By Angela Copeland
This has been a crazy year. What we thought would be two weeks of working from home has turned into an entire year of Zoom meetings with no end in sight. Many companies are now rounding the corner to performance evaluations. If performance evaluations weren’t weird before, they will definitely be different now. Here are a few tips on how to make your work from home performance review a success.
First, your evaluation is important. Often, we think of it as an afterthought. We do all of our other work as if it’s the real priority, and we treat our review as something that’s optional. It’s not. Treat your performance evaluation the same way you would treat a project for the CEO of your company. In your world, you are the CEO of your career and your review is important for your future career.
Don’t wait for your boss to tell you what to do. Take initiative. Ask your boss about setting up your review. Then, prepare in advance. This will set a positive stage.
Ahead of your boss’ evaluation, do your own self-evaluation. Go through your performance goals and write up why you believe you deserve a specific score. If you’re using a computer system with limited flexibility, you may want to score yourself — and create a separate presentation that goes into more detail.
Inside of your self-evaluation, give general reasons you believe you deserve a certain score. Then, dive into specifics. If you have metrics, include them. If you can show a percentage increase in results, show it. If you finished your project ahead of schedule, say so. If you’re making a separate presentation, you may also want to include pictures of work you’ve done. For example, if you helped to redesign a website, you might include a screenshot of the new website. Share not just how you achieved your goals, but also how you went above and beyond in the pandemic environment.
On the day of your evaluation, take note of how you look. If you’ve been working in sweats and a cap every day, it’s time to go back to business casual. Style your hair and generally create a look that you would have been comfortable presenting in during pre-COVID times.
Be on time for your review. In fact, you may want to log into Zoom a few minutes early to be sure your sound and video are working well. For the best look on camera, you may want to put your laptop on top of books to give it extra height and double check that your lighting looks good.
If your boss suggests areas for improvement or gives you a lower score than you’d like, try to take it in stride. We can always get better and once your review is completed, use it to update your resume. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in 2020, it’s that anything can happen.
Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.