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Performance Appraisals with a Smile

Performance Appraisals with a Smile

Two words: Performance Appraisals. Which emotion do they evoke in you: Ugh or joy?
Because when it’s performance appraisal time at the office, it can bring along a myriad of feelings. On one hand, it may mean a wonderful raise, on the other, maybe it means someone gets to tell you what she or he doesn’t like about your performance.

Either way — raise or criticism — both are wonderful additions to your life.

The greatest gift anyone can give you is constructive feedback. It may not always be the easiest to hear — and the person saying it may not even be articulating it in the proper way … but once you get past all of that — hearing how you can improve is the surest way to continue to plow forward to success.

How can you improve something if you aren’t aware of where you need to grow? One of the most unfortunate experiences that can happen is when an authority figure observes a shortcoming, but never shares that information with the person. Most often than not, that person probably doesn’t know. So if we approach the feedback with vigor, we’re the ones who win as we change our tactics and learn from our mistakes. We don’t know if no one tells us.

If you aren’t given a performance appraisal, or only receive it once a year, it would be to your advantage to ask for feedback and/or the appraisal. In many cases, as clichè as it is, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” If you ask for feedback, you’ll know what direction management sees you moving toward. If you ask, you’ll be given an opportunity to share your own thoughts about the directions and goals that you personally want to achieve.

If your company gives you the opportunity to fill out a self-evaluation prior to receiving your manager’s appraisal, be sure to do it! Be confident and provide specific examples for various scenarios that demonstrate your knowledge and execution of key competencies. Ask for them from your supervisor as well (positive or constructive criticism)! It is a great learning exercise to see where your own opinions match with your manager’s assessment.

And when given an opportunity to write comments on your performance appraisal after its completion, you can take advantage of this time and add your thoughts. But remember, these are saved in your permanent file, so use caution should you disagree — because professionalism can never be criticized.

All employees should consult with their own Human Resources department for additional information and questions.