It’s the time of the year when a lot of companies require annual reviews. Most people I know dread this time of year. I’m one of those people! I don’t like to sound like I’m tooting my own horn and it’s often hard to put all the things I do into words. However, we’ve got to get over this – this is your chance during the year to toot your own horn and showcase your skill. It’s rare that anyone but your own mother will do this for you, especially when everyone else is worrying about their own and the supervisor is seeing several of these write ups. A lot of companies have the employee write a self assessment of their performance over the past year to start the document and from there, the supervisor writes their assessment of the employee. Hopefully these tips will help you jump start that self assessment and make this year’s appraisal a little less painful.
Refresh yourself on the past year:
One stumbling block for people, myself included, is trying to remember what you even did in the last year! We all get so busy that days seem to run together and we just know we get our job done! One tip I often give is to look back at your Outlook calendar or day planner and look at the meetings you had or the reminders and notes you made for yourself – this will help jog your memory. You know you worked on that big project and what the end result was but you probably blocked out forgot the 10 meetings you had on it and how it all actually came together. Once you have your brain jogged, you can expand upon the details it took to accomplish the tasks, how you excelled, etc.
Be company focused:
Look back at your company’s goals. Point out how you worked toward those goals and how you helped them achieve them. A lot of times a company’s goals seem so much bigger than you have the chance to affect so you may have to dig deep to relate your job to them. If their goal is to win more business and sustain current business, outline how you maintained great relationships with your client and provided quality customer service to keep them coming back; or how you made your product with high quality to give the company a great name and reduced time fixing errors or making replacements. If you’re not in a role that interfaces with the actual customer, point out how you supported the employees that do work with the customer so they can focus on the customer.
Sell yourself:You want to hit on the significant contributions that really made you stand out. If you mostly do smaller things this may seem hard, I suggest using those things to highlight the larger tasks that need to be done. For example, if your job is filing, you can note how you helped keep things in order so more attention could be given to larger tasks. Describe the behaviors that you exhibited in meeting your tasks. How we do the job is just as important as getting it done. If you used a different way of looking at a task to complete it, explain that. Highlight how you worked with others, especially those at different levels – you want to show you’re a team player who can take on more. Did someone give you a letter of recognition or praise you in a meeting? Remind your supervisor! If that’s a little too “horn tooting” for you, talk about how it made you feel – “I felt I really added value to the team when the team lead recognized me with the letter of appreciation” – you get the idea.
If there’s an area that you could have improved upon or you need to develop, go ahead and list it. No, it’s not fun to point out our flaws but it’s pretty unrealistic to assume that there’s no where we can grow in our performance. When you do this though, identify what you learned from that and how it will be better the next time. If nothing else, it will show the supervisor you have the desire to develop your skills to get ahead and help the company succeed as well.
Hopefully these few tips will help you face this annual appraisal time with a little less hesitation and encourage you to give that horn a toot, toot!