Almost a decade ago, I left corporate america to achieve balance. My position in a Fortune 50 company was demanding and I found myself too often scheduling my family responsibilities around the needs of the business - unfair to both my employer and my elderly mother for whom I was primary caregiver. When push came to shove I had to find a way to balance both.
I spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on what I had accomplished throughout my career and what the next phase of my life would look like. Through that process, I determined to open my own business which would be a "people centric" endeavor where the offers are focused on success and transition in the workplace. I also recommitted to family as priority number one. I determined the right goals and direction for me and defined my on-board process to achieve the goals that I set for myself in the context of my next phase...my new reality.
To move forward, it's helpful and necessary to assess where you are today and how your changing conditions will shape your next steps. Integrating your personal and professional data will ensure that the decisions you make will meet your most important requirements. A critical data element; one that figures prominently when making career and business decisions is your job performance appraisal. As a manager, this is one of your most important tasks and should be a business priority. People must know where they stand in terms of their performance and contribution to the business. For me, having that knowledge helped me to make a fully informed decision about my next steps professionally and personally.
Real leaders understand that people have a basic need to know how they are doing. Understanding where you place in terms of performance against objectives is critical to determine where your opportunities lie and how corrective action or continuous learning programs should be structured. Further, the opportunity to discuss your performance with your boss (or subordinate) in and of itself provides valuable insight into business strategy, tactics, and expectations going forward from a different perspective. Technical, econcomic and financial conditions are forcing businessses to re-think business and staffing models. It's smart as well as fair to provide formalized feedback to your employees and speak up if none is offered to you.
This is the time of year when reflection and resolution are appropirate. So, as we close out 2015 and begin the process of giving and receiving appraisals, the takeaways are these:
When you give appraisals...
- Link performance to corporate and departmental objectives.
- Be specific - provide examples of your employees performance to underpin your assessment.
- Be honest and direct, and
- close with a summary statement to ensure that you and your employee are aligned around the review.
When you receive your appraisal...
- Have your accomplishments on hand.
- Link your specific actions to those accomplishments.
- Don't be put off by praise or criticism, go through the appraisal line by line and ask questions, get clarity on issues and repeat back to ensure that you understand where you stand.
- Close with a discussion around next steps, and, if needed, schedule a follow up progress session.
If you don't get an appraisal...
- Compile your accomplishments.
- Send them to your boss.
- Schedule a discussion and,
- ask for one!
Taking the time to submit your work plan each year and engage in two-way discussion with your manager or employee starts this process off the right way. One needs to know how their actions contribute to the overall success of their employer and how resources are leveraged for excellent results.
Real Leadership Associates uses business coaching to help you integrate the personal and professional data needed to make the right decisions for you. Additionally, RLA's adjutant services can help you transform organizational goals to departmental and individual objectives. Contact Beth for more information.
In closing, I'd like to wish you and yours all the best during this holiday season. Have a happy and prosperous 2016!