As the year-end is fast approaching I thought it will be very useful to provide some guidance on how to prepare for your performance appraisal.
I know that it's not a favourite part of your job but it's a necessary evil and it impacts your salary, promotions and - most importantly - development.
Most of us end up running during the week of the performance appraisal to collect feedback, update goals and complete performance reviews. The result is not making the most of the process and not setting a clear plan for the coming year.
To get on top of the process, firstly you must familiarise yourself with the HR performance appraisal guidelines. Find out key deadlines like when you have to update / finalise your goals, collect feedback and submit your performance review. Once you know the dates, set calendar reminders to make sure you don't miss any submissions.
Once you are familiar with the process and dates, create a list of the items you have to complete before your performance appraisal. I have created a basic list in google sheets which you can download here. This will help you structure your approach and ensure you will not miss anything.
The list covers 3 main areas: Goals, Feedback and Performance Reviews.
Most companies have a goal process in place for their employees. If you don't set goals in your organisation I would encourage you to start doing so as it will give you a long-term vision and motivation. Top athletes do it, so why not you? Create a spreadsheet with your goals and next to it add a column for each month and a column for an overall update. I have created an example here which you can use. If you are setting quarterly goals you can use quarters rather than months. I always add the people I work with to achieve each goal as most likely I will be requesting feedback from them.
Now that you have your goals organised and updated you will have to create a list of the people from whom you want to request feedback. It's best to limit this number for quality reasons, and you should request feedback only from people that you have worked with directly. You can find a sample here. I have also added columns for 'Feedback request sent', 'Reminder' and 'Feedback received', so you can keep track of the process.
When you request feedback you should include specific questions or a feedback form in your email. This will help you gather structured responses. In most companies a feedback form is pre-defined by HR. If this is not the case you find a sample here which you can customise.
Once you have requested feedback make sure you update your list and set yourself a reminder to prompt your feedback providers.
This is the last step in your list. The material that will be used in your performance appraisal is your performance review. The performance review is a summary of performance through the year based on your achievements and peer feedback. Every company has a pre-defined performance review form which, in most cases, is based on company values. You can find a sample review here. When completing your performance review you should use material from your goal's list and feedback received. Try to be as objective as possible and make sure you clearly articulate your achievements.
Now that you have all the details in hand you can start preparing for your performance appraisal before the year end.
I hope you find the above article useful. Please feel free to send your feedback over to us!