Preparing for Your Performance Review: Part 1

Setting the commitments

The overall logic of the Performance Management Process (PMP)

  • The PMP is your best friend if done correctly.
  • You may wish to organize your commitments into broad categories.
  • You might ask yourself how your priorities relate to those of your department.
  • You may also be able to see how your commitments roll up into your manager’s (hint: do not be afraid to ask to see your own manager’s performance agreement, in fact it is a great idea to have everyone’s commitments posted for all to see).
  • Nobody should be doing their performance agreement on their own. Work with other EX’s. Work with your staff too.
  • “How” you are going to accomplish your commitments should also be discussed.
  • Remember: there is no bigger determinant of corporate success than individual success.

Principles in identifying your commitments:

  1. Line of sight (clear and visible links between the goals and commitments you are trying to achieve, the measures and metrics that will help guide you toward those outcomes, and the activities and initiatives that will flow from the commitments).
  2. Be reasonable … is it something that you can actually do during the period under review? Make sure it is sized and sighted.
  3. Under promise … over deliver.

How your performance agreement relates to performance management for non-EX employees

  • As a steward of the group, when you have deliverables, make sure your employees’ deliverables add up to yours, along with the value-added that you provide to the group.
  • Your role should be to make sure that your team is performing as well as they can.
  • Most people want to succeed. Your role is to help them to achieve more. Make sure their agreements are clear.
  • Challenge is in managing through the layers. The commitments of your direct reports (and their direct reports) need to be clear (i.e. “This is what I need from you”).
  • Hold people accountable for what they do (i.e. poor performers). Other people really resent carrying others indefinitely. It is YOUR duty to make sure that employees know what is expected of them.

Setting performance commitments:

  • Your own commitments should cascade down from the corporate objectives.
  • They should be negotiated. Remember, you have to live with your commitments and you will be the one assessed by those commitments at the end of the year.
  • Look closely at the words. Don’t forget that “advance” is different than “complete”.
  • The number of commitments for an executive should not be more than 3 or 4 (there should be a reasonable span of control on the commitments and what you will be able to influence).
  • Look at who is going to help you to deliver (i.e. your staff or partners).
  • If the commitments handed to you look like they are too much to accomplish, say so. That said, you want to think about how to articulate that before you meet with your manager.
  • If you want to have more control over the expectations you have of yourself, write them down and go in to your manager and say “this is what I propose” (the added bonus is that this often makes it easier for your manager because you have helped them to complete this task).
  • Once you think your commitments are finalized, you might realize that your direct reports will want to negotiate their own expectations / commitments with you. In that case, you may need to go back to your manager. There is nothing wrong with this.
  • If you feel you have a gap, get help.
  • Remember, how you do things is as important as what you do. Make sure behaviours are emphasized as well as results.



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