Performance Reviews — Family and Friends

Twitter Summary: Some of your most important performance reviews don’t happen at work.

Performance reviews come from everyone in your life, its just that work is the only place where they have formalized it and based your compensation on its result.  I frequently joke that every year my family should give me a “How am I doing?” customer service card.

Many years ago I was approached by a colleague who was concerned that his performance review at work for the year would not be up to his previous year’s reviews.  He was intending to take the maximum amount of time he could take for paternity leave, but also wanted to keep his standing as one of the top engineers in the company.  His concern was how would he be able to maintain his high ranking while still keeping his commitments at home.  I was about to offer a suggestion to help, but realized that the best advice was to make sure when he went on paternity leave, he actually took the time off.

Your work performance review is important enough to rate the time and energy to create a formal process to collect information, assess performance relative to others, and make recommendations for future improvement.  Unfortunately, a 360 review encompasses only your performance at work, it doesn’t cover your performance as a father, friend or spouse.   I imagine our perspective about the importance of our yearly work reviews would be much different if the 360 review included a) your kids review your abilities as a parent, b) your friends rating of how much their lives are made better with you in their life and c) your significant other reivews your contribution to their life.

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