November 6, 2019

End-of-Year Checklist: Getting You Ready

Performance Review time is right around the corner. Whether you’re on the path for promotion or gearing-up for a normal year, now is the time to prepare!

Starbucks is releasing their holiday cups tomorrow.  The end of the year is right around the corner!

You know what that means … out with pumpkin spice (no!!!) and in with cranberry bliss (yes!!!).  It also means that many of you will start getting ready for end-of-year Performance Reviews.

Whether you’ve had an ok year, a good year, or an awesome year, now is the time to prepare.

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to send out a check-list for the various stakeholders usually involved in the Performance Review process – you, your manager, your stakeholders/customers/partners, and your peers.

Remember, Performance Reviews are not just about WHAT you’ve accomplished, but HOW you get your work done.  It’s both a science and an art.  It’s NEVER a simple checklist of results. 

For this first installment of your end-of-year checklist, I want to focus on YOU.  What you need to do (in my experience) to get ready for a good, bad, or awesome Performance Review.

I’m working with a client now, Julie, who’s getting ready to (hopefully) have an awesome conversation with her manager in early 2020.  We’ve been working on her path to promotion for quite a while, and now is “crunch-time” as we head into November and December.

Here’s the check-list we developed to ensure SHE’s ready heading into Starbucks holiday (and Performance Review) season:

  • _____ Set your intention. What is it that you want out of your Performance Review besides more money or a promotion?  How do you envision the next couple months?  How are you behaving and what does success look/feel like to you?  Are you realistic with these goals? Can your organization support this intention? What happens if you don’t get what you want? What happens if you do get what you want?
  • _____ Align 2019 results to 2019 goals/commitments. A simple spreadsheet comparing what you said you’d accomplish, and the actual impact achieved is crucial.  Getting these results down on paper is the first step to ensure you’re representing yourself properly. Even if the results aren’t perfect, it’s important to show alignment. Include the what  (quantitative) and the how (qualitative) in this analysis.  Any gaps should be addressed (more on this below).
  • _____ Think about how you’re going to present your results. Many teams require “one-pagers” or a PowerPoint slide highlighting your end-of-year results.  Don’t use anything like that in your organization? Maybe create a “cheat-sheet” for your manager (I really valued employees who would create such documents – it helped me talk about their results much easier, especially if things got heated in the performance review discussions). Need some inspiration? Let me know.
  • _____ Get your Story straight. Similar to your Professional Story, a Performance Review Story is crucial. What’s the “Executive Summary” you want to convey to your manager (and the Performance Review team)? You need to own this statement and put a bow around this statement for your manager – don’t rely on that individual to tell your Performance Review story!
  • _____ Get your community ready for the “F” word. Performance review time is also time for Feedback (what did you think I was going to write???). Think about who you want to (virtually) represent you and your performance over the past 12 months.  You need to define these stakeholders, and, in many cases, prepare them for the “F” word.  Let them know you want their perspective.  Identify key area(s) you’d like them to write about. Maybe even remind them of key results.  Do not take a passive stance here!
  • _____ Carve-out time in your calendar. Set-up blocks of time to work on this. Don’t procrastinate (it used to really bug me when I received Performance Review content from employees at the very last hour). Just get it done.  And don’t forget to include time for review(s) from yours truly (shameless plug).
  • _____ Review your Professional Dashboard. Many times, the Performance Review is a time to not only look back, but a time to think about (and discuss) the future.Getting a sense of what you want moving forward is also important during this time of year. Remember, managers are thinking about new projects, new initiatives, new programs, new products as the new year approaches, so knowing where you might want to help can continue your awesome streak (or motivate you to think about something new)!
  • _____ Feel confident. Not there yet?  Need an outsiders perspective? Want a few hours to discuss? You know how to get a hold of me.  I’m here for you.

Next time I’ll highlight what Julie and I are doing to prepare her manager for the Performance Review time.  And yes, the checklist does involve cranberry bliss!

Here’s to your Engaged Pursuit!

Tom Perry's Signature

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