Something great happens when you take the lowly status report and turn it into a shining example of your personal brand: the status report will build your self-review of your performance.
In all the companies that I know about the management team expects you to do a self-review in preparation for their writing of your performance review. The good news about the self-review is they are due before the completed ratings are due on your performance. Your completed performance review done by your manager is after the ratings are approved. Your manager, in essence, is writing your review to match the approved rating.
So your self-review of your performance is your opportunity to set the bar for your performance with your manager. Doing the self-review in a manner that is consistent in showing your work and rating your performance on your goals based on the measures starts the process of defining your work. The self-review becomes a way to get your talking points ready for your manager when your manager has to go in for calibration sessions and defend performance ratings and rankings.
Where do all those talking points come from? Where is the documented work included in the self-review about your goal attainment?
Enter the lowly status report.
If your status report doesn’t represent your personal brand (“attended staff meeting”), you won’t have the accomplishments ready to write up about your goals. And you’ll end writing your self-review just like you write your personal-brand-killing status reports (“I made this goal”) because no one can remember all the work done on the goals without documenting the work.
The status report documents your work.
If your status report represents your personal brand (“completed phase I of project X one week early by working with the development team”), then you have the opportunity to write a self-review that matches up with the work. You can easily document the completed work, done early, done better than the goal, or where the changes to the goals took place and how you helped the changes.
If you were writing a self-review with this focus, you’d also be a shining star compared with your teammates who write self-reviews that don’t match their personal brand. These poorly written self-reviews force their manager to come up with work that matches their rating and ranking in calibration sessions. If you can’t remember the work that gained the goal, how is a manager going to when managing 6-15 people?
Now, one has to have a belief that your status reports and self-reviews make a difference in noting your performance. I understand that. But if you are working for a company that doesn’t embrace results and instead measures your time at work, showing the work instead of showing up, and completing the work instead of complaining about the work…well, why are you working there?