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  1. Why it’s time to take a holiday

    December 13, 2016 by Alison Hill

    Do you feel like you’re not getting things done in the way you’d like to? Like you can’t come up with creative solutions, or focus your energy on a tough task? It doesn’t even feel like it’s simply the Christmas party hangover or the Kris Kringle list you still have to get round to shopping for. You feel… well, worn out. You could really, really use a holiday about now.

    Science is on your side. Research shows that long periods of work without sufficient time to recharge has a negative effect on thinking. When you are worn out, tasks that you used to do quickly and easily become really hard. The temptation is to tell yourself to press on, whereas really you need to give your brain – and your body – a rest.

    We admire and elevate those who work hard, put in long hours and seem able to juggle a million things. To be able to do so is great, up to a point. Nobody can do it forever, and to keep on keeping on leads to burnout, at the expense of your own career and the business’s wellbeing.

    So if leaving it all behind for a week – or more, if you’re lucky – seems stressful, here are some signs you need to listen to your brain’s signals that you need to check out for a while.

    1. You feel less enthusiastic than usual about your job

    Science shows us that tiredness leads to negative mood.  When you are in a negative mind space, not only will you feel you have lost your joy at work, you will be more critical of others and more irritable. Before you lash out or say something you regret, take some time off. If you can use it to spend time in a different place, so much the better. Plan visits to the beach, the mountains or even a park with the kids. Research shows that spending time in a different environment has measurable benefits.

    1. Everybody else is taking time off

    Practically speaking, it can make sense to be away from your desk when everybody else is. Getting things done is difficult when you keep getting email autoreplies and voicemails from your customers and suppliers. Setting your own out of office message (or at least limiting the time you’ll check and respond to messages to once a day, if you must) can give you the time to recharge and get it all in perspective.

    1. You’re running out of good ideas

    You are taking longer to solve problems and to come up with creative solutions. You can see your productivity is dropping, so why not take some free time to fuel energy, creativity and focus. When you come back relaxed and refreshed, you might well find the tasks that seemed insurmountable are quite easy.

    1. You will have time to socialise and meet new people

    Social experiences can be both motivating and a wonderful way of networking. That guy you meet on the beach, the woman on your mountain trek can spark your curiosity about others and what they do, or even lead you to your next collaboration. Get out there and see what happens.

    1. You will have the opportunity to get back to nature

    Instinctively we know we feel calm when we float in the ocean, look out over a valley still covered in morning cloud or walk in a forest. The science behind this feeling tells us that our blood pressure is lowered, our stress hormones drop and our endorphin levels are higher. Surfer Mick Fanning, who has just spent time in remote Alaska after a tough and tragic year, describes it like this: ‘I felt I’d just run out of fire, like I needed to restock the wood’.

    Fanning describes having no phone calls, Instagram or email, allowing him to live in the moment. Leaving work at work is hard, but if you are thinking about it while you are supposedly taking a holiday, the benefits are lessened considerably. So switch off the work devices to make the most of your time off.

    Studies show that performance increases after any break – a few minutes to make a cup of tea is good; a long holiday after a tough year is great. If you’re still not convinced, consider this: Australians had over 100 million annual leave days accrued in 2016, representing a huge cost on the books of employers. These are like a debt to employers. So a holiday will help balance the books as well as balance your mind.

     


  2. What companies with the best employee retention have in common

    July 19, 2016 by Alison Hill

    With competition for workers in many sectors fierce and the costs of recruiting and replacing good employees growing, it makes sense for organisations to put more effort into retention. Engagement and retention are one of the top concerns for 78% of today’s business leaders, according to Deloitte. Employee engagement solutions company TINYpulse researched what really drives attrition, and recently published their Employee Retention Report.

    The report surveyed 400 full-time employees in the US over two weeks in July 2015 and analysed the data. This is what the top performing organisations do to retain the best employees.

