In the last 6 months, I have started a new job, redecorated & reorganized our home, gone off the budget deep end & then gotten back on board (maybe a couple times), and most importantly: tried to work on myself, my family, and my relationships. Let me start by saying, I feel blessed EVERYDAY to be in the position I am. Maybe because I have previously had imperfect situations for comparison, or because I’m just at a point in my life where I don’t want to be bogged down by negatives. I know I don’t keep my home as clean as some people think I should. Yes, I don’t always get the time I want with my family or friends. I probably yell at my children more than I am proud to admit, and I don’t give my husband as much attention as he TRULY desires. BUT, I have some of the GREATEST people in my life & I enjoy EVERY moment I get to share with them (virtually or in REAL LIFE)! And sure, there are some people I sometimes have to interact with professionally that I would care NOT to.. but, for the most part, I LOVE my coworkers, my job, the company, and my boss! I am undeservedly blessed beyond explainable gratitude!
So, I recently sat down with my boss for my Standard On-Boarding 90 Day Review and got something I never imagined. I’ve NEVER worked at a company before that had such a GREAT HR department as a whole, with GREAT On-Boarding & ongoing programs/procedures, who actually did REAL reviews. I had NO idea what to expect.. but, my boss is always giving me the thumbs up, so I figured it couldn’t be THAT bad. He prefaced our meeting with saying, “I did write this a while ago, so some of these things don’t apply anymore”, to which I nodded and smiled. (silly, silly girl) All in all it was a fairly accurate assessment and more than decent review. (Nothing that would be cause for disciplinary action) However, it DID make me re-evaluate myself on a professional AND personal level.
Now, I’ve played this meeting in my head over and over, and re-read the review no less than 20 times.. Some people may call this obsessive, and it might be PROBABLY is. However, I like to do my the BEST in every area of my life. ANYTHING less than PERFECT is UNACCEPTABLE! Yeah.. soooo, I’m working on that too. In every task I tackle, I hear my inner voice, which sounds like a combination of both my Grandmothers, saying “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well & with JOY”. So, I figure that IF (heaven forbid) there IS something I need to work on, I need to be aware of it, review it and make a conscious effort to correct it. How ELSE can I do that if I don’t obsessively burn it into my memory??
Here is the “Competency Rating Scale”:
- Unacceptable: Fails to meet requirements
- Improvement Needed: Need for further development/improvement in area
- Meets Requirements: Meets requirements in area
- Exceptional: In many cases exceeds requirement
Here is the Readers Digest Version of my review:
WITH my internal conversation that was happening DURING the meeting
SPECIFIC REVIEW FACTORS:
- Progress learning the job duties and responsibilities: Meets Requirements – Comments: ” I have already started Heather’s cross training in other areas of the department” No shocker there.. Next??
- Volume of work: Meets Requirements – Comments: “she will need to prioritize her efforts so all aspects of her job role are covered in an acceptable amount of time” True! *plus he noted that he had already begun to re-evaluate this comment based on what he realizes I HAVE been doing
- Quality of work: Meets requirements – Comments: “…has made no errors and continues to ask questions. She is very proactive in making a process leaner for her area of duties. I feel this is Heather’s strongest area at this time.” I’m pretty sure you meant to choose ‘EXCEPTIONAL’, but I’ll take it..
- Ability to follow instructions/do what’s expeced: Improvement Needed WHAT?!?!?!?! – Comments: “Heather is eager to help and has very good follow-through, Uh-huh.. where is the improvement part? however, YES??? I have had a few encounters with her where she has directly questioned my instructions. OK, I know SPECIFICALLY which TWO incidents you are referring to, noticed “the look” and can explain. *Don’t interrupt.. wait until he’s finished to counter with your rebuttal. As her manager it is my responsibility to make the best decision for the problem/issue we are trying to solve and as her manager it will be my responsibility if I did not give the correct direction. I couldn’t agree more! Heather needs to improve in this area immediately. CHECK! *he noted he has ALREADY seen correction on this, and gave me kudos for noticing it myself If Heather has suggestions that might help to improve a process or needs further clarification on an explanation, she should work to verbalize this a productive way.” Noted!
- Overall attitude: Improvement Needed There MUST be a typo! – Comments: ‘Heather is very upbeat with a great attitude, Yep, this is good, right? however, There you go with that however AGAIN.. I have been approached from others Others?! Who are these OTHERS? I want names, dates, and signed affidavits! about the “tone” in which Heather deals with people in her conversations. Ok.. yeah, I DO use sarcasm more often than is polite when conversing. I’m working on it.. Heather has a strong personality, which can be great in some areas, but can also tend to “rub” people the wrong way at times. Hmmmm.. not the first time I’ve heard this This is something that Heather will need to remain aware of at all times and I feel this can be easily corrected now that it has been brought to her attention.’ Well, thank you for your vote of confidence
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
- “Heather met the initial [90 day] goal I set for her within the first few weeks of employment… and now is branching off into other areas. Great job Heather!” Thank you!
“I am fully confident in Heather’s abilities to have an impact on any project she is involved in.” Darn tootin’
“Heather meets all requirements for her job role. She has made no errors and is being proactive in settling issues and making corrections for the teams. Her knowledge of Microsoft programs is impressive and will benefit her in times to come. I am excited to have Heather as part of the department and team. Heather, please use this review as a tool to help you succeed here. Your work is exceptional and with a few corrections you will be on your way to excellence. Thank you for making the extra efforts.” The feeling is mutual!!!!!
Deep breath, Heather, deep breath! I shook his hand and said “Thank you”
Like I said, it was a fairly accurate assessment and MORE than decent review. He did a WONDERFUL job of wording it, being encouraging while also gently correcting. But it still bothered me that it wasn’t an ‘all-Exceptional’ review, and ANYONE thought I wasn’t just the best thing since Unicorns. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the areas for improvement he pointed out didn’t just apply to my work life.
You see, I believe that God has given us all gifts to use in our lives. I was blessed and cursed with a quick wit and a sharp tongue. It has gained me a few accolades, but has also gotten me into PLENTY of sticky situations I had to later apologize for, and cower my way out of with my tail between my legs. We can choose to use our gifts for good & to help people or we can use them for hurt & harm. I pride myself in being a people person, and sensing personalities & situations, without losing a unique sense of myself. It has taken me years to find this line, and apparently I still haven’t perfected it. I just keep reminding myself, it’s OK to need improvement.. It gives you the opportunity to GROW!
Since the review, I have been trying to be more present in my interactions. If I go into ‘thoughtless’ auto-pilot, I tend to let the sarcasm take over. I have tried to be even more in tune with my audience, and let them lead the conversations. I don’t need to say everything that comes into my head (this is NOT a no-brainer for me) and not everyone cares about my opinion. If they do they will ask for it.. and even then I should be kind in my delivery. I am still a work in progress, but I feel like I am progressing. Thank you for letting me grow so transparently!