If you are interested in career advancement, good performance evaluations are a must. These evaluations may be annual, quarterly, periodically, or just occasionally, depending on the place where you work. They often go beyond the basics of job performance and look at your impact to clients, coworkers and others. Here are some tips on how to help yourself with evaluations:
Sweat the Small Stuff
How you present yourself matters. Dress code, punctuality, listening to the small rules (like washing out your own coffee cup) and being considerate of your coworkers will help you to gain points in overall performance.
Do More than Required
If work starts at 8:00, be there at 7:30 and stay late. If you have a lag, then clean up the public areas without being asked. If you are picking up coffee before work, ask if anyone else would like one when you go. If you have finished a task and have time, offer to help your supervisor or coworkers.
Office gossip can be interesting, but indulging in it can make you seem very unprofessional. If you are discussing clients or coworkers, it's a good rule of thumb to ask yourself three questions: Is it kind? Is it true? Would you tell this story in front of them? Even if they are not your favorite person, it is important to remember that some of these people may become your future supervisors, and may have their evaluations in their hands. Also, any stories that you do tell will give your supervisor an idea of how you may speak about him or her when they are not around and can subconsciously affect your evaluations.
Ask for Feedback
Don't wait for your evaluation before you discover there is a problem. Ask for feedback about your performance as you work, specifically for places where you can improve. This shows initiative and the work that you do to make yourself a better employee will definitely be noted on your evaluation forms.
Take Learning Opportunities
Whether there is a continuing education or refresher course, an opportunity to learn a new technique or philosophy or a chance to learn from a colleague, always take it. Ask questions and brainstorm creative ways to incorporate this knowledge into your responsibilities. On the same note, be generous with the information that you learn and take the opportunity to help share knowledge with coworkers.
Help Others to Succeed
The more you succeed as an entire business, the better it is for you. Making others look good is a skill that is rare but highly valued. In terms of career advancement, it is also the kind of thing that higher-ups often want to see in a supervisor. On this same note, take every opportunity to make your supervisors look good. Even if they don't give you credit verbally, you will find that their attitude toward you and their gratitude through evaluations and potentially through raises can be quite clear.
Learn from Mistakes
If your evaluation is not perfect, don't consider it a failure. Instead, look at the criticism as specific advice on how to get better at your job. Take the advice to heart and use it to improve your performance and the next evaluation. Success is ultimately about how many times you get up after you fall.