Performance Review, what’s in it for me?

oneinmanyAs luck would have it, we are doing our own mid-year review cycle right now.  Being an overly introspective person, I have been thinking that I’ve rarely seen communications about the review process that give a sense to an individual WIIFM (What’s in it for me?).

Reviews are often thought of in terms of measurement or drudgery but rarely is the point emphasized that they are about being heard.

As with all advice here at TalentedApps, the message is simple.  You get what you settle for.  So I would like to suggest that a Performance document is your chance to

  • Articulate and align with your manager about your key strengths.  What is great about you and why?  How are you leveraging that greatness for the benefit of your manager and your company?   Is there more that you could be doing  to better highlight your awesomeness to a broader population?


  • Talk about your near and long term goals.  What they are and what they should be?  What do you want to continue doing and what do you want to quit doing?  Why?


  • Build an action plan for greatness.  Who should you consider being a mentor to?  Who should you be getting mentoring from?  What learning would benefit you?  How should you stretch yourself to grow?

In summary, the performance review is really only as useful as you make it.  If you are waiting for your manager to take the lead, you are seriously missing the point.  Your manager is required by the organization to rate you against your peers and against your objectives.  S/he is required by you to help you succeed

Are you helping your manager make sure both objectives are accomplished, or are you wasting the opportunity and only letting the organization benefit from the exercise?

Or as Dr. Seuss said so well

Shout loud at the top of your voice, “I AM I!
I am I!
And I may not know why
But I know that I like it.
Three cheers! I AM I!

8 thoughts on “Performance Review, what’s in it for me?

  1. Today I had my first Performance Review with my boss, Clark.

    The word “performance” is entirely appropriate because Clark has to pretend he’s interested and I have to act like I care.

    It was possibly the most painful 10 minutes I’ve experienced here.

    Yeah, that’s right, 10 minutes.

    And that included Clark spending 5 minutes trying to locate the paperwork and making uncomfortable small talk. Clearly this isn’t one of his favourite things.

    From Clark’s perspective, I am a very “satisfactory” employee…

    I have “satisfactory” attendance, “satisfactory” performance and “satisfactory” work habits.

    I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’m satisfied with that.

    I didn’t take it personally, either… Especially since Clark had to keep peeking at his files to remember my name.

    After the review came the even more painful part: Clark asked me about my “goals” and where I “want to be in 5 years.”

    I was tempted to be honest and tell him that my goal was to ride out the recession and then look for meaningful employment. Or maybe buy a boat.

    But that would’ve been awkward. And it doesn’t look good on the forms

    So instead, I made some comments about moving up over time, gaining more experience, taking some business courses and basically committing my every waking moment to the service of Hamish Industries.

    He looked relieved. Apparently that answer was fine.

    In fact, it was entirely satisfactory.

  2. This is just the incentive I needed to work on my mid-year!
    (can you remind me again in a week??)

  3. @Justin good to know even I can change my ways 😉
    @Amy I’m on it
    @Alantru – wow. I think you have just given an example why this whole porcess is so hard. I do wonder if relationship building with Clark might be a good idea for you (in general). I know Clark has no interest but it seems to me that you should. In the end, if you let your performance remain just satisfactory, I think you might be losing more than just Performance marks. Your ability to get meaningful employment post recession is going to require you believing you are capable of more than just satisfactory work. Might be worth thinking about that a bit.

  4. Meg –
    Like Amy, this is the inspiration I needed to get through this review cycle. I hate reviews even though they tend to be positive and my boss does a good job of helping me realign the direction I am heading. I hadn’t thought of this as managing-up and giving my boss the roadmap to my success and continued happiness at my company, but it really is. I just struggle with “what DO I want to do?”

    I always find something valuable when I stop here. No wonder you all are the Cinderella story of the FOT March Madness Tournament. Congratulations!

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