“Take a deep breath and don’t send any emails to your director,” says Lissa Weimelt of Search Pro Services, an executive search and career coaching company that deals with clients throughout the country. “A personal conversation at the appropriate time will be more productive.”
If you receive a poor performance review, here are some tips from Weimelt on how to present your case to your supervisor when the time is right:
1. Keep an ongoing list of accomplishments: I recommend to people that they keep an efile of all their accomplishments up to date weekly. As specific and as result/bottom line oriented as possible is best. I recommend the list includes:
The topic (what you did)
Why that IS an accomplishment (new process, new sale, new idea/concept)
What that specifically benefited: The customer, company, your department , your direct supervisor, your own learning/development as an employee
The best use of that list is PRIOR to your performance review. Review it personally with your supervisor as many, many, are quite un-educated about what their employees actually do contribute. Also, they may have attributed the idea/concept or new process to the work of someone else, or to a group, when the actual germination of the accomplishment was with you.
You may want to take that list in the next week (after you are totally calm) and present it to your supervisor during a scheduled meeting time. Let them know your concern about your rating, as you felt your work had a different value than the value communicated in the review.
2. I would also ask him/her for his/her rationale behind the rating. I once coached a manager who said he “never gave 5. If I do, that de-motivates people to work hard” So, his highest score is 4. IF that was your boss, 3 out of a possible 4 is not a bad score…….
3. Ask for specific ways in which you could attain a 5. What would you have to do on X to move the score from a 3 to a 5. Ask for his/her help in developing an action plan that would assist you in skill development to attain a 5 instead of a 3. This is a huge deal, and he/she will either participate in that or they won’t. That may signal your desire to stay with them long term.
4. Weimelt’s hunch: You are doing all the right things already and your boss has a limited budget. 5’s mean a bigger raise. 3 mean a moderate raise. He/she needs to keep raises moderate in these times. Unfortunately, he/she should have just said that, rather than used a rating system to de-motivate you.
5. You could, although this is risky, ask your boss to re-rate you after your discussion and discussion of your specific accomplishments. There may be actual areas where he/she is not informed as to your contributions. IF that is the case, and since your PR is in your personnel file, you could ask for an adjustment in the rating. Make it clear you are not also linking that adjustment to an adjustment in your compensation.
6. Keep the conversation non confrontational. “My view of me is that I am a productive, high performing employee. A 3 doesn’t indicate that to me. So, I need two things from you: Can you help me understand that rating? Second, I would like your assistance in developing a plan that would earn me higher performance ratings on my next review. Can you assist me with that?” And, “I may have some information that could assist you. Would you be interested in reviewing the accomplishments that went into the 3 rating?”
About Lissa Weimelt
SearchPro Services, and Lissa Weimelt, Professional Search and Excellence Coach, provides clients with results in recruiting top performers. Lissa is a highly specialized Search professional whose recruitment expertise allows your company a trusted resource that is not always provided internally.
Lissa proactively sources outside talent and attracts them to your company. Candidates are evaluated for the job you hire them for today with the flexibility to manage tomorrow's needs.