It’s the end of the year, and that means it’s likely time for your annual performance review.

Maybe HR has a template for you to complete online. Or perhaps your VP or Director of Aviation will give you some indication of what he or she wants to see from you in an annual review.

But this is your chance to shine.

Don’t wait to be asked. Instead, be well-prepared to sing your praises so it’s not a last-minute rush at the end of the year.

But, first, ask yourself, why is the performance review process so important for your career?

Because it’s an opportunity to positively influence your leader’s perception of you.

Take it upon yourself to proactively tell your boss what you’ve been up to.

Otherwise, you’re only cheating yourself.

10 Ways to Prepare for your Annual Performance Review

As a business leader and people manager, following are 10 things I like to see in an employee evaluation.

  1. Failure is an essential component of growth. Consider your biggest disappointments from the past year. How did you learn from the situation? Acknowledging where and how you didn’t meet your expectations enables you to spend the rest of the time focusing on where you did meet and exceed them (your successes)! Putting failure first shows humility and vulnerability; it also lets you get past the failure to let your boss remember your achievements.

 

  1. A positive workplace “culture” is a must in business aviation. How have you lived the values of your flight department?

 

  1. Project management is an excellent way to stand out. Which departmental projects did you lead this year?

 

  1. Managers love metrics. What have you accomplished to meet—and exceed—your personal and professional goals? What do you characterize as particularly exceptional results?

 

  1. Budgets are fundamental to aviation operations. What impact did you make on saving money for the company? Remember to be specific with your numbers.

 

  1. Document your “extra” effort. Describe how you’ve tackled collateral duties or responsibilities outside your usual area of expertise. Here’s your chance to share what you’ve been up to and demonstrate why you should be tapped to handle other opportunities within the department.

 

  1. List your certifications, training and new skills. For example, did you achieve a new type-rating? Or did you attend NBAA’s International Operators Conference and make a presentation to your coworkers, formally sharing with them all of the key takeaways to strengthen the team?

 

  1. Short- and long-term goals are important for everyone. What do you hope to achieve in the coming year? What about three and five years from now? Be as specific as you can about what you’re hoping to do in the future, and when you’re hoping to do it. For example, you might want to be leading projects, or moving from a maintenance supervisor to a chief of maintenance within, say, five years.

 

  1. Aviation directors promote leaders. What unique leadership abilities do you plan to fine-tune this year? Give examples such as mentoring teammates, getting involved in hiring and/or leading team meetings.

 

  1. Lastly, this is the time to subtly influence the changes you would like to see in your boss’s behavior. Share with your boss what you need from him or her to be successful. How can he or she help you with your development planning, performance goals or the chance to take on more responsibility?

 

The Annual Performance Review: A Two-Way Street

The last thing you want is for your leader to ignore the performance appraisal process altogether. And it’s definitely not a review that is “given” to you, the employee. Instead, it should be completed by you and discussed as a team with your manager.

To be effective, your annual appraisal must be a collaborative, two-way discussion that is never-ending, as opposed to a yearly task that must be accomplished to merely satisfy your human resources team.

 

Your turn

What are some of the things you’ve done to make your annual performance review really meaningful? We’d love to hear from you on the topic!

 

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