    1. They choose supervisors that respect employees’ work and ideas

    When employees feel managers respect their work and ideas they are 32% less likely to think about looking for a new job – strong support for the adage that employees don’t quit their job; they quit their boss. Additionally, employees reported that they would be 13% more likely to stay if they were satisfied with the organisation’s senior management team.

    TINYpulse reports that micromanagement has a big impact on team satisfaction. Those with freedom to choose how they do their jobs are satisfied and more likely to stay. But those who feel micromanaged will most likely be thinking about leaving – 28% more likely. That’s a lot of disengagement.

    The next biggest factor in the manager relationship is transparency – there is a very high link between setting clear goals for the team and communicating them clearly and retention – 30%, in fact. Showing respect and appreciation has measurable results when it comes to keeping great employees.

    1. They hire candidates who show positivity, innovation and productivity

    ‘Colleagues have a lot of power’, says TINYpulse. High levels of peer respect mean higher levels of retention, so paying attention to the hiring process is critical and hiring people who are great to work with and are a good fit is as important as their skills when deciding whether to make the offer. Those who did not feel respected by their peers were 10% less likely to see a long-term future with the organisation.

    1. They pay serious attention to workplace culture and hire for cultural fit

    TINYpulse’s research showed that workplace culture is not a fluffy issue. Where employees rated the culture of their workplace low, there were 15% more likely to think about leaving. Both the type of culture and how the individual fitted into it mattered, and having a bit of fun on the job, such as at office drinks, sporting events or team volunteering, makes a big difference, as does assigning new employees a mentor or peer buddy who is an ambassador for the workplace culture.

    1. They encourage employees to take their paid time off and don’t overload them with work

    This one was huge – ‘Employees that are tired and burnt out are 31% more likely to think about looking for a new job than their colleagues who feel comfortable with their workload’. The survey points out that burnout is preventable if managers understand its downsides, measure it and take efforts to eliminate it, such as by taking their own paid leave.

    1. They offer professional growth opportunities to everybody, not just young employees

    Those with access to professional development and skills training, either externally or internally, were 10% more likely to stay with their employer. Millennials were almost unanimous that they would consider changing employers if they did not see opportunities for professional growth with their current employer – a whopping 75% of them. The report points out, though, that the desire for opportunities for growth now applies across workforce generations.

    Asking employees where they see themselves in six months’ time, next year, in two years’ time, is not just a good conversation starter; it’s an essential part of a retention strategy. Listen carefully to the answer – and do something about it. If you won’t, a competitor will. Our blog will offer some great ideas about in-house and external skills and development training in the near future.

    No initiative – especially one to improve your retention – should begin without a measurement to see how your team feels about the issues, the TINYpulse research report points out. You need to know where you are now, to pinpoint the most troublesome areas that need your attention, and to know how you will measure your success.


    Challenge Consulting’s Employee Retention Optimiser has been developed to identify key retention issues and priorities for your organisation; guide improvement strategies at all levels and help you to implement them; and track and monitor improvements. Find out more at Challenge People Services

     

     

     


  3. Use the onboarding process to build a positive culture in your organisation

    May 10, 2016 by Alison Hill

    If part of your strategy in making the new hire is to change corporate culture, grab the opportunity – and do it right. The first 90 days – that critical period for onboarding a new hire – are crucial in allowing the positive traits of the new employee to take hold in the organisation.

    Stephen Crowe, Managing Director of Challenge Consulting, explains: ‘When a new person joins a team, other team member’s senses are in a heightened state. People are more tuned in to changes. This sensitivity wears off over time, and as it does, so does the opportunity to effect change.’

     Two decisions have a large bearing on how successful you will be.

    1. Choose the right mentor for your new hire

    The right mentor must have more than just a good understanding of the job requirements. Pick somebody who embodies the culture you want to instil. ‘This person will have a large initial influence not just by what they say and do, and what they choose to focus on with the new employee, but also by how they conduct themselves while they do it’, explains Crowe. ‘Their vocabulary, their body language, the respect or otherwise they show for others and the emphasis they put on different aspects of the role will strongly affect the new employees’ understanding of acceptable behaviour.’

