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How to prepare yourself to get good appraisal

ET CONTRIBUTORS|
​How to make appraisal process smoother
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​How to make appraisal process smoother

No one enjoys the annual performance review process. You dislike being judged for past events or having your increments and promotion linked to a single appraisal.

Your manager abhors having to critique people, impacting emotions or dividing a limited budget for increments and a few promotion slots amongst competing colleagues. You can make this process smoother and achieve the best outcome for you, your boss and your employer. Here’s how.

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​1. Own the system
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​1. Own the system

Know your employer’s annual performance appraisal system thoroughly. What goes into your review and how is it linked to your salary hike or promotion? Does it measure only objective goals like targets and achievement percentages or are there subjective parameters like teamwork, integrity etc? What are the benchmarks for measurement and what are the requirements for various gradings?

2. Gather the facts: Go through emails and projects in the past year and gather all the data relevant for the parameters of your appraisal sheet. Apart from official records of your individual and team achievements, note the awards, recognitions and kudos you have received from your manager, team, employer, clients and other departments. Ideally, maintain an achievement folder through the year.

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​3. Work the self-appraisal
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​3. Work the self-appraisal

Most companies require you to fill a self appraisal form. It is the easiest way to bring all facts to the attention of your manager without having to rely on his limited view and memory of the past year. Tackle this task with seriousness and use the fact sheet to present the best possible picture of your contributions. Don’t shy away from writing about your work beyond your KRAs like contributions towards your colleagues’ and manager’s goals.

4. Keep the discussion alive: Have regular performance-related discussions with all stakeholders through the year. Discuss what is expected of you, what you have delivered or excelled in, what went wrong and could be improved upon. An ongoing communication ensures you are aligned to what’s working and what’s not, thus taking daily steps to succeed. This leads to a spectacular performance review.

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​5. Wear the shoes
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​5. Wear the shoes

Before submitting the self-appraisal, step into your manager’s shoes. Think about his framing of your work in relation to the contributions made by other team members. Is there a forced comparative grading mechanism like a bell curve which restricts your manager from rewarding multiple outstanding performances? Use your understanding to pen down your self-rating.

6. Expect to be surprised: Be ready to be surprised during the review meeting. Listen with an open mind. Do not interrupt or correct your manager mid-flow. If the discussion reveals facts or opinions you were unprepared for, say so and ask for a day or two to revert and continue discussion.

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​7. Bring a solution
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​7. Bring a solution

You are aware of the areas where your performance did not match requirements. Expect this to be discussed. Your manager’s primary concern is your next year’s contributions. Bring solutions on how this would be rectified going forward and thus bring the topic to a satisfactory close.

8. Share a goal: After the discussion is closed on the past year, ask for your manager’s expectations for the next year. Share your own plan and goals. Reach an agreement on various objectives. Prepare well to discuss facts, resources and support required. Make sure your boss agrees to record it in writing so that it appears on your new goal sheet.

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​9. What not to say
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​9. What not to say

Do not seek to shift the blame of poor outcomes on to your team, company policies, external circumstances or that it was not part of your role. Do not use emotional words like “fair/unfair” and stick to facts and professional language. Do not use this as a platform to complain about your colleagues.

10. Complete the process: A performance review is not over until you sign off on it or accept it in the HR system. If there are pending discussions regarding your ratings or goals, push to complete them or else it could delay your review-linked increment. Follow up with your boss to record the targets for the next year while the discussion is still fresh with him.

(By Devashish Chakravarty, Founder and CEO, quezx.com and headhonchos.com)

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    Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service