While you may spend more time worrying about making sure the performance evaluations you give your subordinates are fair and honest, you should also be prepared for your own evaluation. Most management books and classes focus on how managers can be sure to give a fair evaluation. It is up to the you to decide how to respond to an evaluation.
Clearly the best thing to do is be a model employee. If you show up early, work hard, stay late, work weekends when necessary, and generally make yourself indispensable, you’ll probably get a great evaluation and a fat raise. For everyone else, follow the next steps.
Mentally Prepare Yourself
Before you’re called into the office to discuss your performance, you need to be in the right frame of mind. Know that everything will not be as rosy as you think. We all like to think we’re better, smarter, and faster than our co-workers. In some cases, this may be true. However, your boss is in a position to see a broader view of the department / company and sees your virtues – as well as your faults. Be open to that. Understand that this is a chance for you to learn what your boss thinks is important.
Participate In Your Own Evaluation
Let’s say you get a decent evaluation with a few critical remarks on it. Any respectable manager will include some notes on things that you can improve to become a better manager. Take this as constructive criticism. Getting defensive or argumentative won’t change your scores. If anything, making a scene will stick in your boss’s mind when evaluation time rolls around again.
Ask for concrete examples of ways to improve any poor scores you received. Take notes. Ask for a copy of the evaluation. Keep this copy to yourself. It is a confidential document between you and the company and should be treated as such. Consider reading the scores at home a few days later with an open mind.
Follow Up Later
Finally, ask for a specific time for a re-evaluation to give you time to fix the problems and possibly receive the pay increase that you feel you deserve. Your boss may not go along with that, but what can it hurt to ask? It also shows that you are willing to learn and improve your skills and abilities to help the company.
Despite what most subordinates think, managers – like you – generally just want the best team working for them that they can get. A strong team makes a manager look good.