Career Advice: How Are You Doing On Your Job?
How are you doing on your career path? Far too many individuals have to reply: "I don't really know; okay I guess."
Career success requires answers.
are not available when employers don't have feedback systems; many who
do, don't use them effectively. The result: a huge problem for employers
as well as employees.
Common sense says every organization
ought to have in place an organized system for evaluating employees and
letting them know where they stand on their career path.
can people build their strengths and correct their shortcomings if they
don't know what they are? How can they do their best work if they don't
understand what is expected of them?
Five Career Tips For Effective Feedback
An effective feedback system includes these five points:
1. The manager and the employee discuss and agree on specific duties and expectations (i.e., goals).
Both parties agree on how achievements will be measured and rewarded.
This step includes an understanding as to when and how the measurements
will be taken.
3.The manager provides mid-course checkups and corrections on a regular basis.
At the end of a predetermined period, performance is appraised against
the agreed-upon standards of measurements. Both positive and negative
results are discussed candidly.
5. Career rewards are given
according to achievements of agreed upon goals. If there are problems
with performance, the employee should be advised of improvements that
must be made, within a given time frame, along with an explanation of
what will happen if corrections are not made.
Put the results of this five-step process in writing.
Career Tip: Performance Feedback Is Not An Easy Process
is nothing easy about this process. However, if executed properly, it
doesn't have to be painful. In fact, it can be a time of renewal and
This all makes common sense, doesn't it?
Then, why don't more companies have evaluation systems in place? Why don't those who have them do a better job executing them?
strange as it may seem, managers often don't have a clear enough
picture of their employees' duties, or how they will be gaged, to put
them in writing.
Frequently, managers don't take the time to
evaluate their employees and help them when they drift off course.
Instead. They wait until it is crisis time.
Career Tip: Praise and Constructive Criticism
effective system for evaluating performance includes both praise and
constructive criticism presented in an even-handed manner.
should be rewarded according to set standards. However, it is a mistake
to reward incompetence. When employees receive awards, even after
failing to reach their goals, the system begins to fall apart and
failure becomes acceptable.
If an employee is fouling up, he
should be told. It is unfair and unwise for the manager to ignore the
small mistakes until a major one occurs and a major confrontation takes
Career Tip: Ask For Regular Appraisals
What should you do if your employer doesn't have a stated evaluation system or has one and lets it languish?
Screw up your courage and act.
you are in a position to do so, take a lead in instituting an appraisal
system. If you can't do that, at least suggest to your boss that the
organization would be better off if it had a system for evaluating and
rewarding all of its employees.
Even if there's not a system for all employees, ask your boss for an individual performance appraisal... pluses and minuses.
the boss you want to learn and grow. Explain that the only way you can
advance toward your career goals is to know what you are doing right and
wrong and receive career coaching accordingly.
If your boss
has his wits about him and is at all interested in his own career, he
will recognize that you are exhibiting strength and ambition, not
weakness, when you speak up on this vital issue. He will appreciate that
you are trying to learn more, do more and earn more.