    This applies not only while the mentor is working with the new hire. ‘They will be strongly affected by how their mentor deals with co-workers, clients and others in day-to-day situations.  The new employee will be watching – often unconsciously – how their mentor behaves with others when they are not with the new employee’, says Crowe.

    I was told about a friend’s first day at what turned out to be a nightmare workplace. She was being shown around on her first day by her new manager, who talked up the friendly workplace culture with its breakout areas full of beanbags, Friday drinks and casual dress code. She was therefore taken aback when the manager snapped at a co-worker about preparing for a presentation and cut him off mid-sentence when he tried to respond. The manager’s body language, arrogant behaviour and disrespect was totally at odds with her words. It soon became clear this was not a friendly, laid back place to work, and she left after three weeks.

    1. Allow the positive traits of the new hire to take hold

    ‘Pinpoint which desirable new practices, suggestions and behaviours the new employee brings’, says Crowe. ‘Allowing their traits to take hold in the organisation is an opportunity to shift the culture, and has the highest chance of success during the first ninety days of the person’s employment.’

    The change in direction is not achieved by pushing those traits on the others in the team. ‘That will more likely result in resentment, explains Crowe.  ‘It is done by not standing in the way when the person presents something new, or suggests doing something in a new way, or displays behaviour that is different but is in line with the culture you are trying to build.  By allowing the behaviour but not imposing it on others, the organisation gives the signal that this is acceptable. By not forcing it, you are allowing a subtle change of direction’, he says.

    Crowe stresses that using the onboarding process as an opportunity to change workplace culture is a subtle process that comes about by a nuanced mixture of reinforcing the desirable aspects of company culture with the new hire and allowing their new, positive traits to hold sway. ‘It’s not  a game for the heavy handed, as any company culture is a complex and nuanced mixture of practices, beliefs and emotions’, he says.

    Have you had any experience – good or bad – of a new hire influencing company culture in their first 90 days? We welcome your comments.

     

     

     

     


  4. Seven ways to help you decide between two superstar candidates

    May 3, 2016 by Alison Hill

    Every so often, a hiring manager will have the problem of deciding between two great candidates. It seems like a great problem to have, but what if you get it wrong? What if the candidate you choose doesn’t work out, and leaves after a couple of months? 

    Choosing between two equally qualified candidates who have impressed in their interviews and whose references are impeccable is difficult. Once you have made absolutely sure that both have the skills necessary to do the job through testing and a structured interview, there are a few more things about each candidate to consider. Here are our best tips to help you make the decision.
    1. Consider cultural fit, based on shared values, motivation and drivers. Read all about this in our shared articles, Recruiting for cultural fit and How to spot the right cultural fit in a job interview.
    2. Look to the future. One candidate may have skills or experience that are not essential to this position, but could allow them to add value later as they move up in the organisation. A candidate who has travelled extensively, for example, may one day be the right person to work in an overseas office.
    3. Consider the team they will work with. Looking at the team’s culture, work style preferences and balance of skills and attitudes can help you to decide which candidate will do better in the team. Does the team need rounding out with a more diverse group of people? Or will a person with the same traits as the existing team do better?
    4. Get back to basics. Ask yourself, ‘What is the number one priority in making this hire?’ After so many interviews, reference checks, skills test results and deliberations, it is easy to forget this most fundamental question. Step back and see if contemplating this makes the decision clearer.
    5. Have another conversation with their referees. Be really awake to their tone of voice and degree of enthusiasm, and aware of what they might not be saying, or be slightly hesitant about.
    6. Invite the candidates to spend a few hours with the prospective team, and get the team’s feedback. This is sometimes known as the ‘beer test’, but you can equally well have lunch together or even have them spend some time working in the team so that you can each assess the others’ working style. If both candidates have made it this far in the hiring process, they are most likely keen to take the position. What will it take to attract hem to the organisation? Have you already dealt with the question of pay, or will that make your decision for you? Is the start date critical, and if so, is one candidate available sooner than the other? Have you checked that both are qualified to work in Australia?

