Make the Most of Your Performance Appraisals

FEEDBACK TIME: Annual performance appraisals are three-four months away for a large number of employees and it’s time to determine what exactly you want to get out of the process. HR heads tell Rica Bhattacharyya and Anumeha Chaturvedi how you can get the best out of your appraisals this year.

 Raj Raghavan

Country HR director, Amazon India

DOs Make sureyour self review has data and relevant information, not flowery language. If there was ever a time for activelistening, thisis it. Be alert for vague feedback -ask questions, especially where you think the feedback is vague. Vaguely-worded feedback can mask important underlying issues and concerns.Ask for areas where you can improve and be vocally self-critical yourself. Be upfront about what you missed so that can then be an area you will work on for the future. Try to keep the subject on you, your contribution to the company and your future in a relaxed and non-confrontational manner.

DON’Ts Ask questions to probe and better understand what your manager is really saying, but avoid aggressively arguing because that tends to shut the other person down.

SonaliRoychowdhury
Country head, HR, P&G India

DOs Employees must be able to clearly quantify and measure the success for the past year. For that, employees must have clearly defined objectives and must break them into short-term goals in order to effectively map progress at regular intervals. Appraisals should also be looked at as a constructive opportunity for both employees and managers to define future success.

Ashok Ramchandran
Director, HR, Vodafone

DOs Be objective towards your hits and misses vis-a-vis your goals. Understand the opportunities the organisation offers. Be prepared to work with managers to help set yourself up for success in the longer term.

DON’Ts Don’t finish your performance dialogue without a clear takeaway on your development. Don’t lose the feedback and the message in translation. Be open and ask for support on specific areas that need improvement.

Anuranjita Kumar
Chief human resources officer, Citi South Asia

DOs Meaningful elements to showcase are: thought processes you applied to specific projects, making use of the organisation’s resources and tools, efficiencies you bring into a system and innovation you applied to work. Mention how you have spent the year in building your knowledge base and skills to further develop your role and broaden your responsibilities. This displays resolve and focus. An important element to include is your own development plan. Your awareness of your own strengths and areas of development is a good indicator of the reflection you have put into your own performance. Develop these insights by additionally seeking feedback in advance from your seniors, peers and team to help complete your plan.

DON’Ts Appraisals do not need to be centered in the past. You must be mindful that your self assessment is not a list of activities or tasks that you have pursued. It is about your abilities and development, along with your accomplishments and how you have achieved them.

Sandeep Kohli
National director, HR, Ernst & Young

DOs Discuss short and long-term career aspirations. Appraisal discussions are not just about understanding `How am I doing’ but also about `What and how am I supposed to achieve’.Identify skills and competencies required to be successful at your job. Be willing to listen and display emotional maturity.

DON’Ts Don’t have generic or subjective discussions. Discussions should be supported with critical incidents and facts.

Rajeshwar Tripathi
Chief people officer, automotive and farm equipment sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra

DOs Be mindful of whether expectations have been clearly captured for the coming year. It is important to clarify expectations from managers at the time of discussions. Highlight soft skills -what you have learnt, how you have networked, and whether you have developed and leveraged and nurtured relationships. Managers are on the lookout for such competencies as well, and people are not preparing adequately for them.

DON’Ts Don’t emphasise only what you did, but how you achieved your goals. How employees tackle situations and their response to challenges is becoming increasingly important.

Prashant Sarin
India organisation practice head, Bain & Co

DOs Make sure you receive your written appraisal forms in advance. It is important to set the right expectations for the appraisal discussion with your supervisor -to ensure you spend the time as productively as possible. The golden rule is that appraisals should contain `no surprises’.

Focus more on the action plan for the next 6-12 months, and beyond -rather than just a review of past performance.

Take complete ownership of your work to achieve your full potential. In the best companies, successful employees volunteer for stretch assignments to accelerate the learning and career trajectory.

DON’Ts Don’t get defensive about receiving feedback. Getting your supervisor’s candid views on how you’re perceived in the organisation can be an invaluable input to dramatically improving your effectiveness at work.

Source: The Economic Times (Mumbai)

Date: 7th Nov,2014

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