You’ve just received an email from the HR department. They want to see you before you go home this evening. What are you thinking? You’ve been at this job for exactly 89 days, you are on a 90-day probation. Is this my formal evaluation? What do you do? What are you feeling right now? Are you going to lose your job? You’ve worked so hard, they have no right to do this to you! … Wait … what if they like me? Just maybe they have decided to keep me on and make me full-time!
The question here is not what is going to happen, but why haven’t you found out before this?
Too often people are blindsided by evaluations, constructive criticism, affirmations, and accolades. Business leaders are ‘too busy’ to work the floor and let people know what they think. Employees are too scared to find out how they stand.
My advice to employees in this probationary period, or in between evaluations is, it is up to you to find out. What has stopped you from going to your Supervisors office or department manager and asking for 5-10 minutes to get a pulse on your performance? When is the last time you did this? For those of you that have done this before, you most likely found out one of two things; either you are in good shape with nothing to worry about, or you have something to work on and get better.
If you have been in a position for a good amount of time, you should be setting goals and objectives with your supervisor in order to be measured properly. If they are annual goals, are you waiting until day 359 to find out where you stand? What were you doing on day 90, 180, and 270?
Day 89 is too late
Why is it your responsibility? Because you are the one that is going to have the benefit or the loss. If you have a 90-day performance review, ask how you are doing at day 45. What do you need to work on to meet your objectives? Does your boss see anything that should be corrected before the 90-day mark is up? On day 89 it’s too late. You need to open the lines of communication and manage it as well. Taking initiatives like this will only put you in a positive light with the people who you are being managed by.
Yes, it is the responsibility of the leader of that group to do this. However, how many of you have a proactive leader that is on top of these evaluations? How many have this already scheduled on your calendar? When is the last time your supervisor was prepared for this evaluation?
The only bad time to learn the truth is when there is not enough time left to fix a problem! If you like what you are doing, take the initiative and preempt your boss with some open questions about your performance. Then thank them for their time and suggestions.
Mike Kole is an executive and leadership coach certified by the John Maxwell team, and a certified trainer at the Ziglar Organization. Personal and professional growth, coupled with work-life balance is what Mike specializes in.