March 27th, 2014
Hip Hip Hooray for Employee Reviews
Many people shudder when it's employee review time. Not me. I love employee review day. You might think I'm crazy, and I'm sure some people do, but it is a time to get feedback on your job performance and make adjustments to improve. I know no one likes to hear constructive criticism, myself included, but it's a necessary evil to improve performance in order to be the best at your job. If you do not get feedback, you may be making errors repeatedly and be unaware you are making them. You could also think you are doing a great job when in reality your performance is merely mediocre in the eyes of your employer. While it can be upsetting to hear that you could be doing better in some areas, it is better to know and correct the behavior than to one day be let go because you were not correcting a problem you didn't know existed and now have no opportunity to fix. In your eyes your employer may be wrong in their assessment of you, and you may be right, but they are paying you to perform a service the way they like it performed, not the way you like it performed.
I can still clearly remember my first employee review many years ago. I was devastated when I was told my attention to detail could be improved upon. Mind you, that was the only criticism I received. My bonus check was in my hand, my raise was in the bag, they were totally happy with my work otherwise, and all was right in their world. My world, however, was in ruins. I obsessed for days over the one area they wanted me to improve upon and that was easy to correct. Looking back, I laugh at how ridiculously I blew up that one little thing into mountainous proportions. Yes, mistakes are going to happen. Typos will be made. It is not the end of the world. Just try harder and do a better job before the next review.
My advice to everyone is to go into an employee review with a positive attitude and look forward to hearing about the ways you can improve your performance, and don't take it personally. It's not.
Over the years, I have come to love employee reviews. Do I like constructive criticism any better? Of course not, but I use it to drive me. I want to be perfect. I strive for it. Will it ever happen? Probably not, but I will be better for it and better at my job. I am never complacent.