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Posts Tagged ‘human resources’

Advil Free Performance Appraisal

I’ve never had a performance appraisal that didn’t make me want to quit. Throughout my 15-year corporate career, before starting Candid Culture,I had some great bosses. And I always got good ratings and positive reviews. But there was always some comment or piece of feedback, in every performance appraisal, that frustrated me or impacted my raise or bonus in a way that felt unfair.

And each time I got feedback that felt unfair, I looked for how I contributed to the situation.

Performance Appraisal

Which means it’s our job to ask the expectations of the people we work with and collect their feedback throughout the year, so we’re not blind-sided at year end.

Below are some tips to ensure you give and receive a useful and trauma-free performance appraisal.

If you read my last blog post,you know that your boss may not know all the good and not-so-good things you do on a daily basis. It’s your job to let her know about your accomplishments.

Assemble a list of things you’ve accomplished this year. This list might include emails and feedback from people you work with both inside and outside your organization. Ask your boss’s permission to send her the list. And tell her the information is intended to make it easy to write your appraisal.

If you don’t have feedback from your peers and internal or external customers, ask for it. I define customers as anyone you need to get your job done and anyone who needs you to get their job done. Send a short email to five or six people with whom you work closely, and ask them to send your boss some feedback about your performance this past year. If they’re comfortable sending you the feedback directly, all the better. Guide your customers by asking specific questions. That way you’ll get specific feedback, versus, “Dave did a good job this year.”

Ask questions like:

  • What’s one thing I did this year that made the most difference to you or your department?
  • What’s one thing I could have done differently this past year?

Don’t be scared to ask for feedback from your customers. Most people are so hesitant to give negative feedback that they’ll typically be easier on you than you are on yourself.

Most performance appraisals only contain feedback from the last few months of the year. As managers sit in front of a blank appraisal form, it’s all they can remember. It’s your job to help your manager remember all the good things you did throughout the year. And I don’t know of a manager who won’t appreciate having written, bulleted data from which to write appraisals. Bullets are easier to read than paragraphs. Make it easy to scan your list of accomplishments.

Writing performance appraisals doesn’t have to give you a headache. Receiving appraisals doesn’t have to make you wish you stayed home that day. Plan specific, useful feedback conversations and then move on to planning for 2013.

Managers, here’s a video I created on how to give a useful performance appraisal. And my new book How to Say Anything to Anyoneis perfect preparation for both managers and employees. The book won’t be in bookstores or on Amazon until January, but we have advance copies on our website.


Dealing With Difficult Coworkers: Three People No One Can Work With

If you read your organization’s handbook carefully you will see, in the very fine print, the rule stating that there will be three people in your organization who no one can work with. Everyone knows who these people are. They are the people who employees are afraid of, who tend to make others’ lives hard, and who no one wants to work for.

Employees wonder, doesn’t anyone in management know about these people? Why isn’t anyone DOING anything? Someone is most likely doing something. Dealing with difficult coworkers just take time to work themselves out. And managers can’t talk about others’ performance with you, as you wouldn’t want them talking about your performance with others.

What to do in the face of a crazymaker who doesn’t appear to be going anywhere?

Crazymakers are often bullies and bullies push the people around who let them do so. Despite your fear, give it right back to a bully. Chances are she will back off and find someone else to pick on. Do this professionally. Don’t compromise your own reputation by interacting with a bully in the way she interacts with you.

Work around the person. I’m not giving you a pass to avoid the people you don’t like working with. If you have done everything you can to work well with someone and he won’t work with you, do your minimal best. Be polite and respectful. Keep the person in the loop when necessary. But don’t go out of your way to nurture the relationship. You can’t work with someone who won’t work with you.

Doing everything to work well with someone includes talking to the person about your working relationship, admitting it’s strained, and asking for feedback about what would improve the relationship. Doing everything might involve getting a third party or outside mediator to broker a conversation. It might include weekly meetings to ensure regular communication. If you’ve tried ALL of these things with no outcome, then you can work around the person. But everything is NOT, “I sent three emails and didn’t hear back.”

Dealing With Difficult Coworkers

You can leave your organization to avoid the person who makes you crazy, but s/he will be waiting for you at the next company in a different body.

If you like the work you’re doing and, for the most part, like where you work, don’t let dealing with difficult coworkers drive you from the organization. Ask for help. Let someone who can do something about the situation, assist you or at least give you the go ahead to work around that person, when possible. And if the situation becomes untenable, before you resign, tell someone in a position of formal authority that you’re at the end of your rope and you’re planning to leave. If something is going to change in the short term, he or she will often know and tell you.

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