Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful? Today our guest blogger, Lindsey Harper Mac, presents the third and last in her new series of posts on career development.   Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can find the first post in this series at this link – Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious and the second at this link –  Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Career Development Part 3: Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

For many employees, receiving a performance review isn’t a welcome occurrence. It can seem that bosses are being tedious and trying to catch their workers messing up on the job when these reviews are compiled and delivered. In truth, however, an employee review is intended to be a useful tool in promoting employee growth. When done properly, performance reviews should highlight areas of strength and weakness and provide a roadmap for future growth. To better understand the employee review process, consider all the factors that go into a comprehensive employee review.

Work Monitoring

The most notable-–and commonly most nerve tweaking-–part of any employee review is the work-monitoring segment. During this part of the review process, the employer evaluates the worker while he’s on the job and makes note of strengths and weaknesses. In some cases, the worker knows he’s being monitored; in others, the worker is unaware, ensuring that the employer has an accurate picture of the worker’s performance on a day-to-day basis.

Performance History Review

Employers also often review the employee’s history of performance, checking accuracy percentages, sales figures or other numbers indicative of the employee’s level of on-the-job success. By consulting this information, the employer can ensure that, if the work monitoring didn’t yield stellar results, his negative opinion isn’t simply the result of one not-so-hot day on the job.

Collaboration

Employers often collaborate with different individuals within the managerial or HR departments when completing these employee reviews. In doing so, they share their findings and ask the individuals with whom they’re collaborating to reflect upon the data as well. This can go a long way toward ensuring that the overall opinion of the worker’s effectiveness isn’t solely determined by one individual.

Goal Setting

After gathering all the information required to make informed decisions, managers commonly set some goals for what they’d like to see the employee achieve in the next several months or over the course of the next year. They may decide they want to see improved accuracy from an employee whose percentages were found wanting. For an employee they’d like to see advance within the company, they may encourage her to make efforts toward reaching educational goals or obtaining further professional credentials.

Employee Input

After these steps, the employer presents the painstakingly gathered information to the employee. Often, the employee is asked to provide input at this point as well. This could be an explanation of an area that appeared to be weak but is actually stronger than the numbers would suggest. During this portion of the review, the employee is commonly presented with the goals set for her and asked to edit them or agree to them if she feels they’re reasonable.

When employers review their employees’ work, they hope to find these workers are doing everything perfectly. When this isn’t the case, managers can use the information they glean from this careful monitoring of performance to help their employees grow and become better workers within their selected industries. This facilitation of growth is mutually beneficial, as it allows employers to craft stronger workforces and it allows employees to become the best workers they can be.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

 

How to get more women on Boards starting with the Public Sector

Women on boards

How to get more women on Boards starting with the Public Sector

Women on Boards – on the Guardian Public Leaders Network is a post from Fiona Hathorn who is managing director of Women on Boards UK – you can find them at this link

It sets out some straightforward strategies that chairs of UK public bodies can adopt to achieve a better gender balance on their boards and committees.  And most of these recommendations could be applied very well in the private sector.

They include:

• Ensuring the board is proactive in seeking out senior women and reviews its selection criteria regularly

• Ensuring all appointments are advertised (including online) and actively using social media to ensure a wide cross-section of applicants can access vacancies

• Ensuring there is a mixed gender selection panel, including one independent selector

• When using an external recruiter,  specifying a minimum of 50% appropriately qualified men and women on the shortlist

• Becoming champions of gender and other diversity on all boards and committees and ensuring good diversity policies filter down through organisations

• Working to retain high quality women and passing on the details of sound, but unsuccessful candidates to the Cabinet Office’s centre for public appointments database.

You can read the rest of the post at this link

Tips for public bodies to achieve equality

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Would you like to reach your career goals and aspirations, while having a fulfilling home and personal life? Find out more at this link

Confident Leadership

Confident Leadership

Confident Leadership – for various reasons which I won’t go into here, I’ve been reading a lot recently about military leadership and the training of military leaders. A key component in military leadership training is the development of confidence – you need to believe in your own competence and vision, if you are to inspire others to follow you.

