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How to get the best result from your performance appraisal

career mindset Feb 03, 2020

Well, the next couple of months will see performance appraisals coming up for many of you (and even if it isn’t, pay attention as this will be useful). 

What’s your experience been so far. In your organisation, are they in-depth discussions about the difference you’ve made to the company, the areas to develop and grow in, and the place where you set goals that are meaningful and inspirational to you and the organisation? 

Didn’t think so!

In a lot of organisations (and this may not be true of yours) performance appraisal is the place to dust off the goals you set last year, realise things have changed and they aren’t actually relevant any more, then ditch them and talk a bit about what actually happened. Then you set more objectives and put them in the drawer not to be seen again until next year. Of course, what happens in that meeting often affects the amount of money you’ll get paid each month over the next year, so it seems a shame to leave it to chance.

You can never guarantee the actual result, but you can choose to take ownership of the process and set yourself up to get the best result possible.

First of all, you should be preparing all year, keeping a log of evidence of the things you’ve done and the impact they’ve had on the company. After all, if you swan in there and say to your manager “I’ve had an amazing year, I think I deserve the maximum pay rise”, they’re likely to come back to you asking for the evidence.

So, even if you haven’t been doing it so far, now is the time to start building your portfolio of evidence, and there’s a part of the W-H-O model I created that is the ideal framework.

W stands for What. What did you do, what was the context and objective?

H stands for How and is the detail of how you did it (that brings out the skills, qualities, etc). In your appraisal preparation this is probably not quite as important as the O.

O stands for Outcome and in terms of your appraisal is probably the most important thing. Firstly, did you achieve the objective? As a result of that, who benefitted and how (you, the organisation, colleagues and, of course, customers and clients)? And as a result of those benefits what other benefits and positive outcomes happened. 

If you go in with the evidence, it’s very hard to refute the value you’ve brought to the organisation. That might be in earnings for the company, cost savings, or enhancing the reputation of the company (which often leads back to the first one).

So that’s the money side of it out of the way. But what about the goals for next year?

As you’re preparing for your appraisal and creating your W-H-O portfolio, notice which skills you use the most, which you are really good at, and which you enjoy. Appraisal meetings are a good time to emphasise the things you are good at, and also to talk about things you want to develop further and, perhaps things that you want to do less off or leave behind completely. This is about you Owning Your Career rather than letting other people do it for you.

It’s about that great success mindset: “I am in charge of my mind and therefore my choice of action and re-action in any situation”. In other words, your career is your responsibility and, especially at appraisal time, you can choose to take ownership and mould it to be something that you love that supports a lifestyle you want.

If you want even more tools to help you manage your career effectively, remember my free “9 Days to Career Success Course” which will give you even more skills to manage your career effectively.

Until next week, have a happy time at work. 






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