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How to break the agony of performance reviews in 3 steps

· 2 min read
Yiyang Hibner

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Author: Tanvi Shah

We write our performance reviews once a year (in most companies). And we spend a day or two thinking and writing everything achieved in the last year. While writing the reviews, you are often frustrated (takes too long to write), and either far too critical about yourself or overestimating the work that you have done.

I haven’t been able to take out all the agony of writing a performance review but tried to minimize it as much as I can over the years. If you want to hear more about this topic, I will be speaking at the ADPList conference. Come join me.

Let’s dig into the 3 steps.

1.Performance review is a year long process, so start early and start soon

  • It is necessary to think about reviews as a marathon. You prepare for it all year long. You do practice runs, stretches and hydrate yourself before the final race.
  • Make a note of all the good work you have done, impact you have achieved (think metrics or ask your PM/DS) and co-worker praise through the year.
  • Summarize frequently what you did, what you learnt. Take time to reflect often.
  • Also, start thinking about point 2 and 3 described below. Don’t wait until the end of the year.

2.What next and how to get there?

  • Look up your career ladders, either at your company or borrow it from google and run it by your manager.
  • Find the level you are at, the next level you want to achieve, and what’s needed to get there.
  • Start filling those gaps by talking to your manager and mentors.

3.Build relationships early and check-in often

  • A big part of the reviews is the soft skills and the relationships you build.
  • Understand your field of influence. Start with a list of stakeholders, your managers (direct or indirect), peers and anyone else essential to your job.
  • Build a strong relationship with your circle of influence. This circle influences 50% of your reviews. So, start building those relationships with 1:1s, coffee chats and more.
  • Be genuine, earnest and curious about the other person.

Do you do anything more for your performance reviews? Leave your tips in the comments.