    Finally, it may be down to gut feel. When you have done the science of recruitment, it comes to the art – what your instinct tells you about the two candidates after you have weighed skills, fit, and practical details of the offer. Given that you have two great candidates, it’s likely you will end up with a successful hire. Just don’t take too long in your decision, or somebody else might snap them up!


  5. Not quite toxic but a little bit poisonous: How to deal with difficult people at work

    April 19, 2016 by Alison Hill

     

    With any luck, your company has a robust hiring process and has managed to follow the first rule for working with toxic people: don’t hire them in the first place. But if they haven’t, or if you have to work with somebody who is difficult but not instantly recognisable as a toxic personality, here are some ways to smooth the journey.

    You’re likely to feel bewildered, used and manipulated by a co-worker at some time in your career. It may be a manager who expects you to work overtime or at weekends with no warning to complete a project – and who then takes the credit for it on Monday morning. It may be a colleague who belittles you in a team meeting by betraying something you told them in confidence, or who gossips about others in a way that is uncomfortable and makes you wonder what they say about you behind your back.

    These people are not diagnosable psychopaths or sociopaths for the most part, although they might display some of the characteristics used in psychiatric diagnoses.

    Steven Booker, Challenge Consulting’s Principal Psychologist explains that there are differing levels of toxic behaviour: ‘Extremely psychopathic or narcissistic people are often unable to get or hold onto long-term employment  because their extreme selfishness, lack of empathy, intolerance, anger and aggression are incompatible with the strongly team and values-oriented culture of most employers’, he says. ‘However, there are a group of people that we might call “subclinical psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists” whose personalities are no so extreme that although they can be quite selfish, aggressive or toxic, they are still able to be effective in some organisations, especially those that have a culture which values only results without any emphasis on values, teamwork and having empathy for clients, staff and customers. These people can often be misperceived as successful and high functioning because of their confidence, cold-blooded nature and lack of fear’, Booker says. ‘The real challenge when recruiting is to identify people with the drive, ambition, confidence and competitiveness to get strong results while also ensuring that they have sufficient empathy and care for others to be able to work as part of an effective team. Psychological assessment is one of the best tools available to select people with this combination of traits and help organisations reduce the risk of hiring toxic people.’

    According to business journalist Gregory Bresiger, the difficult people most commonly found in the workplace are these:

    • Gossipmongers: They spread fear by spouting hearsay.
    • Bullies: These employees repeatedly put others down by verbally humiliating them.
    • Saboteurs: These are people trying to gain an advantage by hurting fellow workers.
    • Spotlight stealers: They take credit for others’ work and hoard the limelight in team projects.

    Dealing with difficult people takes special skills. Luckily, some of these can be learned. Here are a few ideas that work.

    1. Know yourself. Know what presses your buttons. When you are going to be in a situation with the difficult person, such as a one-on-one meeting or a project planning session, prepare by focusing on what is important to you and the outcome you want. What would be unacceptable? Then think about what the difficult person might say or do, and plan how you might react.
    2. Take a step back. When a person is being difficult, it is easy to either give in or get angry. I remember working with somebody who would persist with an idea long after everybody in the team had already nixed it. More than once, the rest of the team gave in and let her run a project her way – often with the predictable negative outcome. On one occasion a team member got visibly angry. If only we’d known better. Removing ourselves from the situation – either by mentally taking a time out or by actually adjourning the meeting – and looking at the dispute objectively to plan a rational response would have been more productive and more likely to lead to the outcome we wanted.
    3. Let them experience victory. Many difficult people like to win, and to feel they ‘have the last word’ on an issue. You can refuse to give in to them while simultaneously helping them to save face and preserve their dignity. William Ury, author of the influential 1991 book Getting past no: Negotiating with difficult people, calls this ‘building a golden bridge’. As Ury says, ‘if you want him to acknowledge your point, acknowledge his first.’ Helping a difficult person to save face and feel they are getting their own way, at least some of the time, can help to neutralise their effect.

