It’s that time of year again – time for your performance review, or maybe it’s your first review at your new job. While it can be a daunting time as you evaluate your achievements from the past year, performance reviews can also be a valuable experience to help shape your next steps.
So how can you ensure that your upcoming review shows you in the best light? And how can you walk out of it with a clear mind, ready to achieve your career goals? We’ve compiled a set of 6 tips to help make your next review the best and most productive one yet:
Most companies provide a worksheet for you to complete prior to your review, that maps your goals against your achievements – and if not, the general rule of thumb is to review your achievements against your set KPIs. If you have been given something to complete, it is best practice to populate it with standout achievements, and any additional information that shines a positive light on what you have accomplished. If you haven’t got a structure to follow, you can develop your own based on the goals you believe you were expected to achieve throughout the year. Your review is important, so be sure to cover everything you want to discuss – from ways you can take on more responsibilities, to highlighting the extracurricular activities you undertake now.
It can appear to be a difficult task – thinking back over the period and trying to remember everything you have done, especially with how fast paced life can seem. One way to combat this is to keep a notebook to record your key achievements throughout the year. The STAR analysis method (Situation, Task, Action and Result) can be a useful tool to help ensure you remember the key details of your accomplishments, for example, how you handled a task and the end result. The benefit of doing this throughout the year is that it not only assists you with your review, but it can also help you keep your resume up to date by tracking new skills you have developed which future employers may deem desirable. Finally, and most importantly – be honest. Your manager will know if something doesn’t sound right. Lying may place you in a better light in the short term, but it won’t help when you’re asked to fulfil complicated tasks requiring a solid understanding of assumed proficiencies.
You and Company X
So why were you chosen to be Company X’s employee? Whether you’re the Project Lead, Solution Architect or in any other position, you were chosen because Company X thinks you can kick some seriously good goals for them. Your review is your chance to provide examples of when you did just that! The best way to show this is to find ties between the company goals and the milestones you hit, to help the company get there.
Don’t limit yourself to thinking about the broad overall goal of ‘profit’, instead think of instances where what you worked on resulted in a triumph for other areas of the company. For example, if you were working towards implementing a system change, your work could be an innovation improving the efficiency of other systems within the company. Furthermore, it could be providing the company with happier staff by removing tedious processes, therefore potentially improving Company X’s staff satisfaction.
The crystal ball
With the current period analysed, it’s time to start thinking about what’s next. Take a look into your crystal ball, assess where you want to be, and think about what you need to do to get there. Your goal may be to improve a process in your current role, or it may be to extend your capabilities, so do some research to figure out how to get the ball rolling towards that set target. Use this review to discuss some of the options the company may have – they may have internal growth or change options, or even potential external opportunities for you to consider.
To help mold you into the person you want to be, and better hit the set goals, your company is likely to help in any way they can. This can include providing you with more complex projects to work on, moving you into other functions, or even having other people in the company elected as your mentor. If your company doesn’t have the resources, they may be able to help by funding external education or encouraging you to attend professional conferences to keep you up-to-date with the latest research and trends in your field.
It’s not just for you
While your review is predominantly for you, it’s also an opportunity for your manager/s to get feedback on their efforts, to help them grow and develop their leadership style. There may be aspects of their leadership style that you’d like to discuss, or maybe you have an issue with communication – this is your chance to bring it all up to improve your relationship going forward. You may, on the other hand, be happy with how everything is going. If so, be sure to tell them! This helps them understand that what they’re doing is working and that your team dynamic is producing results that everyone will be proud of.
Don’t worry, be happy!
Our final bit of advice is not to stress! Theodore Roosevelt famously once said ‘Believe you can and you’re half way there.” If you add that bit of advice to all the preparation you’ve already done – you are well and truly equipped to walk into your manager’s office to ace your review. There is no better opportunity than this for you to find a better way to work together to co-create successful outcomes for the company at large. If you know the period assessed didn’t go as well as expected, don’t sabotage the review by not following any of the tips mentioned above. Use this opportunity to explain why what you worked on went wrong, and how you can improve moving forward.
How Paxus can help
If you need career advice or further tips on acing that performance review, we can help! With access to the most exciting tech and digital roles in the industry, our highly experienced team is ready to provide you with great advice to help you secure that dream position. Contact your local Paxus branch to find out how we can help.
Archives for February 19, 2019
Samm Macleod, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at AGL shares how her passion for cybersecurity started and what she does to protect her family at home.
