It is imperative to have an annual discussion with your supervisor regarding your performance. Fortunately, most companies have established processes that outline this process. However, that does not ensure that the discussions will actually occur. It is always in your best interest to understand what your superiors think of your performance and ensure that they tell you this personally. Trust me…they have an opinion of you and it is impacting your career – good or bad. So, here’s our suggestion for timing and frequency of performance discussions.
• At a minimum, you should have two performance discussions a year – once at a designated annual discussion point and another discussion midway through the year.
• The annual discussion should be a quick review of the past year, but the majority of this conversation should focus on the upcoming year. Create and discuss goals, objectives, skills and training requirements, and any other related topics. Ensure that your goals are measurable and that when achieved, you can clearly articulate your success.
• The midyear discussion with your supervisor should be a quick check point to measure your progress against your stated goals and objectives set at the beginning of the year. This is also the time to make any related corrections needed to achieve those goals. You should also use this time to ask your supervisor if they have any concerns about your performance and ask for suggestions for improvement. Discussing potential performance problems now is the best approach to ensure that you will have time to address and correct them prior to the annual review discussion where you will ultimately be graded for the year.
• Ideally, a discussion every 4 months (3 times a year) is even better for certain career levels and jobs. A more frequent checkpoint may be particularly needed when roles and jobs responsibilities shift and or change frequently.
Tip: Remember, no news is not good news. In fact, when it comes to reviews, no news is bad news. It is easy for managers to give reviews for good performance, but it’s the less positive or difficult reviews that they avoid. So, if you haven’t had a review in a while, there’s a possibility that a problem is looming.