     


  6. How we lose six million working days a year (and how to stop)

    October 6, 2015 by Alison Hill

    By Alison Hill

    October is Mental Health Month, when we are all encouraged to think about our own mental health as well as the mental health of those around us. Given that we spend an average of 40 per cent of our time at work, mental health in the workplace is clearly important. As a result of spending so much time together, our colleagues may know us better than anyone else, and we may be best placed to support them.

    Beyondblue has published these astonishing statistics about mental health at work in Australia.

    • One in five people will be experiencing a mental health condition at any one time
    • Six million working days are lost each year as a result of untreated depression
    • Untreated mental ill-health costs the Australian economy $10.9 billion each year in absenteeism, reduced productivity and compensation claims.

    During October, make it your priority to focus on mental health. Start by becoming more aware of the issues. The ABC’s ‘Mental As…’ initiative is presenting television programs, radio shows and podcasts about mental health issues, and has a dedicated website. Being more aware of mental health conditions and how they affect people is an important first step in getting rid of the stigma attached to mental illness. The most prevalent mental illnesses in our community are depression and anxiety. Start by informing yourself about them.

    Unfortunately, the workplace itself can put mental health at risk. Research by beyondblue and others has shown that these factors make mental illness more likely:

    • Long hours and/or shift work
    • Fly-in/fly out work arrangements
    • Demanding deadlines and targets
    • A heavy workload
    • Lack of role clarity
    • Lack of appropriate recognition and reward
    • High emotional or intellectual demands
    • Poorly managed change
    • A low level of control over tasks and responsibilities (see our last blog post about job crafting)
    • Bullying and discrimination

    It’s up to everybody in the workplace to create a mentally healthy workplace. Heads Up, a mental health organisation dedicated to giving individuals and businesses free tools and resources to take action, recommends that we:

    • increase awareness of people’s responsibilities relating to mental health
    • reduce stigma
    • build the skills and confidence to approach someone who may be experiencing difficulties
    • encourage staff with mental health conditions to seek treatment and support early
    • support staff with mental health conditions to stay at or return to work
    • monitor and manage workloads
    • increase input into how people do their work
    • prevent bullying and discrimination

    Research by professional services firm PwC has shown that for every dollar spent to create a mentally healthy workplace, the return is $2.30. That seems like a good investment.

    For the rest of October, Challenge Consulting will focus on resources that will help you to create a mentally healthy workplace.  Here are two to get you started:

     


  7. Five awesome ways to love your job more

    June 23, 2015 by Penny Robertshawe

    ‘The secret to great work is being passionate about your job’, said Steve Jobs. The problem is that sometimes it’s hard to keep the passion alive. So what can you do when you’re faced with challenges like conflicting demands on your time and energy, internal politics and a general lack of job satisfaction? Quitting is an option, but not always the best one. Another option is to take action to ignite your passion using these five awesome techniques:

    1. Look for meaning

    We all want to feel like we’re doing something meaningful that will make a difference but sometimes we get so caught up in the daily grind that we lose sight of why we’re there. The secret to finding meaning in your work is to align it with your values. Write down your top five values. Here are mine – family, good health, challenge, creativity and curiosity. What are yours? How does your work help you to live according your values?

    1. Do more of what you like

    You might not like every aspect of your job, but you probably like parts of it. Maybe there’s an opportunity to do more of those parts you like. Do you enjoy helping others learn new skills? Are you a natural organiser? Do you like working with words to make something sound just right? Build more of anything you like and see how your job suddenly becomes more interesting.

