It’s time of the year again for you to appraise yourself and the work you have done. It’s your time to crow and boast, flutter your feathers and shine through the words you are penning down until it hit you. Huh? You don’t know what to write.
That is one problem I had throughout my years as a manager when I received appraisals from my teammates. I have received those that are less than a 100 words, some in a paragraph and worst, others in a one liner or two. When approached, the common reason being is they do not know what to write.
When comes to hard work and initiatives, most of us are genuinely good at our jobs or tries our hardest to be good at our jobs. But one frustrating thing is that people tend to keep their silence about it in front of management but chooses to let it all out to their family and friends.
When comes to appraisal, one important thing to remember, your boss is a human, just like you and me. I can tell you that it’s hard to remember all the milestones you have crossed last month, let alone one entire year. In addition to that, your boss will need to remember not only yours, but everyone he or she needs to appraise too. Does that mean he does not appreciate your work? No. Because he has to remember his own milestones and achievements too!
Ready to help him to help you? I’ll share some pointers on how to draft a winning appraisal.
1. Bullet points
Keep your appraisal clean just like your résumé. Direct and straight to the point. He is your boss after all, so he’ll knows the nature of the projects assigned to you. The points are there to jog his memories. Do also list down the results of those contributions to show that your work has impact on the community.
2. Keep it updated
Like your résumé, you should always update your appraisal every month, if not every quarter at the very least. Why? We tend to forget the smaller achievements and remember the bigger ones but small ones are important too. As long as you have contributed time, effort and sweat, you should put it down. Do it often so you do not have to spend too much time, dredging over few months of memories for things to write.
3. Scroll through your emails
If you haven’t done the above points, don’t panic now. If you are like me – a hoarder – someone who doesn’t delete emails from her first day of work until present day, you’ll have no problem filtering through one year worth of emails to get what you want. If there’s a job needed to be done on top of your daily tasks, chances are that it is probably communicated through emails or submitted through emails.
4. Every Little Things count
Had to work over the weekends to churn out that report for your boss? Participated in making the company event a success? Help to cover your boss’s absence during his holidays in Hawaii? What about attending a meeting on behalf of someone in your team? Surprise, surprise! All these count very much into your appraisal.
5. Don’t Assume!
“When dealing with critics always remember this: Critics judge things based on what is outside of their content of understanding.”quoted Shannon L. Alder. In this case, never let your critic – your boss – make any assumptions about your work.
What I have heard most from folks around me are “I assume my boss will know that I sacrificed my time to help her with her project.” or “He should have remembered that time when he appointed me as a covering manager during his absence.”
Don’t assume your manager will remember. It’s better to put it down in writing during your appraisal and if your boss wants to contest it, he can do so when he sit you down for a one on one.
My own appraisals do sometimes overwhelmed my bosses, especially after receiving most reviews of less than 100 words from my peers. But I have nothing short of positive surprised remarks from them that I have precise, accurate and detailed points. And one little secret from one of my previous boss is that he used to use my appraisal to cross check on my peers to make sure they don’t miss out writing down any key events. Not all bosses do the extra step, reviewing appraisals take time out of their daily tasks, and everyone’s roles and duties might be different. So if you don’t use this precious time to crow about your achievements, it’s your lost when your salary adjustments don’t match up your expectations.
Don’t wait, don’t procrastinate. Start by listing down your daily tasks, then your weekly, followed by your monthly achievements. You may be the one smiling through the appraisal period while your peers are moaning what to pen down. Good luck!
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