Thursday, November 01, 2012

Reviewing Annual Reviews

Almost everyone seems to hate end of year performance reviews. Done correctly though, they could be celebrations of your accomplishments. What would it take to make them more exciting, more interesting, or at least less painful?

How about this for an annual review?

Maybe we're not going to see videos with voice-over announcers, screaming fans, or a pulsating soundtrack. Surely we can do better than a drab document that briefly mentions the couple of things that we remember from the last year, right?

Here are some thoughts that might make your annual review a more positive experience:
  • Keep records during the year. What have you done? What have people said about it? What did it mean to your org? The more data you have the easier it will be to create a year end review that shines.
  • You might not be the one writing the review, but you can create something to send to your boss to help her remember what you've accomplished this year.
  • Think about how you want to organize your review. You don't have to write things chronologically. Maybe you'd rather pull out some specific themes and follow them?
  • Remember to prioritize your entries by impact too — 2nd, 3rd, 1st is a nice order to help keep the big wins 'top of mind'.
  • Include comments from others. Quoting an email or notes from a on-on-one is a great way to reinforce the value that others see from your contribution.
  • Work from established goals. Both yours and your organization's.
  • Use last year's review and your records from the current year to hold personal retrospectives periodically. Make sure you're on track and excited to move forward.

And, who knows, a soundtrack couldn't hurt, right?

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