A performance appraisal typically involves the boss conducting a review of your key performance indicators or an agreed set of goals, during which he/she will provide his/her feedback and rate you on how you’ve performed based on those parameters. But it doesn’t have to be a one-sided process. It’s the perfect opportunity to draw your boss’s attention to issues or topics you feel strongly about, which will demonstrate your commitment and initiative, thereby getting his attention in the process.
Here are six work issues you should raise with your boss at your next performance appraisal:
1.Outdated processes or procedures holding back the company from progress
Most people put up with redundant or inefficient processes or procedures because they either don’t want to be saddled with the responsibility of managing the problem, or they’re afraid of making a fool of themselves. That’s a natural response: keep your head down and do as you’re told.
But if you’re looking for more responsibilities and the opportunity to grow and develop, you need to speak up and voice your ideas and views. The boss might not agree with your perspective, but he or she will at least respect your courage and confidence in speaking up. And there’s always a chance that your suggestion might be taken on board. If you don’t try, you won’t know.
2.Limitations in the department and your proposed solutions to remedy the situation
Similarly, if you spot limitations in the way your department is operating and you have ideas to boost the team’s productivity and efficiency, by all means, share your thoughts with your boss. This is your chance to demonstrate your resourcefulness and creative problem-solving skills.
Any efforts to help the department perform better will always be a valuable contribution to your boss. If it makes him or her look good to the big bosses, you’ll definitely score bonus points for initiative and commitment.
3.What you enjoy doing, and wish you could do more of
In addition to ideas that help the department and company, you should also share your thoughts on what you enjoy doing most in your job, and what you wish you could do more of. Not only does this help your boss understand your motivations better, it also allows him or her to better plan your career development.
Ask your boss to share some insights into how you can grow in the direction you desire, as well as your long-term career prospects at the organisation.
4.Skills that are underutilised
If you feel that you have underutilised skills that could benefit the department, by all means, take this opportunity to share this fact with your boss. It’s possible that he or she simply isn’t aware, and might appreciate your initiative in bringing this to his or her attention.
Even if it’s not possible for you to employ those skills in the way you wish at present, it could be something your boss could keep in mind for future planning.
5.New skills you’d like to learn and why
Maybe there are certain skills you’d like to learn that would enable you to do your job better. Ask your boss for funding support to enrol in the necessary training, and explain clearly how it will contribute to the department and organisation. What matters is that you are able to justify the added expense in relation to the value it brings to the company.
6.What support and resources you need to perform your best
If there are aspects of your employment that you wish were more conducive to enhanced creativity and productivity, this is your chance to negotiate for them. Perhaps it’s the flexibility to telecommute or work remotely, or having flexible hours that allow you to avoid rush hour traffic.
It could also be a management or planning issue where you’d like better visibility of the year’s goals and objectives, or a communication issue where there’s a lack of transparency in regard to directives and priorities. Whatever it is you need to perform at your best, if you don’t ask, you won’t get. Speak up. Your boss will respect you for it, even if he or she isn’t able to grant all your wishes.
A performance appraisal isn’t just for your boss to review your performance. It’s also your opportunity to do a self-review and highlight areas of improvement within the organisation, your department, as well as how your skills are being utilised, and whether you’re progressing in the right direction. Seize the day and share your thoughts. You might be surprised at what you can accomplish when you speak up.
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