Nobody disagrees with the value of employee performance reviews. As the small practice leader who…
John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
It’s that time of year, when performance reviews are due for many BV professionals. You may already have yours in hand. And maybe it’s negative. What to do?
It’s tempting to take it very personally. After all, it is about you. Right?
Keep in mind that it’s in your employer’s best interest – and, therefore, in yours – to give you the feedback that will help you improve. Finding and hiring qualified BV talent is difficult and expensive. It only makes sense that your boss wants to do everything possible to help make your performance the best it can be.
So, start by giving yourself time to process and consider the review before taking any action in response. You don’t want to let your emotions drive you to something you might regret, later.
Focus on the facts. If they’re clearly incorrect, it’s important to make sure you set the record straight. You need to do this respectfully, however, making sure your own facts are correct. Even so, you’ll have to handle this part with care so you don’t come off sounding defensive. In cases where you are expected to sign your performance review, it’s okay to sign with the caveat of disagreement, provided that you follow up with a report on those elements under contention.
Ask for additional information, putting your attention on specific missteps or behavior and avoiding questions that challenge the boss’s judgment. For example, you can ask, “Can you tell me how that behavior was exhibited?” or “If I were doing this right, what would that look like?”. By focusing on what you can do next and taking the boss’s feedback as a given, you show that you are willing to make things work.
Meet with your manager to work out a step-by-step checklist for improvement. Make sure you supply your manager with weekly status reports on what your short-term progress. Build on this by asking for periodic meetings to discuss cumulative development. Recovering your credibility may take some time, but it can be done.
If you’re honest with yourself, chances are that this negative review isn’t the first time you’ve received criticism about your performance. Good managers will address issues as they occur and not simply spring them on employees at review time. If, in fact, this review was particularly negative and a genuine surprise, ask for the opportunity to get feedback more frequently.