Be it the year end review or the beginning of the year goal setting meeting, you might feel as if it is just another meeting to get done with.

Think again, your performance management, appraisals and reviews impact you in different ways.

It could mean a higher raise, an opportunity for a promotion or even that very important meeting that can protect you from a possible layoff further down the year.

If your performance reviews tend toward on the negative front; it could very well mean that it is time to deal with it and get it right else the time to say goodbye to the company is not far along.

Your review could have been positive or negative, but would help you a lot if you take time to understand what it is all about.

What is a performance review?

In simple terms performance review at your workplace is similar to what grades were at school. In other words, it is a process to review mutual (company/manager’s to yours as well) expectations on your past and current work performance.
Through a performance review you can figure out how you are being “graded” for your work and if/if not the goals set by your manager or expectations as per your job descriptions are being met.

Performance reviews are a great way to provide feedback to the employees and for the employees to know how well they are performing their assigned tasks and duties.
However performance reviews differ with company policies so they now apply universally to all industries, the format and frequency also varies with different companies and in different countries.
Your HR policies or intranet pages have (most likely) good and detailed information on how the review works for your particular org. (if not, ask your HR or manager directly to apprise you on the details, do not wait until the last moment).

What does a performance review cover in general?

Whether it is the 360 degree feedback to the employees or the managers or the personal one on one performance appraisal, it is time to revisit your goals and perform a detailed work analysis at the middle of the year. If you are working towards a bonus, salary raise or just being in the “not-in-the-layoff” list, continuous self development and keeping track of your performance is the key to success and ensures no surprises jump on you at the time of the appraisal.

Do not wait for the year end review as the main measure of your performance, it needs to be done regularly.

Employee Role in Performance Management

It is very important for the employees to be responsible for their own performance management rather than the pull or push coming solely from the HR department or management team.

Steve McMohan of SuccessFactors says:

It definitely needs to be a two-way street of communication. While management should provide a forum for employees to participate in their career development and the tools to facilitate growth, at the end of the day an employee is responsible for his or her own career.

With SuccessFactors, we aim to bridge this line of communication, teaching managers to engage in constructive conversation with their team, while allowing employees to feel empowered in determining the course of their career path.

SuccessFactors is a leading provider of Performance & Talent Management solutions to small, mid-sized and large businesses.

Also you may or may not agree to your performance review but it is to your benefit to be proactive towards this important process. Consider it an opportunity to enhance your career and an essential step towards your professional development and prepare well for your next performance review.