Dealing with a bullying boss can be challenging, especially when preparing for an appraisal. However, it’s essential to approach the situation calmly and professionally. What is an appraisal and why is it so important?
The Context for Appraisals:
Workplace appraisals, or performance reviews or evaluations, are a structured and formal process by employers to assess and review employee performance, progress, and contributions within an organisation. There are several vital reasons workplaces conduct appraisals:
Performance Assessment: Appraisals systematically and comprehensively evaluate an employee’s performance and achievements over a specific period. It helps supervisors and managers gauge how well employees fulfil their job responsibilities and meet expectations.
Feedback and Communication: Appraisals offer a platform for constructive feedback and open communication between employees and their supervisors. It allows both parties to discuss strengths, areas for improvement, and career development opportunities.
Goal Setting and Alignment: During appraisals, employees and managers can collaboratively set new performance goals or adjust existing ones. This process aligns individual objectives with the organisation’s broader goals, promoting better focus and motivation.
Employee Development: By identifying strengths and weaknesses, appraisals help pinpoint areas where employees may need further training or support. This promotes professional development and enhances job satisfaction.
Recognition and Reward: Positive performance appraisals can lead to acknowledgement and recognition of an employee’s hard work and accomplishments. It may also pave the way for rewards, bonuses, or promotions, boosting employee morale and motivation.
Performance Improvement: For employees who are not meeting expectations, appraisals can highlight areas for improvement and provide an opportunity for corrective action or additional training.
Identifying High Performers: Appraisals help identify high-performing employees who consistently go above and beyond their roles. These employees may be considered for leadership positions or other opportunities within the organisation.
Documentation and Record-Keeping: Appraisals create a formal record of an employee’s performance, which can be helpful for future reference, such as when considering promotions or making employment decisions.
Legal and Compliance Reasons: In some industries or jurisdictions, performance appraisals may be required for legal or compliance purposes to ensure fair and consistent evaluations.
Workplace appraisals are valuable for promoting employee growth, aligning individual and organisational goals, and fostering a positive work culture. When conducted effectively, they contribute to improved performance, increased employee engagement, and more robust team dynamics within the organisation. An appraisal is a two-way conversation where you, as the employee, also discuss your future development, dreams and career aspirations. You should take an active part in your appraisal and decide beforehand what you would like to achieve from the process.
Dealing with an appraisal from a bullying boss
To prepare for your upcoming appraisal, dealing with a bullying boss can be an emotionally challenging experience. However, there are some steps you can follow to ensure you are prepared for the appraisal and are armed with all the information you need to protect yourself and your professional reputation.
Documenting incidents of such behaviour is a crucial step to protect yourself and ensure your concerns are taken seriously. Here’s why documenting incidents is essential and how it can significantly benefit you during the appraisal process:
Validating Your Experience: Keeping a record of bullying or inappropriate behaviour validates your feelings and experiences. When you put these incidents down in writing, you acknowledge their impact on your well-being and work environment.
Establishing Credibility: Your boss’s behaviour might be questioned or challenged during the appraisal. Having a well-documented account adds credibility to your claims. It shows that you are serious about your concerns and have taken the time to gather evidence.
Maintaining Accuracy: Memories can fade or become distorted. By documenting each incident promptly, you ensure accuracy in the details, making your case more reliable and compelling. Be honest when recording the incident. You must avoid a biased account of events. Be 100% truthful by recording your actions as well as your bosses.
Demonstrating Patterns: When you have a record of multiple incidents, it becomes easier to identify patterns of behaviour. This pattern can reinforce the seriousness of the issue and show that it is not an isolated occurrence.
Preparing for discussion: Your documentation will be valuable during the appraisal discussion. It allows you to recall specific incidents and express your concerns coherently and confidently.
Aiding in resolution: The appraisal process might be an opportunity to address the issue and seek a resolution. Providing a coherent account of the incidents and their impact will help your employer understand the gravity of the situation and take action.
