Working with intention doesn't only apply to your day-to-day work, but extends to setting goals, and evaluating your progress towards those goals regularly. As we enter mid-year, companies with a formal performance evaluation process in place will begin the mid-year review. Even if your company doesn’t offer one, it's a good idea to give yourself one. If you’re an entrepreneur, give your business a mid-year review. The mid-year review is an excellent way to:
- Get career-focused face time with your boss;
- Get candid feedback on what isn’t working so you can course-correct;
- Hear what is working so you can do more of that;
- Jumpstart the process of asking for a merit raise, promotion or a new assignment;
- Position yourself to receive your fair share at bonus time
Here is a three-step process for preparing for your mid-year review:
1. Itemize your goals and review the metrics used to measure them.
Based on your previous performance review, what did you agree to work on and how are these measured? Do you have specific business targets to hit, such as sales generated or project profitability margins or number of new clients? Do you have qualitative metrics to hit – e.g., to tighten your communication style, to broaden your strategic focus?
Remember to include what has changed for your role and your company. If you absorbed new responsibilities, the mid-year review should include a summary of what you’ve taken on (your manager may have forgotten s/he assigned this to you or not realize how much you currently have on your plate). If the company changed strategies such that parts of your previous performance review are out of date, say a focus on new clients is now a focus on expanding existing clients, the mid-year review is a good time to confirm changes of direction with your manager.
2. Assess performance to date and solve for gaps.
If you have sales to generate or new clients to enroll, are you halfway to your annual target? If not, is your target too aggressive or do you need more help? Prepare an explanation for why you are behind. Ask for the resources you need. Share your plan for catching up. It could be something as simple as showing that the majority of sales typically occur in the second half of the year (by preparing this in advance, you are not caught off guard).
If you have a qualitative change to make, do you have feedback from colleagues or management that shows improvement? If communication style is an issue, go back through your emails to find positive comments from colleagues or clients about your collaboration skills or a great presentation you led. Better yet, start a dedicated email folder to save such judos as you receive them.
Taking the time to objectively review your performance can serve as a wake-up call which can jolt you out of the day-to-day tendency to drown in busy work.
3. Prepare Questions in Advance
Take advantage of the conversation and ask for feedback. Make the discussion easier by asking questions like "What else could I do to improve?" "Am I on track relative to my peers?" and "What do you want me to replicate that I have done before?" Being engaging demonstrates your commitment to growth and a successful year.
Asking for feedback clarifies your manager's outlook. Expectations constantly change, but it should provide you with a framework of what to work towards. It also helps you plan for any potential shortcomings or could position you for greater opportunities at the company.
Source: Forbes.com and WITI