Performance Reviews and Goal Setting

December is a busy month. In the ShapiroCM corporate office, we’re not only finalizing the holiday card mailing, managing health insurance enrollment and securing venues for our annual celebrations, it’s also the month that we conduct annual performance discussions.

In preparation, employees are asked to fill out a self-review form, which includes questions about their goals for the coming year. The self-assessment is discussed, along with a supervisor’s assessment. 2018 was the first year that we used the self-assessment as a tool to get more feedback from employees and more employee involvement in career goal setting.

To that end, and as part of our Healthy Workplace Initiative, we encourage our employees – and other readers of this blog – to answer a few questions as part of their own process of reviewing the year and looking towards the next.

A year from now, when you look back at 2020, what’s the one big thing you want to have accomplished, personally, professionally or both? Identifying one thing that would make us feel really awesome about our year simplifies and focuses goal setting. It’s then possible to identify the steps needed to achieve that goal. Each day, we can ask ourselves – what’s the one thing I can do today to get closer to achieving my big goal for the year? Before making a decision or taking action on something we can also ask if that decision or action is in alignment with the one big goal.

How do you want to learn or grow over the next year? We can answer this question on a career or personal level, as well. Some skills, such as becoming more organized, becoming more proficient with technology or increasing our physical energy can have benefits in work and personal areas of our lives.

Our company, like many others, reimburses employees for a portion of continuing education expenses. We also facilitate group training each quarter and set up peer-to-peer employee coaching to brush up on skills such as MS Project. We share articles, podcasts and infographics on growth and development topics through the Healthy Workplace Initiative and in our quarterly newsletter. Employees who have an idea for a training, or would like to learn more about something work related, are encouraged to let the management team know.

How do you want to spend your leisure time? Many of us derive a lot of satisfaction from our work. But feeling full and satisfied personally, means we show up for everything in life with a positive mindset. In our company most of us have 3 weeks of PTO time a year. Intentionally planning how we spend that time, as well as evenings and weekends, ensures we have positive experience, means we are more likely to be satisfied in all aspects of our life and makes it easier for us to keep minor personal or career setbacks in perspective.

As a company, we invite employees to join us for a recreational outing once each summer. Two of the leaders of our company have dedicated hobbies that they share stories about with co-workers. That creates a corporate culture that encourages individual pursuits and interests and well-rounded employees.

How will you be held accountable? Jotting down the answers to these questions is the first step. They won’t provide any benefit to us if we don’t also plan for how we will be held accountable. The review discussion can be one place to ask for accountability and support from your supervisor.

If we share a goal with a co-worker, we can keep each other accountable. Health goals like weight loss and improved fitness may be easier to achieve with a buddy or two. Even though it might not be directly related to work performance, making our goals known in our performance reviews lets the management team know that this is something important to us, and could initiate the organization of a company-wide effort.

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