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It is time for annual performance reviews, and the company's new format is giving me pause. Half of the self-evaluation is to demonstrate how I have supported strategic business priorities this year.

Sanitized text text:

Goal

Required 1. To support the overall [company] mission and 2018 strategic business priorities.

[List of priorities]

Employee Evaluation

From my perspective, it's basically my job to perform my assignments as well as I can. What I do supports company strategy only so far as what my manager assigns me supports company strategy. In other words, it seems dishonest for me to claim that I supported growth among a certain market by building a widget, when building the widget was not my idea.

How am I supposed to approach this? Is it really just a matter of drawing lines from my activities to strategic priorities, no matter how disconnected they are?

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    It takes more than just ideas to grow a business. Someone also has to do the actual work. Even if it was some else's idea to build the widget, you actually built it and (hopefully) did it in a way that was successful. That is an important contribution. – Seth R Dec 10 '18 at 17:12
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In other words, it seems dishonest for me to claim that I supported growth among a certain market by building a widget, when building the widget was not my idea.

You are not being asked only which of your ideas contributed to growing the market. Rather, you are also being asked what you did to support growing the market. If the widget you were told to build did that, you should mention it - that's evidence of support.

How am I supposed to approach this? Is it really just a matter of drawing lines from my activities to strategic priorities, no matter how disconnected they are?

Yes.

You should draw lines from whatever you did to whatever your company's goals/missions/priorities might be. The lines need not be direct at all, nor do the lines need to be "heavy".

The theory behind of all of this is that the company's overall mission and strategic business priorities are conveyed from on high to the next level down. That level then breaks them down into actionable items and conveys them to the next level down. And so on.

In theory at the end of the year each level could indicate the tasks accomplished that helped achieve the overall mission/priorities. And the company could feel good about itself.

In reality, you can only do so much. You must work on whatever is assigned to you specifically. You can pretty much never choose to ignore your assigned work and do something else that you feel better supports company priorities.

So the game at this point is to connect as many dots as you possibly can.

It might seem silly at first, but after a little while you'll get the hang of it. Your widget helped the company be more efficient in their mission, perhaps. The reports you provided helped the company tune its priorities. The meetings you attended helped set direction for others in achieving their part of the company goals. Yes, it's a bit of a game - don't be afraid to brag and exaggerate a bit. But that's the way these "self appraisal" portions of performance reviews go.

  • I think the last two sentences are the main point, and the reason why the company does this. They want employees to think about how every role/project/etc is potentially contributing, no matter now minor or indirect the contribution seems to be. – dwizum Dec 10 '18 at 17:12
  • An addition to this would be any improvements that you suggested. Like errors are reported in this kind of way and the user has to go to that weird place to get a log or have some way to view SQL or any number of tedious tasks. Where the improvement idea would be to have a nice form that shows errors nice and easily and has options to export and so on. Or similar stuff to reduce the burdon on support staff. Any number of changes made to improve efficiency in the workflow of the company and clients. – TheEvilMetal Dec 12 '18 at 12:46

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