Now, as a coach, I often work with people who want to develop their confidence. We work together on how they think about themselves and relate to the people they engage with. I teach them techniques to help them develop the competencies they need to have confidence.

The common themes in my approach to helping people develop confidence and how the military does it is, I think, achievement and practice. I encourage people to learn how to move out of their comfort zones, usually in small steps to begin with and then moving up to larger ones. For some people, smiling at a stranger has much in common with overcoming a hurdle on an assault course. The feeling of fear and then knowing how to manage that fear is common to both. The trick is then to repeat the exercise until your comfort zone extends to embrace it – you know you can do it. And those nervous thoughts rarely enter your head.  If they do you, know you can manage them. You take pride in the achievement and, with that, comes confidence.

So if you want to be a good leader, work on your confidence – develop your confident leadership abilities. Take a deep breath and begin to take steps outside your own comfort zone. Find that one small step each day and take it, then take it again. Monitor how it feels before and after – now, you know you can do it. Keep practising. Take pride in your achievements – can’t you feel that confidence grow!

And if you need support in developing your confidence, please get in touch because that is what I do.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Want a Promotion?

Want a Promotion?

Want a Promotion?  Today our guest blogger Lindsey Harper Mac presents the second in her new series of posts on career development.  The third, and last, post will appear here next week .  Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can find the first post in this series at this link – Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Want a Promotion? Whether or not you get that long-dreamed-about promotion isn’t dependent on one or two easily manipulated factors. Instead, it relies upon a mishmash of influences, both business and employee-related. The business-related elements are ones that are specific to your business environment and ones over which you have less control. The employee-related factors are ones that you can manipulate and, in doing so, potentially increase your chances of obtaining the promotion you seek.

Want a Promotion? Business Factors

  • Your Boss – The degree to which you get along with your boss can play a major part in determining whether or not you find yourself in line for a promotion. If you and your boss get along famously, he’ll be more likely to recommend you for advancement should the opportunity present itself. If, on the other hand, you clash constantly, your name will likely not be at the top of the list when it’s time for him to recommend someone for a promotion.
  • Business Success – Management will be more likely to promote more workers if your specific company is going through a period of profitability. As businesses succeed, they also commonly expand, meaning more underlings are needed to do the work–and, of course, more leaders are needed to guide the company’s inner workings.
  • Industry Growth – Getting a promotion is often easier in a rapidly growing industry. If you happen to work in a field that’s going through a period of growth, you may find that more upper-level positions are being created to meet the increased demands. This growth is something you can capitalize on.
  • Retirements – If you happen to step into the world of work when others are preparing to step out, you may be able to obtain a promotion more quickly. As others retire and vacate their positions, you may find yourself serendipitously able to climb the ladder without having to shove off others already occupying the higher rungs.

Want a Promotion? Employee Factors

  • Education – The more you know and the more credentials you hold, the more obvious a choice you seem for a promotion. If you don’t have education in your specific industry, you may be able to better position yourself for advancement by completing an online education program or attending seminars in a topic that relates to your field.
  • Experience – The experience you bring to the table will make a major difference in determining whether or not you get a promotion. If you come to the position already holding years of experience, you’ll be a logical candidate for promotion. If you aren’t lucky enough to bring this experience with you, enhance your credibility by volunteering to take part in advanced projects or complete duties that may technically be above your current level.
  • Enthusiasm – If you attend work every day, do the minimum and go home, your boss probably won’t reward you with a promotion. The degree of enthusiasm you show is something management will note. If you can be more enthusiastic and eager, you can make yourself seem more dedicated to your business and deserving of a promotion.

Moving up in the corporate world isn’t always within your control. You can, however, take the helm and control the elements of promotability that you can change to ensure these controllable factors don’t stand in the way of that job you wish to hold.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

 

Prepare for work

Prepare for work

Prepare for work – today we have a guest post from Maria Rainier who is a freelance blogger and writer for www.onlinedegrees.org. This is Maria’s helpful advice to young graduates who are about to take on their first full-time role after leaving college.