Protecting Your Rights: sometimes, documentation can be evidence in formal proceedings if you need to involve HR, a mediator, or even pursue legal action to protect your rights.
When documenting incidents, include the following details:
Dates and Times: Record the date and time of each incident to create a chronological order of events.
Incident Descriptions: Be as detailed as possible when describing each incident. Include specific actions, words, or behaviour displayed by your boss.
Witnesses: Note the names and contact information of any witnesses present during the incidents. Their testimonies can strengthen your case.
Emotional Impact: Describe how each incident affected you emotionally, mentally, or physically. Explain how it affected your productivity, motivation, and overall well-being.
Supporting Evidence: If you have any relevant emails, messages, or documents related to the incidents, make copies and reference them in your documentation.
Documenting incidents is a proactive step toward resolving workplace issues and fostering a healthier work environment. Use your documentation during the appraisal as a tool to express your concerns, seek understanding, and advocate for positive change. Your well-documented account will show your professionalism and determination to address the issue constructively.
Supporting Third Parties:
If you need to involve HR, a mediator, or seek legal help, having a well-documented account of incidents gives them the information to investigate and address the situation more effectively.
If the bullying or inappropriate behaviour affects your work performance or well-being, your documented incidents can provide context during performance appraisals or evaluations. It helps your employer understand how the behaviour has affected your professional life.
Remember to keep your documentation secure and confidential. If possible, share it only with trustworthy individuals who can provide support or guidance as you navigate the process of addressing the problem. Documenting incidents empowers you to take control of your situation and seek a resolution that ensures a healthier and more respectful work environment.
In Conclusion, when you Prepare for an appraisal
Dealing with a bullying boss during an appraisal can be challenging, but remaining calm and professional is essential. Documenting any events or incidents of bullying behaviour is crucial to protect yourself and ensure legitimacy during the appraisal process. Details you should include in your documentation contain dates, times, incident descriptions, witnesses, emotional impact, and supporting evidence. Some benefits of documenting incidents are validating your experience, establishing credibility, maintaining accuracy, demonstrating patterns, and preparing for discussion.
Employers may consider taking appropriate action by providing a coherent account of incidents and their impact. Documentation can also serve as evidence for legal action if necessary. Appraisals provide a platform for performance assessment, feedback and communication, setting and aligning your professional career and personal development goals. An appraisal is also there to reward your performance and any improvement throughout the year. The process is designed to identify dedication and commitment to the job and company. If your bullying harms you mentally, emotionally, and professionally, it may be time to look for a new position.
You may also be interested in the following article:
How Outsourcing Can Help Grow Your Business with a Virtual Assistant
Are you looking for an efficient and cost-effective way to supercharge the growth of your business? Virtual Assistants (VAs) can provide businesses with a powerful solution that can help to hone internal operations. Help streamline processes, increase efficiency, and ultimately maximise profits. With the right virtual assistant, businesses can unlock the potential of outsourcing. Make their operations more productive and cost-efficient than ever before.
What is A Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistants are highly skilled professionals who provide services remotely, usually via the Internet. They can help businesses with various tasks like customer service, email management, data entry, marketing, etc. With a VA on board, companies can free up their time to focus on what’s important – growing their business. VAs offer a unique value that is difficult to replicate in an in-house team: flexibility and scalability. Businesses of any size or budget can leverage the skills of a virtual assistant. Introducing flexible working, most office staff has been introduced into the concept of remote working. A VA can meet business needs without investing in additional resources or personnel.
The key to success with a virtual assistant is finding the right one for your business. Finding the perfect match for tasks can be tricky and requires research and patience. But when you finally find the ideal VA, it’s worth all the effort. The quality of work that they provide can make a real difference in how successful your business is overall.
What can a Virtual Assistant do?
