Smell the Rose and Annual Review

I started to notice many ‘rewinds’ and ‘year in reviews’ of 2012 already on the television and internet.  So it must be the end of the year and time for annual reviews and time to smell the preverbal rose.

So how do you prepare for your vocational annual review?  Typically companies have you complete your self review prior to year-end.  How did you measure up?  Was it a banner year? Ho hum and lack luster?

Below are a tips and tricks from my experience on how to get ready and how to receive your review.

Preparation for your performance review.

  1. Relax, enjoy some tea or coffee. No point in getting all uptight.  What’s done is done.
  2. Review my HERO file, it’s my personal file of emails where I was given kudos’ for jobs well done.  Really gives a boost to the memory and ego!  Review this from the year gone by and it will bring back all of those long forgotten tasks where you excelled.  As a manager do this for your direct reports as well.  Anytime you receive great kudos’ or areas of improvement feedback for them, save copies in their HERO folders as well, for your turn in completing their performance evaluations.
  3. Rewind and Fast Forward, look back at the year of activities and get current to now.  We all tend to forget the details of the past but we particularly like to pay attention to the future and the ‘now’.   The fast forward sets the tone for what to expect in the next few months of the new year.  It’s important to ensure everyone is on the correct path.

What to say when writing your performance review.

  1. Write in KISS fashion (see previous blog on topic).  Get to the point of the achievements and losses.
  2. Don’t make excuses.  State the facts as they are and summarize if another priority or opportunity got in the way of achieving a goal.  If there was no chance you could achieve a goal, see if there is a way to cancel it or make it not applicable.  You shouldn’t be held liable if you where not given the means to complete it (i.e., move finances into new system and system was never built).
  3. Evaluate your next career steps.  What does this annual performance review say or do for you in your next steps toward your career goals.  If it didn’t budge you one inch, then ensure you note what you need to get there in the next year.  Think ahead, you are your own best advocate – speak,write and be heard.

How to behave when receiving your performance review.

  1. Take it all in.  There should be no surprises in your review and hopefully you’ve had the option to see it before the ‘official’ sit down with your manager.  If not, breathe and be calm.
  2. Modesty is the best policy.  A simple ‘thank you’ is best in all cases and if something really touches your heart – say so.  
  3. Don’t get mad.  If an annual review goes off course and really ends up in a blame game compose yourself and let the meeting end in its course.  It’s always better to walk away to gather your thoughts prior to a harsh response.
  4. Let it all go.  At the end of your performance review it’s important to let it all go and refocus on the year ahead.  What’s done is done, but you have a direct impact on your future ahead so pay attention.

It’s been a roller coaster year at my day job, most like everyone.  However, every year I am astonished at all that I and others have accomplished.  Ensure you celebrate those accomplishments because you do deserve the accolades and it’s important in what drives you and others in your day to day.

Are you looking forward to your annual review this year?

I look forward to comments and other tips, please feel free to comment, like and share!

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