Secretary Spread, Office Politics and Other Things Young Professionals Should Prepare Themselves For

You finally made it. You passed your exams—some with flying colors, others not so much—you walked across the stage, and are now ready to start the next phase of your life as a working professional. While you might be ready for the professional challenges thrown your way, there are various aspects of working life you’ll undoubtedly have to get used to.

It’s a very different world than the college campus you’ve grown accustomed to the last these last four years or so. So, to help make the transition period a little easier, I’ve outlined a few things to look out for below. These aren’t exactly issues stressed within your average college lecture, but they are things you need to know. Read on to learn more.

Secretary Spread

This first one might sound a bit odd, but believe me it’s a real problem. I’m sure you all remember being warned about the “freshman 15” when you started college, well think of this as the same thing, but for people in the working world. I personally had never heard the term until it happened to me.

Unlike many of my friends, I LOST weight in college—my first year alone I dropped 25 pounds and was in the best shape of my life. As the semesters rolled by, my weight fluctuated very little and I maintained my fit physique. However, that all changed the instant I graduated. Suddenly, the pencil skirts I had so easily squeezed in and out of were no busting at the seams.

I didn’t get it. What had changed? Then it dawned on me—my body was dormantly stuck behind a desk for the majority of my waking hours. Before I would sit for an hour or hour and a half, take a few notes then make my trek across campus for the next one. I can’t even tell you how many miles I likely walked. On top of that I was working out regularly, which, unfortunately I became horrible about doing once I started working professionally. Then there were the company lunches and dinners.

Between retirement parties, client meetings and quarterly feasts for whatever project we were currently working on, I was surrounded by lavish food I personally never sought out myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining that I worked for a company that actually endorsed this sort of activity, it’s just that my waistline couldn’t handle the extra calories. I was eating way more than I had in college and my body was noticing. After my first year, I had gained a shameless 10 pounds. One day my own mother was like “uh-oh, guess you fell victim to secretary spread!”

Luckily, I found the error in my ways and corrected it, but many never even notice until they’e packed on 20, 30, or even 40 pounds. So, to keep this from happening to you simply keep up with your fitness routine (or start one if you haven’t) and eat like you’re metabolism has already caught up with you. If you don’t, it will before you know it, so might as well be proactive about it.

Office Politics

Now, onto more serious topics—not that health and fitness isn’t important, but they are very manageable—whereas this is completely beyond your control. Now, some of you may have already dealt with this in previous jobs or internships, but in your first full-time job, they are a completely different animal. Sure, you may have been frustrated at your last gig, but there was likely a light at the end of the tunnel because you knew you weren’t going to be wherever you were forever.

You had plans to graduate, move, and start your career. Well, now here you are—starting your career—and you’re faced with some not nice situations. People making you look bad in front of your boss, coworkers stealing credit that should have been yours, colleagues getting promotions they simply aren’t qualified for…and why? All because they knew the right people, or the boss likes them best.

Sure, it’s not the least bit fair, but it is something that happens quite frequently—and this time there’s no quick escape route. I’m not saying you’ll be in that same position with that same company forever, but you will likely be there for more than a “semester or two” as you were with your previous jobs. You want to stay, learn what you can, then move on—and that usually takes 2 years minimum, so you could be looking at quite the marathon here.

If you feel you’re in the middle of some particularly nasty office politics, all you can do is smile, put your best professional foot forward and kill them with kindness. You might not think so, but your competency will pay off in the end. It will be a test in maturity and professionalism, but you can do it.

Extremely Limited Availability

A final thing to look out for as you immerse yourself in the working world is your extremely limited schedule that is sure to hit you like a brick. At least that’s what happened to me and many of my friends. We went into our jobs thinking, “You mean I only have to be here from 8-5 five days a week? Piece of cake, I can handle that.” We had all successfully juggled jobs, internships, school and extracurriculars while in college, so why would we not be able to make a simple 40-ish hour work week work for us? Well, we quickly learned that it was a lot more strenuous than we first thought.