Outsourcing specific tasks to virtual assistants will free up business time. This gives business time to focus on other areas of their operations. A VA can allow business owners to expand their services and offerings. VAs can take care of:
Social Media Management
Travel and Conference Booking
Website updates and maintenance
The results of working with a VA mean that business owners have more time available to pursue new opportunities. Which could lead to significant successes down the road!
A virtual assistant is an invaluable asset to any business. With their help, companies can unlock the power of outsourcing. They can access a range of skills, services, and expertise that would otherwise be inaccessible. If you’re looking for ways to grow your business quickly and effectively, consider bringing on board a virtual assistant today!
You will need time and dedication to find the perfect VA. Any business can reap the rewards associated with harnessing the power of a virtual assistant. Besides saving money, reducing overhead, and freeing up valuable personnel resources, VAs can give businesses access to specialised skills without having to commit substantial financial resources or long-term contracts. The power of outsourcing should not be underestimated. Make sure that you can take full advantage of the opportunities presented by virtual assistants to help your business reach its full potential.
Virtual Assistants offer a powerful solution for businesses looking to unlock the potential of outsourcing and maximise their operations. With a suitable VA, businesses can free up valuable time and resources to focus on growth while streamlining everyday tasks. If you’re ready to supercharge your business, investing in a Virtual Assistant is an excellent place to start!
Have you heard of the term CPD? Do you know what it means, and, more importantly, do you know what it involves?
CPD stands for Continued Personal/Professional Development. In short, it means that you continue to study after you finish school, college or graduate from university. There are a number of professions that, once you achieve a pass mark in the basic qualifications, will be the start of a lifetime of study, for example, a solicitor, a doctor or a planner. What about your profession? Do you need to embark on CPD?
If your profession does not demand Continued Professional Development, have you made the decision to discontinue studying? To have a successful career, we advocate a continued approach to education/studies. Continued Professional Development is there to help you excel in your chosen field. CPD will also keep you abreast of the latest trends, legal changes and current business relationships, which ultimately could give you an advantage over your colleagues.
Education never stops
Making a personal decision to continue your education/studies and improve your knowledge in your chosen field may become a prerequisite for your employment. An example of this is the IT Industry. Information Technology is changing all the time and good developers, support staff and programmers need to keep abreast of current technology, languages and innovations. If you decided to terminate your studies, this could have a detrimental effect on your career.
Once you have made the decision to continue with your education, what should you do? There are a number of organisations that can facilitate your education. The only decision you need to make will be, which route suits your personal circumstances:
Online training courses
Studies in a classroom setting – often given by trade bodies
Seminars and Open days
Professional Magazines in a chosen field
What is CPD for your occupation?
You could be in an occupation where CPD is not required. Nevertheless, this does not mean that further study is not for you. It could be advantageous for you to engage in a study course with a local college or night class in one of the hobbies you enjoy for example, cooking or sewing. Furthermore, you could learn a new skill, for example, car maintenance.
Further, more studying has a number of wonderful side effects. You could meet new people, gain skills and, more importantly, keep your brain active. Indeed, the Alzheimer’s community have suggested that keeping your brain active could help prevent many mind degenerative disease.
All studying requires is your dedication to the course, you will be receptive to new concepts, your time and the drive to become successful.
Cloud backup is also referred to as online back and comprises sending a selection of your computer data over the internet to a computer in a different building or country.
The computer (also referred to as a server) is hosted by a third party who will charge the backup company a fee depending on the space required on their computers, the bandwidth needed, or the number of users/computers being backed up.
You will have heard of some of these
A Server is owned by Company A.
They rent out space to Company B. (They may not deal directly with the public).
Company B will hire space on Company A’s computer.
Company B will provide you with the online software needed to back up your computer.
Your home/office computer that has the data that needs to be backed up
Why Should I Backup My Computer
Your computer is home to vital pieces of information that you want to maintain for many years to come. Stored data could include client records, financial records and legal documentation. There is a legal requirement to hold critical information for a set period of time. A secure location for data storage is essential.
