When you have a lot of commitments at work, it can be very difficult to keep track of them all and even more difficult to trust that your work performance is meeting or exceeding expectations. So many people I talk to on a daily basis complain that their work goals are changing every single day. What do you do when you have annual goals that your manager has set, and yet your everyday demands for attention are pulling you away from those annual goals?
You are working really hard and a lot of hours every day, and the annual goals that you agreed on with your manager get left in the dust. How do you ensure that you don’t end up having a difficult conversation with your manager regarding review time?
A performance review is a long way away for many people in corporate careers. It may be months down the road, but now is the time to think about how you want that review to go. If you wait until the end of the year to think about it, you risk being surprised.
In my career coaching offer, I have six different tools and lessons that I offer which help someone manage their work performance, but today, I am going to give you my favorite and most powerful two steps that help me stay on top of my performance.
These two simple steps allow me to
- Trust that I am focusing my time and energy on the activity that helps me perform my best at work.
- It enables me to have productive conversations with my manager.
- It helps me to stay motivated to work on the most important items.
Ready? Let’s set you up to have a great review at the end of the year.
Step One: Make sure you understand your documented work goals.
- Did you and your manager document goals at the beginning of the year?
- If not, that’s the first thing you need to do. Write down what you think your goals are and show them to your manager.
- If you did document goals and review them with your manager, when Is the last time you looked at them? Many people have saved the goals in an HR system, and then they don’t get reviewed again until review time. That’s a mistake.
- So the first step is for you to make sure you have goals that you understand and you have agreed on them with your manager.
If you understand your goals, then move on to step two. If not, then you should schedule a one-on-one meeting with your manager and work on creating your performance goals. Be willing to do the work to create your goals yourself. You can’t always trust that your manager will do it for you. They will appreciate you taking the initiative.
Do you have your goals and do you understand them? Great! Move on to step 2.
Step Two: Read your goals every single day.
Seriously. Read them every day. Make sure they are always in front of you. Then ask yourself the question, “What is one thing I will do today to make progress on this goal?” If you read your goals every day and ask yourself this question, then one of two things will happen.
- You will take action and make progress on the goal every day.
- You will identify a challenge to get past.
- Do you need to ask someone else for help or input?
- Do you need to prioritize the timing of the goal? Or ask your manager about the priority of the work?
- Do you need to make adjustments to your annual goals?
- Do you need to follow up with someone so that you can move forward?
Knowing about these challenges enables you to convert the challenge into the next action. i.e. “Schedule a kickoff meeting to get started on this project on time”, or “Ask my manager if the new assignment I have been given is more important than this documented goal”. or “follow up with the vendor to ask them when I will see that contract”.
Do these two things, and you will be able to manage your performance beautifully and not be surprised at review time.
There is a lot more you can learn when it comes to managing your work performance. These two steps are my favorite. I guarantee you will know what you need to do, and you will be identifying the specific actions you need to take in order to do it.
I wish you well in managing your work performance. If you are struggling with any other performance-related things (how to create a goal, overcoming procrastination, managing your time, knowing what you want to do, creating a schedule that works for you), then I encourage you to schedule a free consultation with me to talk about it. I have many lessons I teach that are related to work performance, and the topic above is just one thing that will help.
Now, go crush those goals!
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