Depending on your company internal calendar of events and procedures the appraisal process isn’t that far away. Most appraisals start in March/April in preparation for the new financial year. For a PA,
EA and Secretary this is the time when the task of organising appraisals or preparing for appraisals starts. It is, however, worth noting that the business year begins April (often referred to as the New Financial Year), so the business year has another three months to run, (the last quarter). It is, therefore, time to start thinking about what you want to achieve in the final quarter of the financial year and what you want to achieve in the coming year.
Preparing for your Appraisal
The type of documentation needed as proof of your skill as a PA, EA or Secretary can vary depending on your company, and the questions asked during the appraisal process. If possible, get a copy of the questions in advance of the process. The appraisal process could be 4/8 weeks. You should be issued with the document/form used during the process and told to complete it in the specified time. It is recommended you get hold of this document as soon as you can. I have known people getting hold of the appraisal form 12 months in advance, so they have an entire year to prepare.
A proper appraisal could result in a promotion or a pay rise. Being prepared for your appraisal and not leaving everything to the last minute will demonstrate how increasable you are as a PA, EA or Secretary. It shows your organisational skills, your time and diary management and your critical thinking skills. All the skills an efficient and effective PA, EA and Secretary, should have.
Core Competencies is proof that you can do your job effectively and efficiently. You have an eye for detail and have the ability to utilise your critical thinking skills. Which will include verbal and written communication and problem solving?
Questions you could be asked during an Appraisal
Any heading or question you are given on your appraisal form should be followed up with documented proof or evidence to confirm your skill in that area. Listed below are a few of the subject headings that could come up in your performance review.
- Independent Action
- Job Knowledge
- Strengths and weaknesses
Example with Communications
If asked about your communication skills, show examples of how you have communicated a complicated issue to members of your team, how they have responded and what you have done with those responses. Demonstrate how you resolved any issues that arose and the outcome of that decision and your role in that outcome. The appraisal process is your opportunity to shine and brag about yourself.
The Appraisal Tool Kit
The documentation you need for proof, backup or evidence of your skills as a PA, EA, or Secretary can be very simple. These documents should be easy to find, especially if you have been collecting them for the last year.
- Evidence that you have achieved your core competencies. The evidence could be copies of emails or letters for your boss and/or feedback from colleagues about your performance a particular job, or project. (Core competencies is evidence that you can do your job effectively and efficiently).
- Your job description that includes your role and responsibilities.
- Last appraisal if you have one.
- A performance improvement plan (in you have one).
- Your attendance for the last year.
- A list of predefined goals.
- Any training courses you would like to attend. Possibly with suggested organisations that could provide that training. Include prices and locations.
In conclusion – The Appraisal Process
Evidence of the work you undertook during the last year, should be collected throughout the year; it is very easy to forget how well you managed with a difficult client, employee, or issue. You can guarantee that your boss and colleagues will remember issues that went awry. It is part of your role to remind your boss of the good work you have done, your strengths and your work ethic. Be proud of your year’s work and produce all the evidence needed to enhance your core competencies.
If you haven’t done so yet, start to obtain the information you are going to need during your appraisal. You will need this information as backup documentation and proof of how fantastic you have been during the last year and the first three-quarters of the financial year.
In a busy office, it can be difficult to remember how well you managed, coped and resolved issues. Most PAs, EAs and Secretaries will work on one task, complete it and move on to the next task. Please just stop, reflect on what you have achieved and be proud of yourself and note that achievement.
For more information on Appraisals check out
- What are the major concerns during an appraisal
- Performance Review for a PA or Secretary
- SMART Objectives for PA and Secretaries