© 2005 …. by Doris Helge, Ph.D.

The following material was excerpted with permission from the book, Joy on the Job – Over 365 Ways to Create the Joy and Fulfillment You Deserve, by Doris Helge, Ph.D., © 2005, Shimoda Publishing, shimodapub@mindspring.com.

Any material from this website that you quote, download, or reprint must include the credit line above.

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Tracy and Stacy are discussing the results of Stacy’s performance appraisal.

Tracy : Why are you so upset?

Stacy: The only information that was considered during my appraisal was submitted by people in upper-level positions who are too busy to observe what I do.

Tracy : Didn’t you collect and submit your own evaluations?

Empower yourself by securing objective feedback regarding your effectiveness. You don’t have to wait for the organization you work for to scrap the idea of relying exclusively on top-down evaluations. You can personally initiate 360-degree reviews designed to help you improve on an ongoing basis. Ask a cross-section of management, peers, subordinates, and clients to assess your performance so you can ensure a positive performance appraisal.

  1. Make a list of the following individuals whom you can ask for feedback concerning your performance. Whether your organization is large or small, select individuals at all levels. Choose people you think will deliver honest input.
    • Employees below your level in the organization
    • Employees who are peers
    • Employees above your level in the organization
    • Team leader(s)
    • Immediate supervisor
    • Any other managers to whom you relate
    • Mentors
    • Mastermind group members
    • Customers or clients
  2. Design an organized system of obtaining feedback. Determine how you want to receive input and how often. How formal do you want the process to be? Keep the following in mind.
    • You are seeking feedback that will assist you in improving your performance on a continuous basis.
    •  You don’t want to wait for the results of an annual or semi-annual performance evaluation.
    • You will be able to use the positive feedback you receive as documentation during upcoming performance reviews.
  3. Ask the individuals you have selected if they will be willing to assist you. If some of your initial choices are unavailable, select new evaluators.
  4. Tell your helpers what assistance you need. Then move forward with your 360-degree feedback process.
  5. Make sure you are available to receive informal and unsolicited feedback. Take notes when you receive input. Follow up on the suggestions you receive.

Document the ways you shine in the white spaces. How have you achieved beyond your job description?


  1. Answer the following questions so you can easily maintain a log during the entire year that represents ways in which you surpass your job description.

    • List the ways you have gone out of your way to assist your boss, co-workers, or customers.

    • Which of your accomplishments have conserved organizational resources? How have you boosted the bottom line or improved customer service?

    • Have you attended conferences or engaged in training on your own that led to furthering the organization’s goals, vision, or mission?

    • Describe creative approaches you have taken to accomplish routine tasks that later saved yourself or others energy, time, or other resources.

    • List volunteer efforts you have engaged in that contribute to the positive image of your organization.

  2. Begin the process by using the following chart:

    Date Task

    How does it benefit the organization?

  3. Determine the types of data you need to maintain to support the information in your log. Design your process for doing so.

  4. Be sure to notice and record the comments others make about your unique contributions and abilities.

Now that you have designed your log and you understand the supporting data you will need to share during the review, it will be easy to develop your action plan.


Dana and Frank are discussing the results of Frank’s recent performance evaluation.

Dana: You sound like you were surprised by the boss’s negative comments.

Frank: Surprised? . . . Amazed! All year long I’ve thought things were fine!

Dana: You have to schedule informal appraisals all year long.

Ask your immediate supervisor and other managers with whom you interact for feedback on an ongoing basis. Don’t just ask about overall goals. Ask your supervisor questions regarding specific aspects of your performance. Document their responses as well as what you are doing to improve your work. Also secure feedback about work style issues. Ask what is working and what needs to change. Learn what additional training you need. Discover how to secure it so you can enhance your skills and abilities.

Make it clear that your objective is to assist with self-correction while you proceed with your work. State the potential benefits for your supervisor as well as for the organization.

Ask to receive monthly or quarterly updates in addition to daily coaching and feedback. Keep notes to review before your next evaluation.


Eliminate nasty surprises during your review by encouraging and welcoming the following on a daily basis.

  • Open and honest communication
  • Exploration of misperceptions
  • Discussion and resolution of disagreements or conflicts

The above actions will boost your morale and self-esteem while enhancing your performance. Don’t be shy. Most supervisors become more supportive when employees seek and pay attention to feedback.


A secret to an excellent performance evaluation is to understand the entire process is based on clear communication–about expectations for your job, your ongoing performance, and about how you will be evaluated.

Ask yourself the following questions on a regular basis.

  • Would the quality of my work be recognized if my performance review occurred today?
  • Is my communication with my supervisor timely and clear?
  • Is my workflow clear?
  • How well do my supervisor and I deal with breakdowns in communication or work flow?

Click here to order your copy of the book, Joy on the Job – Over 365 Ways to Create the Joy and Fulfillment You Deserve, with hundreds of additional proven strategies you can immediately use.

Click here to learn how author and international speaker, Doris Helge, Ph.D., can assist you as a keynote speaker or seminar leader.

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