How to Get a Good Performance Evaluation

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Although employee performance management systems are necessary to objectively assess a worker's performance, most people are concerned that they will not get a good performance evaluation. Why? Because it can be a de-motivating time when the boss reads off a list of mistakes the worker has made since the last performance appraisal. But, all is not lost. A performance evaluation can be a positive experience if you are well-prepared and armed with facts to support your own evaluation of what you achieved over the performance review period. To ensure that you get a good performance evaluation and that it is fair, accurate and positive, take these steps.

  • Avoid the "Halo and Horns" effect as much as possible. The halo effect occurs when a worker does something outstanding just before the performance review that causes the boss to overrate his overall performance. The horns effect is just the opposite. The worker makes a big mistake or fails to achieve a visible result, again right before the performance review that causes the boss to underrate her overall performance.

  • Set goals in advance of the employee performance evaluation. Prioritize your goals and discuss them with your boss. Quantify results to be achieved as much as possible. List personal development goals on the performance evaluation form that you wish to accomplish such as completing a degree or developing a new skill.

  • Keep score all year long. Bosses like to be kept informed about your progress toward goals. By keeping records of achievements and problems, you will have sufficient documentation to support the formal employee assessment.

  • Fully participate in your performance evaluation by preparing for the formal performance review meeting. If necessary, schedule the meeting yourself. Take the initiative in discussing how your performance has positively impacted company results. Ask for and provide specifics to support your results.

  • Assess yourself against performance goals and job requirements. Both you and your boss are responsible for evaluating how your performance contributes to the bottom line. If your performance appraisal system consists of 360 degree feedback, pay special attention to the employee assessment component. Use it to provide your boss with balanced performance feedback.

  • Maintain a positive attitude throughout the performance review discussion. Show your boss that you are a productive employee who takes performance evaluations seriously.

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