The Performance Alchemist

Only 37 days until Performance Appraisals are due. Here are some steps to facilitate your supervisor writing you a good performance appraisal.

1. In accordance with the elements of your performance plan, detail what you accomplished and their impact on the organization. Email the list to the supervisor.

2. Make an appointment to discuss these accomplishments with your supervisor. You want to influence them positively before they even think of rating you because it is much more difficult to change someone’s mind after they make a decision. Yes these performance discussions may be uncomfortable, but they can also influence your appraisal.

3. It is not good enough to merely send in an email. Some of us communicate better in writing than orally, and some supervisors learn better through reading, or discussion. Take advantage of both ways of communicating.

4. Yes it is your supervisor’s job to know what you accomplished. However I have difficulty remembering what I accomplished in February unless I write it down. I assume that my supervisor cares less about my performance than I do, so I use written and oral communications to convince him or her of what I accomplished.

Best wishes for a successful appraisal and New Year!

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Andrew Krzmarzick

Wondering if people have tips for how they keep track of their performance year-round. A couple:

1 – “Kudos” file: place to collect emails and other instances online where people said nice things about me.

2 – Brag board: when something awesome happens, you hit a milestone, you launch something successful, find a place (we use Google Docs) to jot it down right away

3 – Year-round input: Ask for / schedule appraisals with your supervisor monthly or quarterly. Record what was said…


Penny Potter

Remember to map your accomplishments to the organization’s mission and objectives. That will tell your manager that you are strategically focused rather than self-focused.

Kimberly Denz

Excellent tips, Carol, thank you for the post! I keep a work journal of sorts, which really comes in handy for things like performance appraisals, updating my resume, and just keeping me motivated in general.

Katrina Jones

I keep an ongoing task list. It helps me keep track of major/minor activities, some of which I end up listing on my performance evaluations as accomplishments.

Benjamin L Bartlett Jr

I make it a habit to execute number 2 on a quarterly basis. Documenting that discussion and asking how am I doing?; what am I doing well?: what can I improve on?, usually removes the surprise of a decision at year’s end, while also staying on target of accomplishing goals set the year before.

Susan Pcola-Davis

I use my Day Planner to juggle my memory of what I was working on through the year. Then as the time rolls around I go day by day through it and address accomplishments in my list of accomplished goals and other important things I’ve done in the year.

Carol Davison

I open a Performance Accomplishments and Impact file as well as a kudos file about October 1 of each year. I also keep a weekly report of what I’ve accomplished. In case I forgot anything I go through my electronic calendar and the emails I sent and received. However, it’s best to be proactive.

James E. Evans, MISM, CSM

@Katrina Jones
I assume you mean the task option in Outlook? That is what i use. I just set a completion date of September 30th. I then send myself a email reminder about 10 days prior, It works!!

Gabriele Wenzelow

I use the production numbers of how many patients I have examined and also keep up with patient compliments,etc.Last year I used how I followed the HPDM(High Performance Development Model).Show that you did your mandatory training right away and not waited until the last minute.Document that you are a teamplayer ,gave excellent customer service,and went above and beyond the call of duty for the cause of the mission.

Carol Davison

James I store my accomplishments and their impact in a word document. I would send my accomplishment in by September 1st so I am able to influence my supervisor before she even thinks of rating me. I think September 30th is too late because they will have made up their minds by then.

Katrina Jones

@ James E — No, I actually keep a low-tech task list in a spreadsheet format. I track projects (major/minor), with due dates, comments, and final completion dates. It helps me prioritize and keep record of my output/contributions.