A backup system will keep these documents in a safe place if something were to happen to your computer, and you may read below to learn how a backup system operates.
1: Why Do You Need A Backup System?
A backup system is the only guaranteed way to protect the data you keep on your computer.
The backup system may save data to an online server, a particular disk or a drive that you can attach to your computer. Ensure all essential documents are backup regularly just in case your computer fails.
2: Cloud, Onsite and Offsite Backups
Cloud backup systems use the virtual cloud server to protect your documents. You save directly to a server that you can access from any other computer, and the system is much faster than any other you might use. Onsite backups are disk drivers or hard drives that save all your information. Disks are portable and recovery of data is easy to access. The disadvantage is you could lose the disk.
Offsite backups are servers that connect with your computer via your Internet connection. The company that manages the servers must help you recover your documents. Data storage is completely secure. Most offsite backup servers will comply is ISO 27001.
3: Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Cloud vs. A Disk
Any computer can connect to a disk drive. Additionally, disk drives are portable and easily lost or stolen. However, disk drives are slow, hold limited data and are time-consuming. In addition, the security of data could be an issue when relying on a disk drive for backing up data.
A cloud server recovers your data via your Internet connection. The service you restore your whole computer, but you must have a signal to complete the process. Finally, disks are valuable if you travel to places without Internet service.
4: How Often does my data need to be backed up?
Cloud backup software can be scheduled to back up changed data every hour. Those with a disk drive may choose to update at the end of each day for safety’s sake.
In Conclusion, Why should I back up my computer
In conclusion, the simple answer is to protect the data you have stored. You should back up your regularly and check the backup files. A fatal hardware crash will make it virtually impossible to recover the data.
Virtual Assistant can work anywhere anytimeHaving run a successful Virtual Assistant business for nearly ten years, I am frequently asked What is a Virtual Assistant. I suppose the term is not familiar to everybody and it can sound like quite a strange concept. The question is then followed with “Why would I use a Virtual Assistant?” Let us look at the idea of the Virtual Assistant and the reasons why people and businesses choose to employ one.
I would describe a Virtual Assistant (VA) as. Someone who works for a small business or organisation but not directly employed by them. They are accountable for the work they do on their behalf. They are, in effect, a subcontractor who provides secretarial and/or administrative support.
The duties of a VA can include scheduling activities such as meetings, organising travel, social media, customer service, email campaigns, book-keeping and much more. A VA can work from their office (they might, for example, rent office space in a shared building), from their home office, or from the offices of their clients. They can also do a combination of any of these.
The definition of a Virtual Assistant on the Wikipedia website is as follows:
“A Virtual Assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is an entrepreneur who provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office…. They usually work for other small businesses, brokers and consultancy groups. Reports state that there are as few as 5,000-8,000 or as many as 25,000 Virtual Assistants worldwide; the profession is growing in centralised economies with “fly-in, fly-out” (FIFO) staffing practices.” www.wikipedia.org.
There is currently a debate in the industry about the title of a Virtual Assistant and whether ‘we’ as an industry should change it. The general feeling is that the title ‘Assistant’, (to those who aren’t familiar with the industry), doesn’t give an accurate impression of the variety of roles a VA can fulfil.
I believe there are four types of Virtual Assistants:
Virtual Assistant (VA). A VA is someone who can assist their client with some secretarial and administrative tasks, usually on a short-term project basis. Equally, they may undertake individual jobs over a period; for example, creating a database of business cards.
Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA). A VPA is someone who works in close collaboration with a small business owner, providing secretarial and administrative support. The VPA will be there long-term. The relationship is similar to that of employer and employee. Nevertheless, the VPA will only visit the client once or twice a week, and despite the longevity of the relationship, is self-employed.
