It’s true; my performance feedback session is tomorrow. In 2014 my employer no longer calls it a performance evaluation, but it is a formal process where my employer, represented by my Supervisor, sits down with me and we evaluate and talk about me.
I know in advance that we’ll be discussing what my goals are for the upcoming year, and how in turn my Supervisor can help me reach those goals. My goals this year I think are going to be relatively uninspiring. I mean I’m not out to compete for a promotion, and being in a union I can’t dictate my own salary. It becomes then issues like training opportunities that might fall in line with my longer term objectives or my current role. Perhaps some leadership role within the team I’m currently on or maybe development of a new program or workshop.
I’ll be honest with all of you who regularly read my blog. I don’t enjoy these meetings at all. Situations in our past often affect our present lives, even when we think we’ve dealt with any lingering issues. A poor Supervisor who took the yearly evaluation of his employees as his opportunity to assert his own authority at the expense of his employees ego’s damaged me in this regard I’m afraid, and I’ve never quite been able to rid myself entirely of the anxiety that comes with the meeting with the boss. And for the record my boss is fabulous at present.
So I’ve signed up to renew my CPR and First Aid courses, and the AED (Artificial Defibrillator) course. That knowledge puts me in a position to help my clients and co-workers if they have a medical emergency. I hope to get approved for that. And another objective of my own is to update the resource booklets that my team distributes and references in several of our workshops. I’ve written many of them to start with, and I know not all my team members are all that interested in taking the time to write and edit these, getting feedback from the rest of us.
Doesn’t sound like a lofty plan for 365 days does it? There’s not accession plan for leaving the company, or promotion plan because I don’t want to aspire to be a Supervisor. “Content” is a word that can be either good or bad, but in my case, I love what I do, and in this respect I am content to continue doing it well, and finding ways to improve my performance and learn about myself on a day-to-day basis.
How do you feel about your performance reviews? Do they call them this or something else where you work? If it really is using some kind of a grading scale, do you fret over your grade and compare it to your peers after or do you keep that information private? And if you are in the private sector, is it tied to your yearly income and benefits?
The one thing I do appreciate about my Supervisor is that she provides feedback throughout the year, and if there is an issue to discuss, she does it as it comes up, not saving all the good or bad for this one meeting. That way, the ‘surprise factor’ is removed. Nothing should really come up that I’m not already aware of. So why is it I still feel vulnerable heading into tomorrow?
I’m being honest in sharing these feelings and insecurities with my readership because the relationship you and I have or the one we are developing if you are a new reader, is one I value. Pretty poor if I were always handing out my advice to other people and seemingly never having any issues of my own when I really do. And this evaluation meeting is my nemesis. It’s more in my mind now than it is a poor experience in reality. Psychologically damaged when it comes to the yearly chit-chat? Probably so. I’d be wise to just, ‘let it go’ says my wife. And she’s right of course because the problem every year is now mine and mine alone.
At 54 years of age, I’ve got 11 – 13 more of these annual meetings to undergo. That actually doesn’t sound too bad. Hadn’t thought of it that way. 13 is my favourite number; I was born on the 13th day.
Interesting thing where I work is that we evaluate ourselves to some degree, and the Supervisor does the same, and then it gets discussed, then written up, then I get a chance to comment on it in writing and a copy goes to me and one to my file. If I were job hunting, I’d get those out and use them strategically to bolster my chances as they are usually very good if truth be told. Do you keep a file folder somewhere in your home where you keep these or do you toss them out right after the meeting as some people have been known to do?
One thing you should do I believe is put any goals somewhere visible at your workplace. Check it out often and see if you are on track to meet your goals. If you are great, and if you aren’t, ask your Supervisor for help in realizing those goals or let them know you’ve altered your plans.
Ah wish me well tomorrow…I’ve really got to reframe my thinking about this process. It would be the healthy thing to do!