What sparked your interest in cybersecurity?
What does a typical day look like for you at AGL?
We support lots of business initiatives and projects by reviewing new third parties and technologies to make sure that they are secure. I’m all about my team so I spend loads of time collaborating and working with the cybersecurity crew on how to keep AGL, our people and our customers secure.
How do you manage internet use and safety with your family?
What’s your top advice for staying safe online?
The construction business gets a bad rap for not being diverse enough. True, the sector may lag behind other industries, but construction companies are beginning to foster a more diverse and inclusive workforce—and earn the returns. The business case for diversity demonstrates that it boosts employee engagement, job satisfaction, and performance.
In the 2018 report “Delivering through Diversity”, McKinsey finds that firms with diverse executive teams are up to 33 percent more likely to outperform their competitors. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives can also deliver intangibles such as innovative ideas and creative problem-solving. Diverse perspectives quash companies’ tendencies to do things the way they’ve always been done and reduce the risk of groupthink.”As diversity increases in our industry, we will see increases in productivity because we will see new ideas being brought forward,” says Jennifer Suerth, vice president of technical services at Pepper Construction Company, where 30 percent of employees are women.
Productivity gains begin when companies step up recruitment and retention and improve workplace D&I. The result is a more efficient and effective workforce where all employees are supported to work to their full potential. Productivity at Risk
Despite being one of the largest sectors in the global economy, the $10 trillion construction industry has fallen behind in productivity growth, which slowed to 1 percent last year. The result: poor performance, project management, and execution, as well as cost and time overruns.
The problem can only get worse in the United States, where construction’s contribution to the economy has hit a seven-year high point, yet companies complain about a shortage of skilled workers.
Recruiting talent from underrepresented groups is a business imperative. Global advisory Willis Towers Watson predicts that limited workforce diversity will be a top 20 risk for construction firms through 2027. “Diversity begets diversity,” says Bill Noonan, head of North America Construction-Client Engagement. “Unfortunately, the opposite’s true, too.”
D&I Sadly Lacking
Across each area, metrics and benchmarks can be problematic. In 2016, just 3.2 percent of UK building-industry employees identified as BAME, and less than 5 percent of the construction workforce declared a disability. This does provide a marker to organizations to see if they reflect these talent communities.
In the United States, women make up just 9 percent of the construction workforce. In 2017, women held just 7 percent of construction-management jobs in the United States, though it’s nearly twice that in the United Kingdom. Suerth says she didn’t think of herself as a minority until she moved from a woman-led engineering office to the predominantly male construction industry, where she turned an obstacle into an opportunity. “Working as a woman in construction and with technology is doubly rare,” she says.
Barriers for the LGBT community are also prevalent. In the United Kingdom, LGBT professionals comprise just 2 percent of the construction workforce. In 2016, 51 percent said their sexual orientation prevented them from progressing in their careers and 71 percent had heard repeated LGBT-oriented insults at work. Not surprisingly, only 7 percent of LGBT workers would recommend the industry to recruits. (LGBT workforce data is not collected by US-equivalent agencies.)
Changing these demographics calls for changing attitudes. “People being able to be authentic at work enables them to flourish,” says David Isaac, partner and head of the advanced manufacturing and technology sector at the international law firm Pinsent Masons. “This is an opportunity to get the best talent into the business, and that translates to the bottom line. That is a compelling case, whether for LGBT, gender, or black, Asian, and minority ethnicity inclusion.”
Producing a Cultural Shift
Mott MacDonald Group EDI manager Richard Chapman-Harris says unconscious-bias training has opened a dialog around more inclusive language and behavior. Reverse mentoring that pairs senior leaders with junior colleagues who are disabled, BAME, and/or LGBT has also given leaders insight into minority experiences and supports career progression for mentees from underrepresented groups.
“Our EDI Action Plan has helped the business to focus on key initiatives that support an inclusive culture, which we know takes concerted and collaborative action,” Chapman-Harris says. “Inclusion, unfortunately, doesn’t just happen.”
EDI actions have produced a cultural shift at Mott MacDonald, with 81 percent of UK staff feeling that their colleagues take EDI seriously, and 72 percent saying EDI policies are effectively implemented. EDI policies have also been adopted by clients, contractors, and suppliers. “We see EDI aspects embedded in our client tenders,” Chapman-Harris says. “We are also in turn increasing our expectations with our own supply chain.”
Support for Individuals
Real Return on Diversity