February 19, 2020

Showing-Up During Your Performance Review

Spring is in the air!  That only means one thing – it’s Performance Review season!  Here’s how to ensure you’re showing-up for success.

Daffodils are starting to bloom.

The days are getting longer.

Tax forms are in the mail.

“The Bachelor” Season 193,403 is almost over.

That can only mean one thing…

It’s Performance Review season!

For many of you, this is the time of year when you learn about your 2019 performance, hopefully get a little bump in your paycheck, and learn about big priorities heading deeper into 2020.

For many of you, this is also the time of year when you have a ton of anxiety.  I get it. It’s stressful!  A conversation about YOU can be really challenging – especially when money is involved.

As a summary to my Performance Review series last year (check-out all four blog posts if you haven’t already), I’m sending you my best tips/tricks for actually showing-up during this important conversation.  Showing-up with confidence, clarity, and commitment to what’s important to you.

Here’s how to kick-butt and have a meaningful dialogue around your 2019 Performance:

  • Know what you’re getting into (and have a POV). You manager should send you a summary of your performance via email at least 24 hours prior to your discussion.  If you don’t receive, ask them for a copy of your review (don’t worry, this isn’t weird; actually, it’s super important).  Take time to reflect on what’s written and come with your own point-of-view (POV) and/or questions.  Remember, this is a two-way dialogue between you and your manager and you shouldn’t be in the dark heading in.
  • Set your own expectations around money. Your organization should give you guidance on typical merit increases and typical bonus/stock grants (if they have this as part of their performance mix).  In my experience, merit increases are typically in the low single-digits and bonus/stock percentages (of salary) are typically in the low double digits.  Promotion increases are company specific.  So set your money expectations coming into the conversation – even if you had a stellar year, your checking account may not increase that much each month.
  • Pick a neutral location for the conversation. Assuming you had a decent year, ask your manager if they would be willing to talk in a neutral location – in a conference room, over lunch, a walk around the building, etc. I’ve found a change in environment takes the pressure off the conversation and also allows you to possibly get some steps in (win-win)!  This doesn’t have to be a really formal conversation, so why not change-up where you’re having this meeting?
  • Get your head in the game. Woo-Woo alert!  You know me. I love a few deep-breaths coming into the discussion and/or a morning intention around what you hope to get out of the conversation.  Keep YOU at the center of the dialogue and if you start getting “heated,” it’s totally cool to take a break and/or schedule the conversation for a later time.  Think about limiting both alcohol the night before and coffee in the morning – little stuff like that can make a big impact on how you’re showing-up with your manager.
  • Have your “Professional Story” ready to tell. Performance Reviews are (often) a perfect time to tell your Story, as new opportunities might be discussed and/or you might need to remind your manager about your value to the organization.  Often review conversations start with questions including “How are you liking the work?” or “Do you need my help anywhere?” or “How much longer do you see yourself in this role?” The Professional Story (and Dashboard) can really help answer these questions.
  • Be prepared to give feedback. Managers will often as YOU for feedback on their performance/impact during these chats. Come with your perspective on how your manager can improve.  This is another (great) opportunity to show-up as a Leader and give them a little help at the same time.  Another win-win in my book!

Coming-up next time:  I have a couple great resources I think you’ll like as you get ready for March!  I’ll share next week.

Here’s to your 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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