The performance appraisal process; many employees look at this as simply how their immediate supervisor “feels” about them personally, and not so much about personal performance, especially if the performance is not prominent or visible.
As a manager, I focus more on being the evaluator. I look to determine how best to evaluate my employees based on a lot of criteria. It is my day-to-day interaction with them, and knowledge of their tasking that allows me to better prepare for providing a significant write-up on their performance from the past year. I take personality and emotions out of the equation and look to base it on simply how well they performed their assigned tasks. However, as a manager, I have one big thing working against me – time!
I know all of my 150 employees that I manage. I have met them (even though some are overseas), I see their reports, I know their strengths, and I know their value. I also rely on second-level managers who know and task these same employees, and are therefore even more knowledgeable about their performance. Should the rated employee be concerned about their evaluations? The answer is, “absolutely.”
What you need to know as an employee being evaluated is that it takes time to write a good evaluation. With managers under the gun to take care of the day-to-day stuff, the ability for them to devote time to write an extraordinary evaluation is diminished. Then when u=it comes time to “rack and stack” employees for the competition for the higher percentage increase from a fixed pool of funds allocated for increases, that rating will favor those they remember well. If your evaluator has a lot of folks to rate, you want to be at the top of the pile. There is one absolutely easy way to do so, especially if you know you have been a performer. Write a lot about yourself; and I do mean, “a lot.” Your evaluator may not have the time to write a lot of good things about you, so you need to write your evaluation for them
Most evaluation systems have an employee input or self evaluation. I cannot tell you how many folks I have seen blow this off and then gripe as to why they didn’t get a big increase in pay. If you did a lot of work, but it went unnoticed, and you did nothing to call attention to why your work should be noticed, then the fault is all yours. That input is the place where you provide as much information about your performance as possible. Don’t let it backfire on you by resorting to puffery, exaggeration, or even downright lying. I guarantee you, managers can sniff that out pretty easily – especially since many have come up through the ranks and may understand your job better than you do.
If you spend the time through the year making notes on your successes and accomplishments, and tying them back to the success of the project, company, contract, mission, etc., you will have what you need at the end of the year to put together a fabulous self rating that you manager will not only read, but more than likely cut and paste into his or her evaluation of you, along with the high marks that go with a top performer. Even if you are not a good writer, you should still provide the “who” (you), “what” (accomplishment),” when” (timeframe), and “why” it was significant. Take the time to deliver a quality self evaluation, and the likelihood that you will be closer to the top of the pay increase list will be greater.