If your employer follows a standard evaluation model, you’ll probably face a formal performance review process at least once per year, and this process will probably take place at the end of December. And if you’re like most employees, this annual meeting may bring a range of emotions, including dread, relief, anticipation, personal satisfaction, or the sudden urge to dust off your resume and start looking for a new job.
All of these feelings are perfectly normal. But if you’re surprised by the results of your review, something is wrong. Ideally, your employer should be providing constant feedback throughout the year, so you aren’t making the same mistakes over and over while your managers wait patiently to tell you about them in December. You shouldn’t feel ambushed by the criticism–or the praise—involved in your review. But no workplace is perfect. Consider taking responsibility for your own evaluation process by reviewing yourself.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself (the best part: you can ask them during any season you choose).
Would you consider yourself an asset to this company?
Rate the value of your overall contributions on a scale of 1 to 5. Do you show up and complete the minimum (1)? Or do you genuinely care about this company and its future (5)? Do you really want this organization to succeed, and are you willing to do anything within reason (and the limits of your paycheck) to make this happen?
Do you recover and learn from mistakes?
We all make mistakes. And in fact, those who fear mistakes tend to avoid risk and miss opportunities to grow and learn new things. Valuable employees are not the ones who never mess up; they’re the ones who mess up, recover quickly, and learn from the experience. Give yourself a 5 if you habitually bounce back from your blunders by putting the mistake in the past and working hard not to commit the same error again.
Are you pleasant and easy to work with?
There’s nothing wrong with being a little hard-headed at work—as long as your stubbornness and bellicosity are exercised on the behalf of the company, its employees, or its clients. If you only put on your boxing gloves in order to protect weaker employees or customers, give yourself a five. If you wage war over the annoying behavior of others, or you lash out at anyone who disagrees with you, give yourself a 1.
Are you neat, organized, and on time?
This doesn’t just matter at the entry level. In fact, mid-career pros and executives often excuse themselves from these requirements, but they shouldn’t. Your 10 a.m. start time and messy desk don’t tell the world that you work hard; they tell the world that you’re struggling to keep your responsibilities under control.
Give yourself some honest feedback about your presentation and productivity about work. And if you need a little help to boost your numbers, reach out to the staffing team at PSU.