The single biggest mistake when writing your performance review

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It is that time of year when we all have to start thinking about  — and writing — our performance review. Strikes fear to the heart, doesn’t it?

When I was a manager, I read hundreds of self-reviews that I used as a gauge for the employee’s perception of their performance. Out of those hundreds of reviews, one mistake stands out as the biggest mistake people made when writing their performance review.

Here it is: they never showed their results in attaining their goals.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? But what most people did when writing their performance review was assign a rating to a goal with no justification. Or they would provide expert assertions like “achieved this goal.” Seriously.

Somehow, as a manager, that was supposed to be enough to get me to give that person a higher rating on their performance review. Not so much.

Track your goal attainment for your performance review

One of the big reasons people never put their results of their goals in the review is because they never really tracked them over the course of the year. Half the time, we get the goals, think they make sense — and stick them in our desk drawer until it is time to do the performance review.

Cubicle Warriors outsmart their competition by tracking their goal attainment each and every month. Tracking gives them the ability to know if they are going to make the goal or not. Whether they need additional resources to attain the goal — or make a case that the goal is unattainable under any circumstances.

Ask yourself the hard question

So if you are having a hard time filling out your performance review this year, ask yourself the hard question: how well did I track the results from the work on my goals?

And if you signed up before midnight Eastern Time, this months free newsletter’s subject was the reasons you should write your self-review. You can sign up for future editions of the monthly newsletter on the sidebar on the site.

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