“Hi Lynn, if your annual review seems like a chore, try remembering that it shouldn’t be a one way street where your boss is doing all the talking – Make the most of your review and get the recognition you deserve with these handy hints.”
I don’t know about the rest of you, but my “at home” bosses are real asshats. They frown heavily on things like “vacation days” and “sick leave” and have even gone so far as to outlaw potty breaks and lunch. The only upside is that I do get to work from home and pajama pants are acceptable office attire.
When a recent email encouraged me to take a proactive approach to managing my annual reviews, I thought I would trip on over to the recommended website and check out the handy tips. After all, I’ve put in a lot of overtime in the last few of years and I figure I am due for a salary adjustment (or even just a salary in the first place) AND a big fat bonus (no, a used diaper doesn’t count).
#1: Before the meeting: Brush up on your organisation’s performance management system: It might sound obvious, but even if you think you know how the system works there may have been some recent changes. So, at the very least it’s worth having a quick look on your intranet if you have one, or a chat with someone in HR. If you work somewhere where there isn’t a formal system, talk to your manager in advance about what ground they’ll be covering in your meeting.
Hmmm, I think I can safely say that we fall into the second category. I mean the kids have learned how to open the iPhone and email incriminating photos to unsuspecting contacts (sorry old boss), but they haven’t set-up an official home intranet yet.
The performance management system looks something like this: They tell me to do something and I do it. If I don’t, they throw a giant screaming fit and potentially also kick and thrash about on the ground. There isn’t a lot of gray area there. If I follow said command, they wait 10 seconds and ask for something else. Those 10 seconds were my reward for completing the task.
#2: Gather your evidence: You should have objectives that you’ve been asked to deliver on, so dig them out and make some notes on how you’ve done.
Think about the times when you might have gone beyond your own objectives to help deliver work that wasn’t officially yours to do – if you don’t bring up what you’ve done your helpfulness might be overlooked.
Talk to someone who can help jog your memory about what you’ve done over the whole year.
Have some time to yourself: Immediately before your meeting, keep some time free. You’ll feel much more focused than if you rush straight from another meeting. It’ll also help you to stay calm.
Since we don’t have a formal system, I think that means I can set my own goals. Here they are: don’t kill the kids. I just checked and they are sleeping like angels, so I can check that box.
Now about those times I’ve gone above and beyond…I’ve made cookies and cakes for playgroups parties and giftbags for the daycare kids. Let’s not forget the massive treasure-load of dress-up clothes I brought back from the States.
And things that aren’t officially mine – I keep getting stuck with changing the trashbag (a clear Nomad Papa task). That counts, right? I’d try and talk to someone for more ideas, but all of my friends are as drunk and sleep-deprived as I am and there isn’t a single one of us that can remember what we did last week. Damn.
Oh, I know, I’ll just take some free time and focus on remembering. Waahhhaaaaaaaa. Or maybe I’ll pee and then refill my wine glass.
#3: In the meeting: Make your case: Many managers will begin by asking you how you think your year has gone, so it’s your chance to give them a summary of what you’ve done well.
Be open to feedback: For many of us any kind of feedback can feel like criticism even when it’s intended to help you improve. Rather than be overly defensive, be open to what you’re hearing.”
I am going to rock out in this meeting by taking control of the when and where. I think I’ll butter them up with chocolate frosting sandwiches and cookies and ice cream for dessert. Then, in that split second between the full belly feeling and the sugar rush, I am going to say, “Look at how awesome your mommy is! She gave you chocolate for lunch!” and list off my greatest hits of accomplishments. (Note to self – cull list of any items that will cause a distraction, like the zoo. Don’t mention the zoo unless we can leave immediately to visit it. Otherwise the review will go in a downward spiral.)
I’ll ask for feedback, but use big words so that they don’t have any idea what I am talking about. I mean, they are going to spew out nonsense anyways, so I might as well get some entertainment out of it.
#4: The Final Tip: When you’re busy getting on with the day job it can be tempting to just wing it when it comes to your appraisal meeting but putting some effort into preparing for it should ensure you get a fair report that gives you the recognition you deserve.
Hmmm, so what is the recognition I deserve? A million dollars? A paid vacation to a beach where no kids are allowed? Yes and yes. Unfortunately, I just checked our reward policy and it looks like the most I can hope for is a half-eaten piece of birthday cake that Giorgie no longer wants.
A girl can dream though, a girl can dream.