    1. Learn something new

    To be happy at work you need to find the sweet spot between being under challenged and over challenged. If you feel that your job only needs half your brain then you’re bored and it’s probably time to learn something new. Challenge yourself by learning more about the industry you work in and learning new skills. You’ll not only quell your boredom but you will also be adding to your worth as an employee.

    1. Get clear about expectations

    If you’re faced with conflicting demands, ask your boss to clarify priorities for you. Be upfront early about the possibility of not completing a task on time because another task has taken up all your time and attention. You don’t want to be faced with having to tell people that you didn’t complete the task by the due date, so flag obstacles early so others can plan ahead.

    1. Keep away from the moaners

    Are you hanging around with the cynics and whiners at work? Negativity breeds more negativity. Work will never be perfect, but when you spend your time with people who love to hate the workplace and most of the people in it, you won’t be happy. Seek out people with more balanced views and you’ll find that your views about work will shift dramatically.


  8. Tips on how to effectively lead teams

    May 5, 2015 by Jenna

    Leading teams requires great commitment and looking outside of yourself to meet their needs. We have provided some tips below to help set you on the right path to a great leadership experience: If you are new to a leadership role they might help guide your way and if you have been at it for a while they may serve as a useful reminder.

    1. Brush up on Your Communication Skills. Having clear and precise communication is important, and being honest and open with your team helps build a level of trust. Making sure all staff understand what the goals and expectations are and giving them the opportunity to contribute their thoughts and ideas for feedback is important.

    2. Be Committed to Your Goal. Not only should you be explaining the importance of the company goals to your team, but you need to show by example that you support the goals as a leader. This involves setting out the tasks, having follow-up meetings and making sure that your team is on track with what needs to be achieved.

    3. Give Verbal Recognition. Verbal recognition for efforts and praise show your support towards the staff member’s accomplishments. It also boosts morale and positivity that encourages a mutual support among team members.

    4. A Team Leader Should Lead by Example. A great leader is someone who shouldn’t be afraid to get their hands dirty or dig in to help when the team requires additional support. Someone who can encourage team members to take risks and support them when they do.

    5. Invest in Staff Careers. To ensure your staff are up to date with the skills they need for their role, you may need to invest in training, invest time mentoring or finding the right mentor, invest time to discover what they really need and want in order to do a great job.

    6. Resolve Conflicts. Any conflict within the workplace needs to be handled promptly and assessed by leaders as soon as it arises. Appropriate measures need to be taken to find resolution or negotiate a mutual agreement. Whether it is conflict in a task or between co-workers, leaders must step up to the plate to take action and problem solve the best way that they can.

    7. Teach Adaptability. The effective team manager should teach adaptability and flexibility to all their team members. This results in better communication, a greater sense of empowerment among staff and a faster exchange of information.

    8. Build Pride in Your Team. Positive reinforcement on success is a proven way to keep staff motivation high and build pride in your team. It will increase productivity amongst the team and encourage drive towards goals. You are also creating a positive working environment that employees are happy to be a part of.

    9. Give Your Staff New Responsibilities. Just as you have developed into your role of leadership, your team are looking for development opportunities. It is important that you help them by giving them the opportunity to take on new responsibilities as the opportunities arise.

    Have you lead teams during your career? What were your first experiences when it came to leading teams? What did you find was most successful? What did you learn from the experience?


  9. What are the next steps after gaining a promotion?

    April 28, 2015 by Jenna

    You have worked hard to get your promotion, now you have to set yourself up for success in your new role. Preparing to take on more responsibility will make the transition process run smoothly and will help set you up for future success.

    So what are the next steps after you receive the promotion? What can you do to keep yourself on track?

    1. Get clear expectations. The first thing you need to do is really understand your new role. What does the organisation expect of you? What does your manager expect of you? And what do you expect of yourself? Clarifying these expectations sets up a path to follow.

