Annual Review: Employee advice

I had a friend once who had this perspective; if he worked very hard, he would be recognized for his efforts with nothing else necessary. He has an EE and works in the software development industry.
He was ALWAYS getting upset at our employer, claiming THEY “did not give him what HE wanted”, they were “all jerks” and worth hating. He endlessly discussed his hatred and would often discuss his interests and intent with his boss,  never saying directly what he wanted from his employer.

It is not really an employer’s job to figure out your needs, emotions and  intentions.  You are hired to fill a position in a company, that needs to get done all the time.  There should be a balance of tracking your daily or weekly work throughout the year. This can be written, like using a composition notebook, or electronically, like tracking using Evernote, SimpleNote, Dropbox, moving these files to off site like your own home VPN, Mozy, Carbonite or JungleDisk on secured USB…

Consider using a simple file name tagging system within your email accounts… what ever your preferred provider. Consider using the convention: 2010_perf_review_week01  (Best to save these in text format, for the most flexibility.)
From there, you can force annual reviews, if your company does not already have them as part of their HR practices.  You have to present a methodology if they do nto already have one for you.  You may have to come to your first with this proposed baseline methodology of showing:

– what happened over the past year in YOUR role;

– to what degree those goals were met at year end;

– the goals for you and your position for the next year; and

-additional roles you played in the company that were NOT TIED TO  YOUR title and job description.

This is a lot of information by year end, but the final list should only be one page of information. It should be a limit of three to five goals accomplished or attempted, with problems and solutions. There is a need to be diplomatic, here.

For emphasis, I repeat: There is a need to be diplomatic.

Remember: you are not entitled to anything. This employment relationship is based on an agreement, and you probably did not ask for reviews as part of your hiring contract. If you are perceived as considerate, and build on this outward attitude, then you may have a chance at coming to an agreement that can grant you a raise over time.**  It is not unusual that you do not get a raise in bad times, or if you were the one who had to initiate an annual review methodology.

Each industry has an acceptable raise percentage. If you get 3%, in certain positions, you may think this is small, but it may be huge against the industry standard for your title or huge in your division or company.
Always keep in mind, a company hired you as a person to get a job done, without room for emotional opinions. You are tied to the end-goal of bringing in revenue, or saving relationships with customers who bring in future revenue.
As we get older, we realize – or should- that your happiness is really not the employer’s responsibility, but your own. And they should not PAY for you being unhappy. They cannot guess your desires. If a company does not indulge these annual reviews, and your considerate WRITTEN requests are ignored, you may want to find another job and avoid burning bridges. Start with a clean slate, with a new employer explaining that annual reviews are important to you with any position. Also if your employer has no methodology, it will be up to  you to suggest one as a baseline.

This is a great segue for a complex method of dealing with organization in life called Getting Things Done (aka GTD). Google this for more details.

**(You can gauge how others view you if you constantly see people diverting their eyes from you in the hallways, or if no one says hello to you.)


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