If you're lucky and you have a great culture of support and development, peformance reviews are generally an non-issue. Why?
Because you will have had regular conversations not only about your work targets and goals but also about your personal ambitions and how and what you want to contribute. You will have also discussed what the future holds and the steps required to get to there.
Not everyone is so lucky however. Often many managers, for varying reasons, fall short of offering the time and the quality of support that their people need.
In todays busy world where managers are being more and more loaded with tasks from the 'slimmed down' human resources team, the extra work created from simplifying structures (i.e. redundancies) and the company still trying to achieve everything it was before, the one thing that tends to get left behind is performance management.
People are so focused on just trying to get through the work that both manager and employee fail to give the time (and you need a decent amount of focused time) to manage and develop performance effectively.
So what's the answer?
Well firstly, ask yourself how comfortable you are to leave your career to your manager? They key here is that it is your career. As a leader and manager in my previous roles, it was always important to have these discussions but they were always more productive when the other person had thought about what they wanted to get out of the session and what support they wanted from me. This made the conversation a two way street.
The real development conversation though needs to be well thought through. Only you really know what your ambitions and wants are. So have some ideas before you get in the room. Having a career map and plan can really help guide you and keep you on track so that those conversations are more purposeful.It also means that rather than starting from scratch every time you have a conversation, you can review progress against something tangible and measurable.
Getting a coach to help you with this if you don't know where to start can be useful.
Secondly, guide your manager on what support you need. Be as specific as you can be. If you are not sure be clear whether you want advice, to learn from an experience they might have had or you are happy to be coached on working it through for yourself but by them asking open questions. Ask them to find out about what's available to help you or get them to find someone you can talk to about specific requirements.If they choose to ignore your needs then this is a different issue, but generally most managers will be grateful for your suggestions.
Sometimes managers can be caught in the cross-hares of not enough budget or resources to support everyone with everything they want, so think about what's really going to move the dial for your development. What's your priority?
There are lots more ways to get the best out of your development discussions so put the time and thought into yours. You are worth it.
If you would like to develop your career check out the free lunch and learns, the resources and coaching services we have available or sign up as a CC Club member if you haven't already. Come and join the community.
Joanne and Maggie