Unlike school, work is set around SOMEONE ELSE’S schedule. Meetings can’t be “pushed back” because you have a huge midterm. Classes can’t be skipped because you stayed out too late. Work and life goes on—day in and day out. Even when you’re sleeping, people across the globe are keeping things going. You don’t get a week off just because, you have to earn that time. And you can’t “drop a class” because you’re going through a rough time. Everything is what it is and you can’t change it.

I found myself slowly becoming less and less social. I could no longer make it to every happy hour. Outings had to be skipped—I was a grown up with grown-up responsibilities that would not wait. So, if you’re planning to have “one more beer with the guys,” double check your schedule first to make sure you don’t have anything ready and waiting for you tomorrow morning.

This post was not meant to scare you about the impending responsibilities waiting for you, but rather PREPARE you for them. Whether you want to admit it or not, they’re there, unavoidably waiting for you. If someone had given me a heads up about these, I may have taken a bit more advantage of my last few months in college.

Maria Rainier is a freelance blogger and writer for www.onlinedegrees.org. Maria believes that online degrees and online universities are the future of higher learning. She is interested in all things concerned with higher education and is particularly passionate about life after college. Please share your comments with her.

 

 

Make a New Beginning – Quotes

Make a New Beginning – Quotes

New beginning

New beginning – Do you have the confidence needed to make one?

You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. A.A. Milne

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. Mary Anne Radmacher

To create more positive results in your life, replace ‘if only’ with ‘next time. Anonymous

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. Faith Baldwin

When in doubt, choose change. Lily Leung

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. Maria Robinson

Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. C.S. Lewis

It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go. Bob Proctor

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights. Pauline R. Kezer

May the bridges I burn light the way. Anonymous

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Anonymous

If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies. Anonymous

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Why Get An Advanced Degree?

Why Get An Advanced Degree?

Why Get An Advanced Degree? Today our guest blogger Lindsey Harper Mac starts a new series of posts on career development.  The rest will appear here at weekly intervals.  Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Why Get An Advanced Degree? If you wish upon a star for a better job-–you’ll likely find your wish unanswered. In truth, getting a better job or advancing in your current position requires more than just prayers and wishes. To move up the corporate ladder, you must prepare yourself for the job you wish to occupy. You can do this in many ways, some simple and others more complex. One of the most important things you must do if you wish to fill the shoes of an individual who currently occupies a position above yours is to earn the credentials necessary to qualify for this position. In many instances, without these credentials you will not be able to step up to the new job, regardless of how ideally suited you may feel yourself to be.

Fairness in Hiring

It may seem like you’d be a shoe-in for a promotion since you’ve dedicated yourself to your job for so many years, working loyally to advance the brand and improve the profitability of your company as a whole. In truth, however, these things–though important–may not be enough. Depending upon the industry in which you work, your supervisors may be unable to give you the promotion you seek if you don’t hold the industry-mandated credentials. If, for example, individuals who work in the position you covet must possess a master’s degree, and you don’t.  Then you’re simply ineligible for the job until you obtain this advanced degree. Instead of waiting for this problem to present itself, take control of the situation and get the credential now to qualify yourself for the position you wish to hold later.

Why Get An Advanced Degree? Demonstrating Your Dedication

Picking up an advanced degree is another way to show your employer how dedicated you are to the industry in which you work. Particularly if you take it upon yourself to seek out this education unprompted.  Doing so can make it clear you’re in it for the long haul and you’re keenly interested in increasing your human capital and turning yourself into the most prepared and skilled employee you can be.

Making it Easy

The more you know about the industry in which you work, the easier it will be for you to perform well within the field. If you spend time acquiring more credentials, you’ll learn more about the work sector you’ve selected and, in doing so, you’ll make it easier for yourself to perform your job. For a particularly useful education experience, select an area in which you currently struggle that pertains to your job and seek out a class to help you build those particular skills.

