I am surprised to find that I miss appraisals.I had a checklist when I was job searching and guess which point did not make my list? Yes, having an appraisal. Who would have thought appraisal as a tool beneficial not only for the employer but also for the employee? I have not been a part of my company’s appraisal yet and I find that after my self-imposed break of 1.5 years from the corporate world, subsequent change in career choice and a new job, I am desperate to know about my performance.
According to Merriam-Webster, appraisal is: The act of judging the value, condition or importance of something. Something that states an opinion about the value, condition, or importance of something.
All these years as a software engineer I assumed that appraisal was a process for the companies to analyze the performance of their workforce. How wrong I was! Little did I realize that the employee himself could benefit so vastly from the appraisal process?
I miss the pit stops we take in the name of appraisals and the goal setting we do to keep ourselves motivated and realistic about the goals we set.
Here’s why I think everybody needs an appraisal. Self or otherwise.
- Feedback motivates: Feedback is always a major motivator. Try to get feedback from your mentor, supervisor and anybody who is in a better position to analyze your work. Any feedback is good feedback because it always helps you grow in your area and you grow in the direction which is beneficial to you and the organization.
- Helps you set goals and stick to them: Though I am a rookie technical writer. I prefer working with deadlines and set goals. Goals help you focus. It gives you a perspective and always indicates what is achievable and what is not. It helps you realize the worth of your work.
- Aspiration check: Majority of us enter into a field with a set of aspirations. Appraisals are checklists that help us achieve and keep track of our aspirations.
- Strengths and Weaknesses check: Helps you to know your own strengths and weaknesses in your area of expertise. You can enroll in courses or upgrade your knowledge based on this analysis.
This is my number 1 technique for self-motivation. I am in charge of my motivation and i have found appraisal to be a major motivator (yes, even an appraisal sans bonus!). Knowing how your work is helping your organization is a huge bonus. When your company grows you grow, knowing, you are a part of that growth always helps.
To do the appraisal of your work:
- Begin with knowing the goals of your company.
- Get clarity on your role and responsibilities.
- List down your goals and aspirations.
- Align your goals in accordance with those of your company.
- Get to know your supervisor’s expectations from your work.
- Appraise yourself based on the work you have done. A simple good – bad rating would do.
- Request feedback from your supervisor.
- List down growth and improvement areas based on the feedback. According to me, this is the point of appraisal. To know your weak areas and turn them into your strengths.
- Re-do your goals list for the next cycle of appraisal. It depends on how often you do it. If your job demands a daily deliverable, you might need to do once in a month. In any case this exercise will help you with the company’s appraisal process too.
There you go. You have my appraisal checklist. Whether you are working for a company or you are your own boss (you might have to figure out a way to get feedback), appraisal is a great way to analyze your progress, rectify your mistakes, learn new lessons and focus on things that matter.
Now, it’s your turn. Do you think appraisal is an unnecessary process? Or do you feel appraisal is beneficial? Do let me know what you like and don’t like about your appraisal process? and do share your personal tips on appraisals.