Rising from the dust of poor appraisal
Words by Francis Kahihu: firstname.lastname@example.org
As the year begins, many workers are reengaging with the results of the performance appraisals facilitated in either December last year or at the start of January this year. We all look forward to great commendations during annual appraisals but the reality is we do not always receive the highest points during all the performance reviews. For those who are agonising over poor performance reports, you may want to consider a few of the points below.
Don’t be too hard on yourself: Many people receive poor performance reviews at one point in their lives. A poor evaluation does not indicate the end of your world. It could be an opportunity for you to reevaluate your true performance and gain encouragement to consider better performance in the following year. Failure at certain times in life always act as an indicator of poorly utilised capacities. Learn from the failures and desire not to repeat the poor show.
Do not become defensive: It is common human response that whenever we are faced with hard hitting criticisms, we defend our actions. We find it difficult to accept that we were actually not able to perform as per the set standards and always look out for what and who to blame. Do not spend time justifying your failures especially when there are means to verify that your performance is below the expectation. Carefully consider the concerns raised and determine the truth in each of the issues. For those issues about which you are sure you deserve such an appraisal, admit the failure and seek for whatever support you require to improve on the performance. For those issues you are criticized about yet are beyond your control or are outrightly malicious, brush them aside and move on with your life.
Reevaluate your performance: Consider the merits and demerits of all the concerns raised and consider the lessons you can learn from each of the points. In cases where the evaluation involve other people in your department as is the case of 360 degrees evaluations, seek to appreciate what each of the comments mean. In some cases, performance evaluations are not aimed at looking at the weaknesses in the performance of a staff but seek to compare the potential with the current performance. It could be that your potential has been identified as not matching your current performance hence an indicator of the areas you may want to improve on. This is a helpful exercise as it could catapult you towards self actualization.
Plan for improvement: Finally, an evaluation report does more harm if it is left at the appraisal stage. Upon appreciating the contents of the appraisal, you would want to consider developing a plan jointly with your supervisor on ways and processes needed to address some of the critical issues raised at the appraisal. Appraisal reports could as well serve as capacity building needs assessment reports. Seek to work out a practical plan with your boss on your capacity requirements. Having accepted some of the performance flaws plays a big role in having your boss recommend you for continuous capacity development.