Friday, April 06, 2007

Annual Reviews and Development Opportunities

How structured are your annual reviews?

I often wonder about this, this is my first museum position where these have occurred. Mine are very informal and I wonder if I’d benefit from a more structured one.

What are your experiences with reviews? How are they structured?

I feel like a more structured review would help in identifying potential development areas as well as creating a dialogue opportunity for goal setting and career forecasting.

Please share your experiences.


Nathan said...

I think that reviews are highly important for personal and professional growth. But, I think that there are numerous organizations who do a very lax job either because the supervisor doesn't feel comfortable do it, doesn't like doing it, or doesn't believe in them.

My museum just instated this last year. Now, while my museum is only a year old, the foundation as a whole of which we are a part, has never done them in the past 51 years that it has existed. Last year I thought that I had a good review experience. First, we had to set our goals at the beginning of the year (or review period). Then our review was based off of performance and attitude. One part of it was a self evaluation which can be good for personal reflection. The second part was an in-person interview where my supervisor and I discussed my self review and he added his personal comments. It was very beneficial because it help me adjust what I needed to improve and helped shape my goals for the next year. I only hope that my review will go as well this time around, but because of some institutional changes, I am less confident that it will.

That said, my close friend works at a very large Chicago museum and they seem to perceive the whole process as a joke. Supposedly, a fairly high up administrator does not like evaluations and had undermined the importance of it. Therefore, when it comes around, most supervisors just have the employees fill out their own evaluation form and then the supervisor just signs the form and they pass it along. I think this is a real shame. Not only does the the process become a colossal waste of time, but no one is getting any helpful feed back.

I hope your evaluation is a good one, Erin!


Lauren said...

Our annual review process is, for the most part, quite relaxed, but I think that is because someone would let me know during the rest of the year if I was doing something incorrectly or which could be improved. I have a strong relationship with my supervisors and colleagues and know that I can go to them anytime of the year with difficulties or questions. Generally, our annual review is a time when we list what we've accomplished for the year, what our goals are for next year, and to ask for a title promotion and larger raise, if appropriate.

I should point out that we are just a 20 person staff, so I interact with everyone on a daily basis. Maybe if I was at a larger institution where there were people I only saw a few times a year I might need the review more, but since I have that daily interaction, I've never had to wait for the annual review to express concerns or questions.

Courtney said...

My museum also has biannual reviews that are basically just a formality. Lauren noted that she interacts with supervisors & colleagues regularly, and would presumably hear something from them anyway if there was a problem (or, hopefully, praise), and I think this is -- or should be -- true at most institutions. I guess at a large institution like mine, reviews serve the prupose of passing on information about our performance for those higher-ups who don't know anything about us, but on a personal level for myself and fellow educators they don't seem to mean much of anything.

Kelly A said...

I find the review process to be a difficult dance at my museum as my previous supervisors go through the motions of the review but know that no HR or uper level managment valued the process. I had diffivulty with my previous manager and hoped the review process might give me an opportunity to air my grievences about the management difficulties within the the department. However I felt pressured during the in person review to change my written personal review to exclude this information then found that she had include negative comments about our problems. I suggest looking at a review period as a time where you can put in writting any feedback you might want to add to the review.

Rebecca said...

Our annual review process is a bit relaxed as well. However, like others have noted before, we are a fairly small institution with daily interactions with all staff members, including the museum director, director of education, and director of operations.

Most beneficial for me are our three month reviews, which take place between me and my direct supervisor. It allows for some time to talk about performance and areas of improvement as well as addressing immediate issues. Then, when the annual review comes around with our musuem directors, they have already reviewed information from the four 3-month evaluations and have a good sense of my progress throughout the year.

The only area truly lacking is peer evaluation, something that I think can be very valuable, especially considering that most of the upper level staff is not here for weekend/weeknight programming, tours, or events. Is there any type of peer evaluation in your museums? How does it work? Does it help or hurt?