Making Annual Reviews Easier

This week, it’s our mid-year annual review. It’s one of the most important thing people in a large organization need to do. But often we don’t spend enough effort and thought into it.

I’ve been doing my self review for over 12 years now at Yahoo! For the first few years, it was a chore and I didn’t spend quality time working on getting peer reviews and writing self reviews. For the last few years, I’m using the following system and it seems to be working well.

0) At the beginning of year, I’ve already try to imagine my end of the year review and what I want it to say. Given this, I already have some idea of the responsibilities I want to take on, the things I do not want to take on. This is in my note called ‘Annual Review Forecast 2011’

1) Throughout the year, if I get emails/praise from people I write it down using Evernote into a note named ‘Annual Review 2011 : praise’, these are the people I’ll use during my peer review feedback.

2) I have a saved search in my email that looks for all emails I ‘Sent’ in the last year or 6 months, depending on if it’s mid-year check in or full year. Then I look at who I sent the most emails to and make a decision whether that person is a good peer reviewer and include that person in my peer review list.

3) Before and during the year, I have a regular reminder in for me to review my own job description and responsibilities and ask myself whether I’m doing what my job description says, whether I need to change my job description.

4) Jot down in Evernote all the projects I’ve been working on, people I’ve talked with so at the end of the year, I just do a search for tag:project and tag:{name} to find and remind myself of all the projects I worked on so I can write a complete self evaluation