Survive Your Performance Review By Utilizing Active Goals

A recent Cornerstone OnDemand/Harris 2012 U.S. Employee Report indicated that only 20 percent of employees have established career goals with their manager or employer through a performance review. What’s worse is that less than half (45 percent) said the feedback they receive is a fair and accurate representation of their performance.

By pairing these statistics together, we can see that workers don’t feel like they’re getting the right feedback–and not much is being done to correct the way a manager feels about an employee’s performance. So, what can an employee do on their end?

Believe it or not, your manager may have no idea, or at least have little direction, in what your active goals are. So, it may be a good idea to fill them in:

What are active goals?

Active goals can be anything you’re working on right now. As a rule of thumb:

  • Shorter term goals: 30 days or less
  • Short-term goals: 45 days or less
  • Long-term goals: several months

Typically, your goals (short-term or long-term) are linked directly to larger company or team goals. So, if one of your goals was to write copy for the launch of your company website, the short-term goal would be the copy and the long-term goal would be the launch.

Why are they important?

Active goals are important because managers want to see young employees setting their own goals. It’s not always about following a to-do list or doing everything the manager suggests to the T. It’s about taking control of your job, as well as your career, and doing things on your own. By doing so, it shows commitment to company, as well as giving your manager the knowledge that you actually care about your role.

How can I share my active goals?

Prepare, prepare, prepare!

Make a list of three to six goals that you’re working towards. Aim for a variety, such as some long-term or short-term, some personal and company-directed. Next, be ready to back these up with substance. For instance, how much time do you have to dedicate to these goals? What happened to your completed or interrupted goals? What was the outcome, even if it was negative?

The end-goal is to obviously bring it all up in your performance review. There are a few ways to do this, such as looking for a transition point, waiting for your employer to ask, or bringing them up at the end of the meeting. Whatever you decide, make sure your voice is heard and that your active goals are known. Otherwise, you’re just leaving it up to the assumption of your manager, who may not have the right view or impression of your work.

What do you think? Do you think active goals are valuable for young professionals? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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