Performance Appraisal Evaluation

Performance Appraisal Evaluation

Lets face it, as much as we say, I want feedback about my job performance, many dread the annually scheduled discussion time with our supervisors. As an HR professional for over 20 years, I have always been amazed at how I had to herd, harass and seemingly threaten supervisors and employees to complete their portion of the performance appraisal evaluation process. Why do we all make this such a hard exercise?

Is it because we think it wont make a difference in our pay? Many employers allow the overall employee performance evaluation score to influence pay increases. If there is no pay increase, the conversation has less value to some employees.

Could it be that we think no one reads the employee evaluations after they make it to our HR file? New managers like to pull their new teams views to see not only past performance, but how engaged was the employee with their future in the company. What would your past employee evaluation forms tell a new manager about your engagement with the organization?

I think the real reason is the annual, Do I have a successful career or am I just going through the motions discussion we have with ourselves. Ah, ha! Now that’s getting closer to the real conversation going on in our head! What really matters is not what your supervisor thinks about your contribution to the company, its what You think about your contribution. Follow this thought

Society has told us that defining career success depends upon three things:

  1. How much money we make
  2. Are we in a management role
  3. Are we indispensable?

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These are not always the only indicators of success, if you don’t believe me, ask some CEOs who were on top of the world one day and fired the next. Job security is not in what we have, its in Who we are.

The real indicators are, what is happening to make you happy with your career?

  • Have you developed a level of skill or expertise which allows you to make an acceptable wage?
  • Are you able to influence others towards accomplishing company goals, as a formal or informal leader?
  • Do you look for others to develop and be promoted so you can move on to new things?
  • When you wake up, are you generally glad to go to work?

Now that’s getting closer to defining career success. My son posted a quote on his Facebook, If you wake up in the morning knowing you have to go to work and are perfectly OK with it, you are in the right place. Very simple, but so telling.

Back to the dreaded discussion. Its up to you to make that time with your supervisor something valuable. Take an interest in where you are and how you are going to develop your career. Try these three things:

Summarize Your Successes

  • You need to recognize how you made a difference and don’t be shy about telling your own story. Don’t forget the lessons you have also learned. None of us are perfect. That’s just real.
  • Prepare for the Discussion: Send your supervisor a brief, bulleted summary of what you handled before the meeting. They don’t remember everything, nor should they. It’s your career, drive it.
  • Commit to Some Career Goals You have to plan for success. Your employer doesn’t owe you anything. Separate yourself from the masses and figure out how you can draw from your experiences and take on new challenges at work.
  • Step out of the assembly line of negative self-talk and low expectations.Use your discussion as a positive element to gain better understanding, develop a plan that is valued by the company and show your supervisor that your head is in the game.

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Do you have a chance to do an employee self evaluation? Is yours completed in five minutes or do you take time to use specific examples and take the process seriously?  Be the one different employee. Better performance appraisal conversations begin with you!

Make It Happen!

Next blog will reflect expectations for the supervisor to make the employee performance evaluation conversation more effective.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at