Virtual Executive Assistant (VEA). A VEA is someone who works in close collaboration with a small business owner to provide secretarial and administrative support. A VEA could be part of the business development strategy for the company. The VEA is an important part of the business, becoming one of the planners and authorising partners.
Personal Assistant. A PA is someone who works for one person in one organisation. However, in the VA world, many VAs call themselves PAs as many employers/clients understand this term better.
What is a Virtual Assistant
In conclusion, the answer to What is a Virtual Assistant is that the role has many different nuances. However, the role is primarily an administrative role that helps people and businesses undertake the numerous administrative activities. It is very similar to that of an Executive PA.
This is an extract from my book entitled Becoming a Virtual Assistant and avoid the Mistakes I made. In this book, you will discover many PA tips on starting your own business or discover some PA tips and Secretarial Support if you are in full-time employment that will help you understand your boss and their reason and reactions on many of the tasks they undertake.
What is a Virtual Assistant and How to Become a Virtual Assistant
What does a PA Do? and indeed, what is a PA. A PA is Personal Assistant to the manager, department or CEO. They provide administrative support and take care of their boss so that they can
What does a PA do?
Perform their jobs with ease and confidence. A Personal Assistant could also be called an Executive Assistant or even a Virtual PA or Virtual EA. In this article, I will use the term PA to cover all of above.
Being a Personal Assistant (PA) is like being a fine artist. You have to have the ability to see an end product using the raw materials you have available to you. Anticipate the likes and needs of those you are looking after, without them knowing or understanding what they like or dislike. A PA has to be meticulous about their time management, planning and organisational skills and then make these tasks look smooth and effortless. Any PA unable to master these three skills will inevitably find the role as a Personal Assistant difficult. A PA should have their finger on the proverbial button of any activity their boss is undertaking at any time. Not only that, a PA has to anticipate what the boss requires today tomorrow and next month.
So What does a PA do to make sure they are on the ball?
A PAs mantra or go to question should always be “What is the next question” their boss is going to ask. Ensure they can answer that question and then the next question their boss will ask. The standard Who, What, Where, When, Why and How questions should be applied to any and all tasks a PA undertakes. Once a PA has mastered this tool they will start to see and show improvements in their PA ability and demonstrate how capable and competent they are in their role.
All PAs need to demonstrate consistency in their workload and be as enthusiastic on Monday morning at 9 am as they are on Friday at 5 pm. They need to be effective and efficient in all the tasks that they undertake and become proactive instead of reactive. It is recommended that a PA schedules at least 60% of their working day. This will leave 40% of their day to be reactive. We, therefore, advise each PA to plan tasks in advance. Taking note of business deadlines and the expectation is essential. A PA will also have to remember their boss has deadlines that could rely on work they have to do.
PAs Personal Recommendations
We would also recommend that every PA take a few minutes at the end of the day to note at least five successes they have had that day. It is true to say that everyone will have a bad day at work at some point. Noting down any success they have will help any PA remember how good they are. How well they perform their job and organising their boss.
In conclusion, What does a PA Do?
When the role of a PA is performed correctly, it is a work of art. The position is seamless, timeless and a thing of beauty. Their boss will never know the amount of work, effort and organisational skills the PA will put into their role. All of this, to ensure that the boss has a perfect working environment so they can perform at their peak.
The PA is indeed the unsung hero of any organisation. It is time for all PAs to stand up and be proud of the jobs that they do. The tasks they undertake and show what a strong, determined woman can do. For more information about becoming a PA or attending a training course click here.
The PA Tips on this post are those that are highly recommended to become an effective PA. It is also vitally important that a PA keeps on track of all new technology, new ways of working and are open to any PA Tips they can glean from colleagues and even their boss.
Welcome to our online magazine from Julie and the team. If you have been on one of Julie’s training courses, you know she is passionate about PA, EAs and Secretaries being the best they can be. She also has very strong opinions about what a PA, EA and Secretary should and shouldn’t do. If you have a question, or would like to add an article, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.