Assess accomplishments, not responsibilities

No matter how far the next performance review process is, it's always strategic to contemplate how you'll evaluate your team members.

For those who engage in regular one-on-one meetings, fostering open communication channels with constant feedback, and conducting discussions on expectations, goal alignment, achievements, and lessons learned, the upcoming Performance Reviews should hold no unexpected surprises.

However, if this practice isn't yet a part of your routine, now is an excellent time to start incorporating it into your managerial arsenal. Here's a valuable tip to help you navigate the process effectively:

When assessing your team's performance, prioritize accomplishments over responsibilities. Encourage team members to shift their self-assessment mindset from mere responsibilities to tangible achievements.

Not responsibilities

Instead of hearing:

"I did a great job because I was responsible for..."

  • Hiring
  • Testing and quality control
  • Software architecture
  • Building new features
  • Onboarding new teammates

...but accomplishments...

Guide them toward articulating their accomplishments in the form of:

"I did a great job because I..."

  • Improved quality from x to y
  • Successfully recruited high-performing team members
  • Crafted an architecture that facilitates work parallelization
  • Assisted a new teammate in implementing a significant change within just 7 days

...or outcomes

Ideally, these accomplishments should also be accompanied by quantifiable outcomes, reinforcing the impact of their contributions:

"...improved processes, resulting in more frequent releases."
"...increased code coverage, leading to fewer production bugs."
"...resolved critical issues, resulting in a significant x% boost in conversion rates."
"...enhanced pipelines, enabling us to deploy x times faster."

By emphasizing accomplishments and their tangible outcomes during Performance Reviews, you not only provide a clearer picture of your team's value but also inspire a culture of achievement and continuous improvement within your organization.