You’ve been through the dreaded performance reviews. In January of the previous year you listed your goals for the year. You filed them away and gave a copy to your manager who filed them away. Both of you may have dreamed of the impact your fulfillment of your goals would have on your organization.
Then the year happened. Weekly deadlines. Urgent tasks. Non-important diversions. Suddenly the year had flown by and you get a notice that it’s time for your “year-end review.”
You think, “Yikes! Where did I file my goals?”
Your manager thinks, “Yikes! Where did I file their goals?”
You both meet, have a chat, cross the meeting off your To-Do lists, and gear up for another round in the New Year. And nothing consequential has happened.
I’ve been on both ends of the process. I’ve written goals that I thought were meaningful only to forget about them in the pile of work, family fun, and crises that happen. I’ve received goals that may or may not have been very meaningful only to not really know what to do with them by the end of the year.
Want to change all that? You can. In his book Finally! Performance Assessment that Works: Big Five Performance Management Roger Ferguson outlines a simple but effective and proven way of realizing more productivity in your workplace.
Here’s how it works:
- At the first of the month you write down your five highest priorities you want to accomplish that month.
- You also review the five most significant accomplishments from the previous month (things you wrote the previous month to see how you did).
- Do this by the fifth of each month.
- Then you send those in to your manager or the person to whom you report.
That’s it. It keeps your goals fresh and current. It keeps your goals in sight. And if you start getting off-course it isn’t a year until you review them again.
What if your organization doesn’t follow this management process? No worries. Can you imagine the reaction of a manager or employer that has such a proactive employee that these are sent on a monthly basis unrequested? I can’t imagine anyone not being inspired by this initiative.
You can try this at home too. In addition to your five professional goals you can have five personal goals and five relational goals. But you will need to share those with someone who can help you review them each month.
Resolve to add this to your work routine this year. It will keep you on track, be easy to remember, and by the end of the year you will have a record of all you have accomplished.
And you may have no need of a “year-end review” in December.
Question: Why not start now? What are five priorities you want to accomplish at work in January of 2015?