The reasons to get an advanced degree are numerous. If you’re still on the fence as to whether you have the time and desire to advance your knowledge through the acquisition of a new credential, consider these benefits and allow them to give you the extra push you need to put the work in and pick up that certification, degree or training that will make you better prepared to perform on the job.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Value of Goals

The Value of Goals

Quotes – Leadership Success – The Value of Goals

The Value of Goals – quotes from the famous to show you why they are key to success.

It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbour he is making for, no wind is the right wind. Seneca

Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives. Viktor Frankl

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up some place else. Anon

Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement. Brian Tracy, Eat that Frog

In everything the ends well defined are the secret of durable success. Victor Cousins

I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. Henry Thoreau

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them. George Bernard Shaw

The secret to productive goal setting is in establishing clearly defined goals, writing them down and then focusing on them several times a day with words, pictures and emotions as if we’ve already achieved them. Denis Waitley

Goals are not only absolutely necessary to motivate us. They are essential to really keep us alive. Robert H. Schuller

Fear melts when you take action towards a goal you really want. Robert Allen

All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do. Norman Vincent Peale

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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What is the formula for confidence in interviews, meetings or those big occasions?

Confidence in interviews

Confidence in interviews etc- recently we had a great guest post from Mary Hope on The Benefits Of Good Career Management. Mary has over 30 years of experience in business, teaching, HR, headhunting and coaching.  She believes passionately that people need to understand their own drivers and needs to find fulfilling careers. Today she shares with us her thoughts on how confidence destroys performance at interview and provides a solution.

What is the formula for confidence in interviews, meetings or those big occasions?

You can find lots of help and information about how to build your confidence for an interview. Usually these talk about preparation, rehearsing and looking the part. I give all that advice. But what if that is not enough. What if you know you have done all those things but you still feel a complete bag of nerves? What if you know that you will turn up at the interview shaking? If you know that you will get tongue-tied and worry that you might just dry up? What if you are really anxious that you won’t be able to think of anything to say? OR are you one of those people who just feels ‘I’m no good at interviews’? Who feels that, interviewers will ‘catch you out’ ‘spot that you are not really that good’, put you on the spot. MAYBE you are someone who hates talking about themselves and just feels shy and exposed.

Even if you have confidence in your own abilities to do a job it may not be enough to get you to feel confident in an interview.

And lack of confidence is a major issue in interviews because it clouds the way the interviewers see you.  Interviewers find it really hard to believe that you can do a job confidently if they see you shaking in an interview.

And feeling nervous about the interview will impact on you ability to answer the questions. Nervousness is like static on the line, your brain starts to pay attention to the static and the crackling and stops paying attention to formulating the answers. You tense up and your mouth dries up and you become so self-conscious you dry up. Literally your nerves stop you being able to perform.

If you have had bad experiences in the past they flood back to you and you re-experience failure. Sometimes the bad experiences and fear of failure means that you can’t even do the preparation required.

So how can you overcome this? Well you need to do all the really practical things suggested above and then you need to visualise yourself doing well in the interview. If you are nervous, that can be hard so with my clients I use a relaxation a creative visualisation technique. We literally run through all the things that you need to do perform well and then as I relax them and talk them through an imaginary interview where everything goes really well and they feel really confident. And it works. Clients report a sense of feeling more relaxed and going into their interviews feeling more confident. So imagine your way to success! These techniques work just as well at any nerve-wracking encounter.. big meeting, presentation  whatever.

In order to help more people use this very effective technique I have recorded on a CD, a session which you can purchase from my website . You can listen your way to confidence I have called it The Turbo Charge Interview Confidence Booster and you can find it by clicking here.

Mary Hope supports people to manage their careers more effectively and get paid more, promoted faster and feel more satisfied. She has over 30 years of experience in business, teaching, HR, headhunting and coaching. She believes passionately that people need to understand their own drivers and needs to find fulfilling careers.