History will not be kind to the performance appraisal. After decades of lackluster experiences, stale formats, and non-existent correlations between assessment and achievement, most savvy business leaders and modern management experts would tell you that the performance appraisal is a well-intended yet failed exercise in behavior modification.
While networking is the most effective strategy for individuals looking to land a new job and for self-employed business owners to generate revenue, networking is significantly less effective for employed business professionals who are seeking ways to grow within their current organization.
Networking is, and will continue to be, an important professional activity for business professionals. I previously stated that 60 – 70% of employed individuals located their most recent job opportunity through networking. In a poll I conducted on LinkedIn, these numbers were corroborated when 59% of 1,339 respondents chose the category “by networking with friends and colleagues” as the strategy that led them to their most recent job. Therefore, networking seems to be three times more effective than using an on-line job board and almost three times more effective than using a recruiter.
There is little doubt that human beings have a need for social interaction. In his landmark paper A Theory of Human Motivation (1943), Abraham Maslow concluded that, after fulfilling our psychological and safety needs, we must fulfill our interpersonal and “belongingness” needs. To paraphrase Maslow, individuals hunger for affectionate relationships with people and they will strive with great intensity to achieve this goal.
By all accounts, the world of work you are experiencing is significantly different than your parents’ world of work. The old ways of networking and measuring performance are ineffective in the face of unprecedented change and transparency.
Now is the time to differentiate yourself in your organization and industry. Now is the time to move beyond networking and start raising your visibility. Now is the time to break your dependency on performance management systems and start raising your value.
1. Send a recap of your conversation (i.e., what you heard, next steps) to your boss.
2. If appropriate, schedule a follow-up meeting to continue the conversation and to ensure that you keep making progress.
3. Focus on the next steps that move you closer to connecting your contributions with the business’s performance.
1. Consider saying something like the following to get the conversation going:
- “Thank you for finding time to speak with me about the value I create for our organization.”
- “I appreciate the information that was shared in my last performance appraisal and I am continuing to focus on the areas of opportunity that we have identified.”
1. Identify the business performance drivers that are important to your organization. Brainstorm with a colleague, speak with a senior leader, or talk with someone in finance, sales, business development, or operations.