Firstly let me introduce myself. My name is Jo Sheppard and I am a District Operations Manager in Jobcentre Plus in East London. I have 6 direct reports and beneath them just under 200 staff in my team.
That’s a whole lot of mid-year reviews which is why I feel qualified to offer my 5 top tips for surviving the MYR process:
This is a must! The new Assessment Tool can be found on Civil Service Learning (CSL) along with a whole host of development tips, hints and help. There are two parts for this for me – firstly my development, and secondly my teams. I complete the self assessment tool every few months. Our skills and experiences change so often in the department that you need to keep this fresh. If I don’t know how I need to develop, how can I assist and help my teams? So it has to start with me.
Once I have completed the assessment tool the report is equally useful – it links clearly into the developmental areas that I need to look at. It really focuses me on what should be on it, rather than what I want on it! It is then up to me to discuss this with my teams and equally their self assessments with me.
2. Development plans
A person who I really admire once advised me to be selfish about my development – they were right, and I pass this advice on to my team. If you don’t look up from the day job every so often you miss a lot of the good stuff that’s going on around you!
I now complete a development plan and update it every few months. It really should be linked to your career goals, i.e. where do I want to be in a year’s time? Does my development plan support me on this and will it help me to get there? When you log on the CSL site you can track how close you are to your 5 days learning per year – again really helps to focus!
3. The mid-year
The mid year review is your mid year review – so its time to take control and talk to your line manager about you. A great opportunity for you to advise and discuss how you are doing, whilst planning for the next 6 months. Go in prepared to discuss what matters to you, give yourself time to prepare and lead the conversation. This is an hour or so with your Line Manager so be selfish and talk about you!
4. Set achievable objectives
At the mid year make sure you give yourself objectives, of when you are going to take the action by. This sounds obvious but I have often failed in this area, it keeps you focused and gives your line manager an idea of how committed you are to what you are doing.
I love it when a member of my team comes in and knows what they are going to do, why and when by. It shows that they are taking control of their own career.
5. Learn from others
Finally, learn from all the people around you. Talk to people about what they doing in terms of their development, their role, make networks and learn from them! It’s the easiest and best way to pick up snippits of info that you never knew, or had never thought about!
Good luck and please post any top tips you have in the comments box below.