The average job performance review process creates more negativity than a positive work environment. There are multiple reasons for that and mismatch in expectations is one of them.
But you are here to be a CareerTiger, not just another ordinary clock-punching employee.
So here four steps to take your job performance to the next level. Plus a bonus step. Yes, there is a free prize inside.
Fundamental issues with job performance and what can we learn from them
The issue with job performance, or lower job performance, is because many people do not understand what’s expected of them in their job. In other words, many people who are in their jobs, they don’t know what their manager or their organization is expecting from them in that job. If you don’t know what that expectation is, then you won’t be able to perform according to that expectation. So, if you are not performing to that expectation, guess what? According to your manager and the rest of your organization, you are performing below par.
Therefore, it’s critical to understand what the right expectation is for your job and for your role. To do that and to exceed performance in your job, here are the four steps (+bonus) that I would recommend for you to go through.
#1 Understand expectations of your job role
The first step is to understand. Write down on a piece of paper … Don’t type, don’t whiteboard, just write down on a piece of paper what is expected of you in this role. What are your responsibilities? How will you be measured in this job? Having that information on a single sheet of paper is probably the most important thing you could do. So, again, the first step is to take a sheet of paper and understand your role in the organization, which is what are your responsibilities, and how will you be measured? That’s the first understanding step that you ever take. Write it down on a piece of paper.
#2 Review job expectations with your manager
The next one is … It’s likely difficult, but it’s doable. Once you understand the expectations of your role, the next step is for you to go to your boss and say, “You know, I’ve been in this role for some time. I would like to make sure I understand these expectations really clearly,” and you sit down with your manager and you go through your understanding of the role. You might actually be surprised that there might be differences between what you think your role is and what your manager thinks your role is, and maybe your peers or other execs in the company think your role is.
Therefore, it’s really important to align with your manager on expectations of your role
- Sit down with your manager
- Review the expectations of your role
- Know how you’re going to be measured
Having a hard conversation about expectations is a thousand times better than years of mismatched expectations and poor job performance reviews.
#3 Reset expectations
Here’s the interesting part: you absolutely can reset some of those expectations.
Do your homework about your responsibilities for the role, and reset some of those expectations with your boss. Why is that important? Because your boss, your manager, the rest of the organization may not know enough details about your role versus others’ roles, and they may be thinking you are responsible for all of these things. So, this is a good opportunity for you to reset their expectations.
This could be a challenging or painful conversation. But having this conversation is a thousand times better than years of mismatched expectations and poor job performance reviews.
#4 Amp up your performance
Once you know the expectations of your role and you’ve reset those expectations and be on the same page with your manager and the rest of the organization, it is time for your performance to shine.
There is no question about that. There is no shortcut to hard work. You have to perform. But here’s the deal, as you perform, you will do much better now than prior years or prior months or prior time because you understand what’s expected of you; you understand what are your metrics, how are you going to be measured in the organization.
#5 (Bonus) Exceeding expectations
So, now you know what’s expected, and now you’re going to perform and exceed those expectations, which is the next part: exceeding those expectations. You know what’s expected and you continue to exceed those expectations. That’s how you go from a mediocre performer in the company because you do not know what’s expected of you, and now you go to an outstanding performer in the company because you know what’s expected of you, you perform, and you exceed. Let me give you an example of salespeople. You may have met many, many salespeople in your life, but the best salespeople in the business always meet or exceed their sales goal. You know why that is? That is because they have negotiated the sales number that they are responsible for, and they always exceed that number by performance.
As you outperform in this role, the bonus step for you as follows. Now you’re showing inward that you are performing at the next level. Step number five is to show outward that you are really performing at the next level. Show it in your body language and the way you come across. So, for example, as you’re outperforming, you need to make sure your body language is reflecting your performance. I.e., sit up straight, pay attention, have a presence in your interactions with your peers, with your teams, with your upper management.
Summary: Understand expectations, reset them with your boss, perform; there is no shortcut to hard work. You have to perform. And as you perform, you’ll perform much better because now you know how are you going to be measured, what’s expected of you, and you exceed those expectations.