The Performance Review process is officially over, but you’re not done yet. There’s a ton of work to make sure you stay engaged over the following 12 months….
You ground yourself.
You knew your story.
You had a successful Performance Review discussion with your manager.
The sun is shining.
Vacations are planned.
Katy Perry and Taylor Swift have made-up.
You’re feeling pretty darn good (and confident) about where you’re headed…
But the hard work isn’t over! The 12 months following your Performance Review can make-or-break engagement. The work doesn’t end after you’ve signed your review documents and rewards have hit your checking account.
In this (final) post on the Performance Review process, I’m giving you my best practices to ensure you’re maintaining momentum, working on improvement areas, and feeling in-charge of your professional experience the year following your discussion.
Sound like a plan? Good. Here goes:
- Build your engagement plan. The end of the Performance Review is a great time to START outlining the work you’re going to crush over the next 12 months. Knowing what you’re expected to accomplish and how you’re going to do it is key to an engaged experience. Think about ways to go above/beyond your previous fiscal year (especially if you’ve been promoted). Your (recommended) themes: visibility, communication, thought leadership, efficiency, and impact.
- Confirm your stakeholders. You’ve heard it a million times before – success comes from building relationships (especially for those of you in tech). Ask yourself: “Am I talking to the right people about my work?” Think up/down/across/out. Are there relationships that need to be established and/or mended? This is the perfect time to start fresh. Make sure you tell your stakeholders what you need from them and how you want to work together. Notice a theme here with “What” and “How”??? Good!
- Schedule your check-ins. I’ve found that just getting your regular check-ins on the calendar can make a huge difference. It tells your people that you’re serious about growth over the next 12 months and also holds you accountable to perform at your best. My recommendation: 1/month for guard-rail discussions (“Am I headed in the right direction and any feedback?”) and 1/quarter for a deeper-dive on results around the what and how highlighted in your engagement plan (#1 above).
- Know your Story. I know, I know. This again? But yeah, it’s super important (heck, I’m building my entire business around this)! Opportunities are going to come-up over the next year and I’ve found knowing your Story can really impact getting approved to work on the best programs/projects/initiatives/whatever. Use this Story as your filter when you hear about cool work coming and ask yourself, “Is this something that aligns to me?” If so – go for it! PS – make sure your manager & mentor(s) know your Story too!
- Have fun. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since leaving my corporate gig – the more serious you are, the LESS successful you’ll be. Mind-blown yet?? But seriously (pun intended), I’ve found that leaders who are confident and approachable and interesting were the most successful. Not the most serious or the most right. And even with my own clients, I’ve found that folks find the most value when I’m honest and not too serious about their situation. So, smile more. Say thank you. Get to SoulCycle. Meditate. And listen to Katy Perry on repeat. You got this.
Your homework this week: Let’s focus on that last piece of advice – having fun. Know where you’re headed for a little break this summer? Have a small fortune saved for SoulCycle? Been meaning to read that book on Leadership? Get some balance time on your calendar – everyone else is doing it! Then get cranking on the items highlighted above (kind of like eating dessert before dinner, right??).
Coming up next time: I’m switching-up the format of my newsletters moving into the summer. Instead of sharing my best practices, I’m going to write more informally about what clients are experiencing real-time related to their career/engagement journey. From re-orgs to new (crappy) managers to building team culture to interviewing, I’ll share what’s happening every day on the path to professional engagement.
Here’s to your Engaged Pursuit!