PE Time …

It’s that time of the year again. For those whose financial year ends in December, its PE time. This doesn’t refer to physical education, we are talking about performance evaluation.

So you spent all of 2013 doing each and everything expected of you. You even put in extra hours and surely the evaluation should be good right?  Well today I would like to share a few tips on how to prepare for your performance evaluation. I would like to stress at this point that in 2014 I would like to focus more on the things that you yourself are able to influence and do something about and these tips are well within the control of anyone being evaluated.

1. Ensure you are being evaluated on objectives that were agreed between you and your line manager for the evaluation period. If your organization doesn’t have objective setting as part of its performance evaluation cycle, gently make this suggestion to your line manager. Performance objectives should always be agreed at the beginning of the performance evaluation period. I need not mention that these objectives should be SMART!

The rest of the tips are now going to assume your SMART objectives were already agreed with whoever is evaluating your performance.

2. Bring your “evidence file ” to the evaluation. This will showcase examples of all the excellent work you did throughout the year. Wether it’s a thank you letter from a satisfied customer that you served or the confirmation e -mail of the deal that added to the company ‘s top line or bottom line (whatever is your preference),  include everything. It’s always better to have evidence on hand just in case your line manager has forgotten!

3. Ensure your work is visible to others and not just your line manager. Some companies use the 360 degrees evaluation system where each person is evaluated by a senior, junior and a colleague on the same level.  This is meant to remove biases that might come from dealing with only your line manager. Even in the absence of this system, gain visibility for your work from others.  Organisations are ecosystems that rely on various functions within them to function properly. Your work is obviously tied to others and there is always opportunity for your efforts to be seen across relevant people within the organization.

4. A general trend in organisations is that there will be a few poor performers, majority who meet their objectives and a few outliers who excel. I hope your aim is to be in the excelling minority. So what is the difference between the normal guys who do what’s expected and those who excel? I believe the difference is in the “extra “. Go over and above what is expected of you.  Volunteer to lead projects. This is what gains you visibility and makes PE time enjoyable.

Next week i will spent more time on how you can gain visibility for your work and projects. Until then, journey mercies


Shake It Off

Welcome to 2014. May this be the year that your dreams are fulfilled.
I am really excited about the new year. I for one believe in writting down my goals for the year. I revisit them every so often and tick off what has been accomplished, refine some where necessary and add new ones as new opportunities arise. My goals are never cast in stone. I am flexible enough to ammend them as necessary. Wether you call them goals, objectives or resolutions, it is important to have them written down and time bound. This is not my topic for today. I would like to start my first post for 2014 by sharing a story to encourage you as we begin the new year. We will get back to career development next week.

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Journey mercies for 2014