Last month I talked about how important it is for career seekers and employees to learn as much as possible about employee performance reviews or job evaluations. Most employers and employees are uncomfortable with performance appraisals. This is especially true for employees because we don’t typically accept a job thinking about evaluations until we have to.
By then it’s too late to understand how they should work for us versus against us.
It’s only when performance reviews are used against us that they become important. Well I’m here to change all that ;0) So here are more evaluation questions the employee should ask.
The best way to prepare for a Performance Review Meeting?
Preparing for a job evaluation always depends on the manner in which your employer conducts it. The following are a few common guidelines to consider when preparing for your job evaluation meeting.
—Get a crystal clear understanding from your supervisor:
a) how the performance review will be handled
b) revisit your job description and duties
c) ask how any info from the evaluation will be used
Before the performance appraisal, go over the exact goals outlined for the past performance documenting what was achieved that your boss expected. Being armed with this info will reinforce your cooperative attitude to meet employer expectations.
None of us are perfect and there is always room for reasonable improvement. Also have ready documentation to show why you may not have fully achieved some expected goals. Stick with the truth by focusing on better communication, clarification and access to resources your boss can provide.
As mentioned in Part 1 last month, request a copy of the review beforehand to get a better handle on the areas of evaluation. Assume the role of your supervisor, fill it out on yourself . Try to be as honest and objective about your performance as you can. This can also help you develop questions to ask the evaluator(s).
What if I don’t agree with my manager’s evaluation of me?
This question makes the previous one even more important. Management will have a tendency to be “subjective” instead of “objective” in evaluations. This is especially true if the supervisor or manager doesn’t personally “like” you. He/She will focus on YOU personally instead of giving an accurate evaluation based on YOUR performance. This is one reason document, document, document is a MUST! I don’t allow myself to be drawn into an argument with the supervisor.
Some supervisors will take what you say and do in the current evaluation and “grandfather” or carry it over into your next review. If their attitude is one of “bad faith” you can bet they will “glorify” anything they can against you. I always chose the option of adding my comments to the evaluation. If your supervisor has a problem with that, contact HR. The majority of employers usually permit this. Comments should be short and deal only with the facts. Maintain a calm demeanor in your comments, don’t come across angry or bitter. Your boss will use this against you.
What about performance reviews of management?
I personally believe if more employers had credible and substantive performance reviews of managers this would be another tool aiding workplace success for both management and employees. The problem is many businesses don’t afford employees the same latitude when evaluating supervisors and managers. There is also the dynamics of “brown-nosing” and intimidation for employees to give favorable management evaluations.
The same criteria I’ve outlined for employee expectations when evaluated by management must also be applied by employees in their review of their supervisors. Focus on the managers performance based on things like;
- equitable treatment
- adherence to company policy
- respect for employee rights
- open and honest communication
- clearly defined expectations
Also, employees should understand managers and supervisors can and do make honest mistakes just as they do. We shouldn’t target a managers personality anymore than they targeting ours. The bottomline should always be about the performance not the person.
Next time I’ll talk more about specific questions our supervisors hope we won’t ask during the job evaluation!
More blessings to come!