Working towards a favourable Performance Evaluation

It was just like yesterday when the new year began with setting career and personal goals. Like every individual, organisations and teams have time-bound goals with objectives as well. In order to achieve these goals, these objectives are cascaded down to individuals as scorecards, KPIs and OKRs. With these, performance evaluation is done every now and then to ensure team members are aligned with the company’s goals and to motivate and encourage the performers.

Becoming a top performer is a deliberate effort, just as is the presentation of your hard work when the time for review comes. Here are a few tips to put to practice to achieve a favourable performance evaluation:

  • Keeping records of your achievements: Usually, performance reviews gives the candidate the opportunity to explain and defend why he or she should be rated higher or otherwise. This opportunity is the reason why you need to keep, not just a mental note of achievements and milestones reached during the course of the period in review, but a checklist of both small and huge wins. Sometimes, some of these wins may have skipped the reviewer’s mind.
  • Knowing how to blow your trumpet: You do not need to necessarily wait till performance review before you have the opportunity to tell the story of your excellent throughput. Every now and then, when the opportunity presents itself,  do put your best foot forward. It’s best you use these occasions judiciously which could be at weekly check-in meetings, stand up meetings or status reporting meetings. When being asked about your tasks, avoid being ‘modest’ about the time and effort you spend on them. In fact, go ahead to highlight the challenges faced, measures taken to overcome them and how you were eventually able to defeat them if you did. This proves your attitude and dedication to your work.
  • Going far and beyond: By this, I do not mean replying to all recipients of an email when you were only required to reply to the sender alone or making another colleague look bad in order to shine. This involves doing much more than expected. For example, you can offer to volunteer in the planning committee for the next team bonding or join the process improvement committee. It could even mean coming up with solutions to little problems in your team. A little impact here and there is enough to make an impression.
  • Knowing your reviewer: Truth be told, line managers and leaders have different thought patterns and leadership styles. Hence, in order to achieve your desired goal, you must not make assumptions about who your manager is and what his/her expectations and values are. We prepare for exams by researching the nature of questions, so also knowing your reviewer makes you better equipped and prepared. For example, there are managers who don’t mind you working independently of them, but others may be interested in your progress as a sow of accountability. To each his own. You should ask your manager directly and not speculate. It’s important to have this knowledge and maximise it.

“Without conscious and deliberate effort, inertia always wins”. ― Tony Hsieh. All the best!

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Oluwatomi Familoni is a Software Quality Assurance Engineer at ZOLA Electric

3 thoughts on “Working towards a favourable Performance Evaluation

  1. Wow, this is quite a very insightful.

    Now, my questions:
    1. In one of the performance reviews I have participated in, reviewers include:
    – Those you have worked with (which you will have definitely know and expectedly to build a good relationship with either developers or PM in the case of you being a tester)
    – Those you haven’t worked with (which you might never have known or even interacted with
    – Then your line manager.
    How will you suggest someone should work on having a good remark from someone you have possibly never worked or interacted with?

    2. For the line manager, do you think its quite okay and not too inquisitive to ask directly if “he/she doesn’t mind you working independently of them, but others may be interested in your progress as a sow of accountability“?

    1. Thank you Fullstack QA tester.

      1. I believe the goal of asking other colleagues who are not working on the same project/team with you is to assess your soft/people skills. I believe the system is not just interested in your technical prowess but also how you relate generally with other colleagues outside your job description/department. To get good remarks from people in this category, one needs to step out of being focused on only your tasks and get to interact with people generally.

      2. The statement was to buttress the point that all Line managers have different leadership styles. You may, however, ask indirectly his or her expectations from you while carrying out your duties. Being observant of how he relates with your other team members can also reveal this to you.

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