    2. Set your goals What do you want to accomplish and why? Set personal and career goals both short and long term so you can measure your progress on the path. Don’t be afraid to share your goals or vision with management and get their buy in as well,

    3. Talk to your boss. Get to know your manager and determine how you will work together. How and when will you communicate and what will help you succeed beyond the job description. These things are critically important to your mutual success.

    4. Focus on building relationships. You may have moved to a new department with new peers or report to and a new manager. The relationships with the people around you are part of that job! Invest time in building relationships with your new peers, people in other groups, your boss, your customers, and if you are a leader, your team. It makes your working environment more positive and productive if you have a level of rapport with your team.

    5. Learn what you need to learn. Remember you are new to this position so you cannot know it all on the first day! It is part of our development to learn new skills. Take notes, ask questions, request feedback to make sure you are heading on the path towards success. The earlier you set yourself up to understand the requirements and expectations of the role, the easier it will be to settle into the position and start delivering.

    6. Celebrate! Of course you deserve the time to celebrate your promotion and share the excitement with others. Take some time for yourself and those closest to you to celebrate your progress and accomplishments. Celebrating builds your confidence and awareness, and it sets you on the right path for even better performance.

    Sometimes we tend to rush from one project to the next without fully understanding what we have achieved. Every accomplishment is a stepping stone on the path towards your future. Show appreciation towards those who helped get you get to that next stage.

    If you have been through a promotion recently, what steps did you take to continue to perform at your best and show that you were the right one for the job?


  10. What to expect in a performance review

    April 14, 2015 by Jenna

    Performance reviews can seem intimidating and can make you feel anxious, but at the end of the day they are important in helping us develop and improve our performance. Whether you have been in an organisation for a few months or a few years, the performance review is inevitable. With correct preparation though, they don’t have to be scary.

    1. Be Prepared

    There is no harm in asking your manager ahead of time what to expect from the upcoming review. You can also ask fellow colleagues who have been at the organisation longer what they have experienced. Make sure that you are recording your work progress and achievements so that you also have something to present to management during the review process.

    1. Be Honest

    This is an opportunity for you to share with your manager your honest thoughts and opinions on your current workload and working environment. This means acknowledging if you are struggling in some areas and working with management on ways to resolve or delegate certain tasks. This is also an opportunity to shine and really show your manager where you are excelling (as long as you can back it up with examples).

    1. You are Part of a Team

    Remember that your performance review should not be just an opportunity for your manager to point out all of your failures. You should both be discussing how you are performing as an individual and a team member for the overall success of the company. If you have ideas or feedback to put forward on possible improvements or incentives for the team, now would be the time to do so.

    1. Know Your Accomplishments

    Don’t sell yourself short. A manager may not always be present during the time of an accomplishment and may ask you what you have contributed to the company so far. Don’t let it fall under the radar, even get a colleague or witness to verify it if it was a team effort or if it helped another person significantly. If you are a facts and figures type of person, present it to management with the data necessary to support your review.

    1. Be Open to Constructive Criticism

    These periodic assessments are provided to everyone in your team to help you improve. It is important to not take constructive feedback as though it is a personal attack or react in a defensive manner. Take the time to listen carefully to the feedback your manager has provided, and once you know they have stated all of the details, take the time to ask any questions about anything you may be unsure about. You can also ask what steps you can start taking to improve this area of feedback.

    1. Give Feedback

    There should be a point in the review session where you’re asked if you want to give feedback on your colleagues, your boss, or the projects you’ve worked on. Be honest, but professional with your feedback, especially about co-workers or the way a certain project has been organised. Don’t leave anything out, but at the same time provide value by offering suggestions for improvement instead of just complaining.

    1. Ask Questions

    Show that you were attentive and have initiative by asking questions at the end of the review on the next steps and areas of improvement. Be open to answer any questions provided by the reviewer as well. It’s a lot better to reflect on questions while the conversation is still fresh and even take notes on responses to reflect upon afterwards.

    If you’re honest and assertive in your performance review and know what to expect, you’ll leave your review with more positive motivation than ever.




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