One of the big issues in the modern workplaces is the measurement of employee performance, which has a direct bearing on the salary hikes and other benefits. Sometimes, performance measurement is done carelessly and leads to people getting performance ratings that do not reflect their true achievements. Naturally, this results in much disappointment and, in some cases, a loss of end of year bonus and other benefits.
What follows are four practical steps that you as an employee can implement that will go a long way to ensure that your performance is accurately measured by your manager and gets reflected in your next raise.
Performance management system
1. If you do not have a performance management system in place make sure that you ask for one. A performance management system can be as simple as a half-an-hour weekly meeting at which your previous week's performance is reviewed and upcoming issues/work discussed. Be sure to keep a diary of the outcomes of the meeting, in particular, noting your achievements and contributions to the business.
You'll find that your notes will come in handy at the end of the review period. If your manager does not agree to the above then be sure you keep a diary of all your achievements. Make sure you fill out your diary regularly. Do not neglect small things ' you'll be surprised how they all add up.
Negotiate for a clear goal
2. If your workplace does have a performance management plan in place make sure you negotiate goals/targets that are clear and, as much as possible, measurable. Ambiguous goals that cannot be measured tend to lead to differences in perception and disagreements. Also, be sure that you don't take on goals that are too difficult.
If you find yourself in a situation where you're forced to take on difficult goals ask for help. Help could take the form of training or extra resources.
Insist on regular reviews
3. One of the most common reasons for the failure of performance management plans to deliver what they promise, has to do with the fact that they're filed away and not seen again until the end of the year or at review time.
Performance plans need to be reviewed regularly because circumstances change and things happen which are beyond your control. One of the main reasons performance plans exist is to facilitate regular communication between staff and their managers. It is via regular communication that misunderstandings are avoided.
Make sure all your efforts are recognised
4. Sometimes you can do a lot of hard work that does not even get noticed let alone be recognised. This 'invisible' work is often the source of much angst for employees especially in circumstances where people doing the more visible work get all the recognition.
Two things you can do alleviate the situation are:
a) Be sure to talk about your invisible work and how it benefited the organisation on a regular basis.
b) Try to devise a method by which your invisible work becomes visible. For example: the minimisation of customer complaints is often the result of invisible work such as good service with a smile. If you can include in your performance management plan 'no more that x per cent of customer complaints' as one of your performance indicators then you will have gone a long way to make your invisible work visible.
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