November 22, 2019

End-of-Year Checklist: Getting Your People Ready

Family time and leftovers are the least of your worries – you’ve got your performance review coming-up! Here’s how to get another important group – your people – ready to help.

Are you freaking out yet??

You’ve got a full week coming-up with Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday on the way.

Not to mention family, green bean casserole, TSA lines, traffic, mall crowds, holiday music, weather, and … end-of-year performance reviews! Yikes!!

Don’t worry – you have peppermint mochas, meditation, Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers, whiskey, and me to help you through the challenging weeks! Phew!!

Earlier this month you received a couple quick/easy performance review checklists to help you start thinking about this important time-of-year – the first focused on getting YOU ready and the second revolved around getting your MANAGER ready.

The checklist this week involves your key stakeholders/customers/partners – what I call your “people.” Remember, your yearly performance includes both the “what” and the “how,” so those directly involved in your day-to-day (your people) can make a huge impact on your review.

Here’s how to get this important group ready for your performance review:

  • _____ Let your people know you’re going to need their help. After prioritizing your list, make sure to communicate your “ask” for feedback directly. Keep this short/sweet, communicating your gratefulness for their perspective and insight. You might think about a face-to-face ask or even a note on their desk (different than the normal email request).
  • _____ Tell your manager who’s going to be submitting feedback on your behalf. A quick heads-up is important for your manager. You want that individual to be on the lookout for perspective(s). This is also a good opportunity to ask your manager if there are others who should be included on your list as well (you never know)!
  • _____ Be clear on timelines, language, and platforms. This is key. Give your people plenty of time to complete their feedback, highlight specific language that might be important to your manager and/or the broader organization, and tell them how their perspective is best received (via email? feedback portal? discussion with manager?).
  • _____ Drive the specific focus areas for your people. Because managers are looking for depth to feedback, I like to direct my people to focus on specific things. Think about who’s best to highlight your strategic thinking. Think about who’s best to highlight your problem solving. Think about who’s best to highlight your communication skills. You get the idea…
  • _____ Think about sending your people specific talking-points and/or bulleted results. Having a difficult time getting feedback from your people? Nervous that a stakeholder might simply respond, “S/he’s great!” Send those folks specific highlights in a follow-up email. Don’t over-complicate this … just give them the right details to send the best feedback on your behalf.
  • _____ Ask your people for a summary of their feedback. This doesn’t need to be word-for-word, but knowing the themes of their perspective is valuable. You don’t want any surprises (and you want to prepare for possible issue(s) to discuss with your manager and that individual in the future). Some of your stakeholders won’t do this, but I think it’s good to ask!
  • _____ Bug your people if you have to. You want everything complete a good 48-hours prior to your deadline. Getting close to this cut-off? Send your people a quick reminder, and don’t forget to include some talking points (they might really need) and your gratitude for their perspective.
  • _____ Send your people a thank you note (or heck, take them out for a peppermint mocha). A quick email or 750-calorie coffee (just kidding???) can go a long way! It will set you apart, especially if the individual is completing a bunch of feedback requests.

Next-up – the final checklist … getting your peers ready for your performance review. Until then, enjoy yourself, your whiskey, your family, and your peppermint mocha(s)!

Here’s to your Engaged Pursuit!

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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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