Friday, January 18, 2008

Review Time

It's review time here at work. The past two weeks I've been pumping out peer reviews. Peer reviews are where you give feedback on your colleagues and manager. I had nine of them to do this year and they all went pretty well.

As for my review, I had seven goals that were entered at the beginning of 2007. All pretty standard. You know "Maximize the effectiveness of the organization by providing team leadership." I try to keep them pretty basic and for the most part, uninteresting and unquantifiable.

The way our review system works is you need to provide feedback and a rating for each goal. I gave myself five "fully met expectations," one "met minimum expectations" and one "exceeded expectations." Overall I was a fully met.

My review feedback ended up to be 470 words, or about two pages when double spaced. In years pasted I've been way over 1000 words, but in my current group, the rules for amount of content are not strictly enforced. In my previous group I actually got asked to provide more content for a "met minimum" goal. That's the only time I've been accused of being "brief."

My peer feedback probably took about two hours, and my review took about an hour. A lot of people ask how I'm so quick at giving peer feedback and writing up my review. Here is my secret; I use a book called "Effective Phrases for Performance Appraisals" by James E. Neal Jr. It's his tenth edition so it must be popular.

I simply take a few phrases from Mr. Neal's book and then add in a couple of examples and some outcomes. You can pick up a copy of the book at Amazon or at your local book seller. Give it (or any review book) a try.


Scooter said...

Hilarious - I used that book the last two years when I was doing a dozen reviews. I didn't choose to use it for my personal review this year ;)

It would be interesting to write an add in for their system that removes all phrases in that book from reviews.

Mac Noland said...

Even more interesting would be to see how many people actually read reviews.

Scooter said...

How pessimistic! Last year I did salary reviews and had to roll up the employee reviews into a single summary. It was really a surprise to me to see how little most people write, even other team leads, in reviews. I sat around cursing because for a single employee, the only concrete examples from the year where from the review notes I had written for them during the year.