Let’s Do Lunch – Yahoo! leaders give tips on on Year-End Review and Reward process

"Taking the dread out of Year End Review and Reward" was a big Let’s Do Lunch hit in 2010, so we brought it back as the topic for our last SNV WIT event of 2011, the Let’s Do Lunch on November 16. Once again, we got a full house and plenty of interaction. We had three wonderful guest speakers: Tammi Kroll, VP Production Operations, Caroline Tsay, Sr. Director Search PM and Wendy Miller, Leadership and Management Development.

Participants wanted to know “How do you identify the right individuals to give feedback?” The panel agreed that you need a good cross-section of folks you worked effectively with through the year – not just your buddies, but also challenging folks that you have worked with. Cross-functional feedback is great, but you can also include team members if they have additional feedback into which your manager may not have visibility. In the end, managers don't have to base their review on the feedback provided, but if you’ve done a good job in suggesting feedback sources, you’ll be helping your manager get a well-rounded view of your performance.

For writing your own self-assessment, our panel advised that you make sure you are specific and provide examples and context. Don’t assume your manager just knows! Being detailed can really serve you well if there are any management changes during the year. Also, don’t be too modest. Women have a challenge in selling themselves. It is ok to sell, as long as you are accurate. And advocating for each other can be a valuable help.

The natural evolution of the review process is to set improvement goals for the coming period. Our participants had lots of questions around that as well. The panelists advised SMART goals (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timebound). Review them often with managers, be open, ask for clarifications. To help with setting goals appropriate to your level in the organization, a good resource is Yahoo!’s job leveling information, available on our Manager Central site.

Wendy shared that there are a few changes to the Yahoo! review system that we all need to be aware of. The feedback form can now be used anytime through the course of the year. This can help you capture feedback at the end of a project, and help minimize the “memory loss” from turnover. To help indicate growth areas, you can include items the individual could have done more or less of on a specific project, as well as areas they could work on for future projects. It’s good to provide constructive, specific feedback with examples and timelines. The Yahoo! HRanswers team is available to help employees with any questions.