December 4, 2019

End-of-Year Checklist - Getting Your Peers Ready

In this final Performance Review checklist, we highlight the to-do’s for a crucial (and often over-looked) group: Your Peers.

You’re almost done!

Before you know it, you’ll be heads-down and focused on your 2019 Performance Review. And even if your fiscal year doesn’t close at the end of December, this is a great time of year to start thinking about how you’re showing-up on the job (and also think about something new if you’re feeling disengaged or stuck).

As you can probably tell from my pervious blog posts on this topic, I think this is a crucial time in your professional experience – not something to take lightly.

Over the past month, you’ve received checklists to help you engage the important stakeholders in this process: You, Your Manager, and Your “People.” In this last Performance Review post, I’m focusing on another (often overlooked) group: Your Peers.

Remember, the “what” and the “how” are critical components of the typical Performance Review. Your Peers have the ability (in most cases) to contribute to BOTH. So even though you might think it’s awkward to ask this group for feedback, I’ve found it really important.

Here’s how to get your Peers ready to contribute to your Performance Review:

  • _____ Ask them if they’re willing to give feedback. I get that this can be weird, but asking for Performance Review feedback accomplishes two things: (1) validates that the Peer feedback is warranted and (2) puts a little fire under the Peer to complete on your behalf. Don’t just add them to the feedback tool or send them a blind request. Make a more personal ask. An email or face-to-face request will do the trick.
  • _____ Give guidance on specific focus area(s). Keep it simple. Something like “I’d love your feedback on how I solve problems on this project or communicate to team members.” This will create a picture of specifics requested. Remember, you want both the “what” and the “how” (if possible).
  • _____ Have self-awareness. Be honest around areas you’re working to improve, but don’t tell them you’re up for a promotion or looking for advancement. I think it could get weird if you lead with this intention. Always keep the vibe positive with your Peers – the promotion is between you and your management team.
  • _____ Don’t forget the buzz-words (and preferred format). Your Peers will probably know this (since they also report to your Manager) but giving guidance on how the feedback will be received is valuable. Does your manager like bullets? Specific performance language used consistently? Know your manager is looking for keywords/phrases (“Growth Mindset,” “Inclusion,” “Customer Engagement,” etc)? Tell your Peers to adopt that approach (and language) if possible.
  • _____ Return the favor. You’ll probably be asked to contribute feedback on their behalf … if not, ask them if you can contribute to their Performance Review as well. We’re all in this together, right??
  • _____ Discuss and say thank you. As with your “People,” I think it’s important to have a conversation around the feedback and acknowledge their contribution. You don’t want any surprises, and this is a great way to get proactive (and also build a better relationship over a peppermint mocha).

Next-up – a little fun. As we close-out the year, I’m going to send out my Top Reads of 2019 (yes, they are mostly Self-Help … you know me so well – haha!!). But in all seriousness, I have some great ones that you’ll want to pick-up as you (hopefully) have a little R&R time over the next couple weeks.

Here’s to your Performance Review (and Engaged Pursuit)!

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The Engaged Pursuit Podcast

In our weekly podcast, Engaged Pursuit Founder Tom Perry highlights the most pressing issues for employees and managers across the tech sector. With his real-world, relatable style, Tom delivers quick, insightful, employee-centered career content to help tech pros, executives and teams address the issues common to a career in tech -- from job changes and workplace challenges, to bad bosses and feeling “stuck.” Available on Apple and Spotify, or wherever you get your podcast.

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