Performance appraisals: Helping you reach your full potential
Performance appraisals have a bad rap. They are the meetings that many of us dread. But, the truth is, performance reviews present some great opportunities if you know how to get the most out of them.
Appraisals are there to identify your potential and help you realise your goals. Entelect want to give our staff both the challenges and tools you need to be successful. Appraisals are simply a great platform to discuss this so that you can become the best at what you do.
The first thing to remember is that there are three main purposes of appraisals which are always constructive: Alignment, growth, and the opportunity to have crucial conversations. The reality is that everyone comes from different career backgrounds with different experiences. While we all join a company with great capabilities, our experiences are different, and so aligning ourselves to the company and teams as well as ensuring we’re continuously growing is critical.
In order to get the most out of your appraisal, it is important to understand the expectations of the session. We often approach performance reviews as something that happens to us. But it’s a two-way street and our role in the appraisal discussion is crucial to shaping it fully. Specifically, this is your opportunity to let your manager or team lead know what your goals and aspirations are.
So, take the time to prepare carefully. If you review yourself critically, consider the values or principles that are important to you, and if you can articulate this clearly, you will find the session far more constructive.
The structure of reviews at Entelect mean they are quarterly. There are two ‘major’ sessions; in May and November, and then two ‘minor’ sessions in March and August.
The ‘major’ reviews are structured to be ‘360’, which means they survey your colleagues and clients throughout your day-to-day role in order to obtain a full view of your professional development. This is done via an online tool and then discussed in person with your Account Manager or Team Lead. Listening is crucial in this session, as your team lead will have taken the time to synthesise your ‘360’ feedback and draw themes.
Always remember that when someone offers you feedback – positive or negative - it demonstrates an interest and investment in your growth. Whether your feedback is positive or negative, learn to respect all feedback and understand it as someone showing an interest in your growth and you will start getting more out of the sessions.
This person’s objective is to help you progress and meet your full potential. We all have blind spots: areas of development that hadn’t occurred to us. If these arise then listening closely is extremely valuable and will help us to work out ways to apply the learnings and development areas.
Of equal importance is for the reviewee to share his or her personal experiences. Our personal interpretations of our workplace are shaped by our own experiences. It is essential that we are open and honest about these too, to help inform how life at Entelect looks from the perspective of every employee.
Indeed, some of the best performance advice we can receive is from our peers. They work with us every day; see our strengths and weaknesses, wins and frustrations. Therefore, it is important to dedicate enough time to reviewing your peers and providing them with the kind of constructive feedback you would want to receive. Raising issues is not something to shy away from, as long as they are substantiated and show opportunity for growth.
Entelectuals strive to be challenged, receive recognition for work well done, and aspire to the best they can be. Appraisals will help you reach your full potential. So, don’t dread reviews. Be prepared, take control of the session, and apply the learnings to help accelerate your career and be the best you can be.
Tips on ways you can prepare for your review:
• Set aside at least an hour to complete your online form.
• Don’t rush it. Find a quiet place where you can think clearly.
• Be honest, open and thorough.
• Remember that ratings mean nothing without comments.
• Take the time to read your team members feedback, and identify the points that stick out.
• Prepare a set of notes for your discussion to ensure you cover everything that is important to you and to help guide the conversation.