over the tasks/projects that were assigned to you

STEP 2: Compare your achievements to the objectives that were set for you – There is nothing worse than showing up with a cup of water when your boss asked for tea. The expectation must be met or exceeded, not under delivered.

STEP 3: Be objective – when you’ve carried out step 1 and 2 if given the opportunity, rate yourself fairly. Do not over or under-rate your performance. Admit where you exceeded expectations and where you fell short

STEP 4: Always have supporting data/documents – it is not enough to hope that your Manager will remember, go for your meeting with data/documents that support STEP 4.

These steps are not exhaustive. There’re different strokes for different folks, tell us how you feel during appraisals and what steps you take to have a winning appraisal meeting. Leave a comment/tag a friend.

If 2018 was not a great year, in terms of your performance, 2019 is a clean slate; use it to write your greatest performance story yet! #FreestyleFriday comes up tomorrow same time.

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