It’s an uphill climb for U.S. workers, who increasingly see job performance reviews as a useless exercise, and one that doesn’t necessarily translate into a higher salary if the review goes well.
According to the 2011 Globoforce Workforce Mood Tracker (PDF), 59% of survey respondents said that workers at their companies are not rewarded for job performance. Another 52% said that reviews aren’t an accurate barometer of their overall job performance, and 74% said they had left a job because they didn’t feel appreciated or validated at work.
Employers know reviews are a dicey proposition. Historically, employers are just as dissatisfied with job performance reviews as their employees.
A 2010 survey from WorldatWork and Sibson Consulting says that 63% of human resources executives say managers lack the “courage” to conduct a “difficult” review, and another 47% see the performance review as a human resources process rather than an employee performance review.
Obviously there’s plenty of work to do to ensure that companies give useful and fair performance reviews, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re going to give them. The WorldatWork survey says that only 1% of U.S. firms have abandoned job reviews, so chances are, sooner or later you’re going to be sitting across from your boss discussing your job performance.
Before that day arrives, prepare for that review with these simple but effective tips:
Create a message.
Your manager will try to keep the discussion centered on your contributions to the company, and to its bottom line. That’s fine, but you’ll want to leave your boss with a firm message about how you see your role at the company, and how you see that role developing. A common misperception of job reviews is that they’re backward looking, but they’re not just that if you do your job right. Your message should be how your performance sets you up for future promotional opportunities at your firm.
Bring the facts.
Managers are busy at best and indifferent at worst, which is why you have to remind them of the positive attributes you bring to the firm. Start a journal well before your review, and list all the projects and processes that were enhanced by your participation. The more concrete the information, the better. For instance: “My legwork helped bring in a $1 million client to the firm.”