Are You Ready For The Yearly Performance Evaluation?

It’s that time of the year when through performance evaluation we measure the impact of your activity for the company you work for, but also your professional development and the performance achieved in the year that passed.

Some consider it is a formality because “we see each other every day and we know exactly what you do”, but others do it for real… and by doing it, I mean evaluation ‘cause that’s what we’re talking about. In some organizations, there is also an intermediate evaluation in midyear, a time that you should’ve “calibrated” already your evolution against the objectives you set together (preferably) when the year began. In any case, you shouldn’t be confused, regardless of whether it’s good or bad.

performance evaluation

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No matter the side of the evaluation you’re on, sooner or later someone will take into consideration what is written there. Sometimes the past evaluations may be taken into consideration for a promotion, for moving to a different position, but also potentially for ending the collaboration.

In some companies, you have a 360-degree evaluation, the one that can offer an overview of the way the employee is perceived by his / her subordinates, peers, superior and by himself/herself.

Don’t forget that performance evaluation is an important part of the employee’s plan to develop inside the organization, thus he/she performs better and better each year. Yeap, these are the company’s expectations.

The main purpose of the evaluation is to answer the questions: “what is expected from me?” and “how can I meet these expectations?”.

If you are evaluated:

  • prepare, don’t read your objectives on the evaluation morning. It’s your performance evaluation, not of other people, you should know by heart what’s written in there;
  • this is the moment for the formal assessment of your contribution to the company that pays the cheque (and not only that);
  • it’s the time when you have the chance to speak with your manager in detail about your activity and also about what he can do for you (though this should happen periodically, not only at the time of the evaluation);
  • you should know what is your contribution (even if it’s not much) for the company and for attracting new customers, no matter the department you work for;
  • avoid fuzzy answers like “I did good” and bring tangible evidence;
  • in case you’re on off-side admit it, don’t hide behind surrealistic or lame excuses;
  • it’s important what you did, not what you didn’t;
  • for what you didn’t, you must have an action plan with the next moves, apologies won’t be of much help;
  • don’t assume that your boss knows everything you did ‘cause he doesn’t, best case scenario he knows the important stuff;
  • argue every accomplishment as thorough as possible, don’t be modest; this is the moment when “anything you say can and will be used against you”;
  • you have to master all the KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) you’re responsible for;
  • if you’re in a situation to present KNPI – Key Non-Performance Indicators, you should know the reason they real ones haven’t been reached;
  • if that’s the case, what you learned from what went wrong and what you did to make it better; if it’s not better, what are the next steps to improve performance in the next period;
  • you’d better have some details concerning your weekly or at least monthly activity;
  • your boss is not necessarily smarter or more capable than you, but he’s in a position with greater influence upon your career: promotion, training, support, granting new projects or not, wage raise, bonuses, etc.;
  • you must know clearly the path you wish to follow the next year; avoid the “you know what’s best for me, boss” approach;
  • last, but not least, if you’re performance is good, you’ll help your manager perform better in front of his boss.

If you are an evaluator:

  • try not to have an accusing attitude like “show me your school report!”;
  • don’t use the presumption of guilt, meaning you presumably consider he/she didn’t reach his goals;
  • don’t be subjective and don’t use “labels” stuck in the past;
  • evaluate the employee’s performance, not if he’s cool, tells nice jokes or if he’s an introvert;
  • evaluate the person’s performance based on solid data; based on this principle, if he did something stupid, doesn’t mean he’s stupid;
  • highlight the good things, there were some for sure, the performance evaluation process is an appropriate occasion to motivate the employee;
  • don’t use the sandwich technique to offer feedback (good, bad, good) because it’s too phony not be treated as such; the man is built in a way that if you tell him 95 good things and 5 bad ones, he’ll consider only the bad ones;
  • feedback must be honest and depict reality, without unnecessary, flowery language;
  • make a clear difference between feedback and criticism;
  • don’t grant better ratings than he/she deserves, just to avoid a tensed situation;
  • if the person who’s evaluated performs poorly, but the ratings you give are good, you hurt yourself and the employee, but the most damage is done to the company;
  • establish areas of improvement with the employee and offer unconditional support; you are there to help;
  • establish some intermediate stages to measure in the following period, especially in case previous individual performance was below expectations;
  • don’t wait for evaluation to “burn” people;
  • if the evolution of the employee is not good, take on part of the responsibility, it’s not solely his fault things ended up bad;
  • if he/she performed really bad, your role is to help from now on to reach the normal level in the quickest way possible and establish common grounds that will help both of you;
  • if he/she performed poorly, you should hold the evaluation session more often, at least monthly. If in the end, the person doesn’t reach the requested level, there is most probably a lack of interest involved or an incapacity to reach the level demanded by the company; in this case, collaboration becomes obsolete. In the end, nothing is mandatory, not even the current job;
  • after you finish the actual evaluation, ask what you could’ve done better last year and what the employee expect you to do this year.

Think that this is a win-win process and should be explicit enough so anyone that goes over the evaluation report will have a correct overview of the employee’s performance.

As a leader, you should help your people, especially when you see that something is not working properly, and as an employee, you should respect the commitments you get paid for.

Good Luck Succeeding!

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  1. […] Performance evaluation has its most definite benefits and I don’t think will be given up soon, no matter how much we write on the topic. The bigger the organization, the bigger the need for such a performance indicator to regulate a minimum performance management. […]

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