Monday, June 2, 2008

How to ask for promotion and salary raise in this appraisal

It’s appraisal time! Many companies conduct periodic reviews to give feedback on performance to their employees and to assist employees in developing their career. This appraisal period may be of six months or one year depending on company policies. Performance appraisal is the right time to ask for your promotion as well as salary raise.
Why performance appraisal?
To reward employees for their good work. Appraisal will assist employees to develop in their career and enable them to reach their full potential. Performance appraisal process involves discussion on the previous year employee achievements and identifying area for improvement. This will help employees to develop clear performance objectives for the next review period.
In this article I will concentrate more on “QA performance appraisal”. What are skills and parameters used to judge and rate the QA performance?
This article will help you in following ways:
If you are a fresher and yet not faced any appraisal, you will get exact idea of what is performance review and how to face it.
If you are an experienced quality assurance engineer then you will know “How to ask for promotion and salary hike in your performance review”.
How to effectively summaries your hard work and responsibilities into a good impression in front of management.
In companies having yearly appraisal system, performance appraisal process begins a month before end of each financial year. Performance review forms gets distributed to every eligible employee with instructions on how to fill the form and to whom you need to send these filled forms. After that face-to-face review meetings are scheduled with reviewers.
Following major activities get discussed in review meeting:
Project you did in previous year
Employees overall performance
Comments on performance ratings given by employee and reviewer
Employee feedback
Areas for improvements
Performance planning for the next year.
What are the criteria’s to rate the employee performance?
We are specifically speaking about QA performance appraisal, so here are the main parameters considered while rating software testers/QA persons.
Software testing skills:
Ability to find bugs
Bug reporting skill
Ability to automate work
Test cases design ability
Testing completeness and coverage
Management skills:
Effective role model
Team motivation skill
Estimation and scheduling ability
Ability to anticipate and address issues
Mentoring ability
Planning and time management skill
Personal skills:
Can work independently?
Team player
Self learning
Willing to learn?
Takes initiative
Admit mistakes?
Grasping skill
Other skills:
Communication (Written and verbal)
Documentation skill
Interviewing skill (If applicable)
Training and presentation skill
Based on these parameters employee can give self rating from 1 to 10 for individual parameter and the overall rating as the average of all these ratings. Reviewer ratings will be there also in front of each skill and also reviewer’s final rating.Ratings are classified like:Rating from 1-5: Poor performance6: Need improvements7: Meets position requirements8-9: Exceeds position requirements10: Exceptional! Exceed all requirements all the time.
In performance appraisal form employee needs to give feedback on his/her work till date. Also feedback on company culture, work process and management style.
Employee feedback section is the best section to ask for promotion or salary hike. Mention your overall and relevant QA experience and your ability to handle more challenging work assignments. This will create solid base for management to decide the promotion and salary raise.
Reviewer will fill the “Employee performance planning for next appraisal” section. In this section he/she will address the improvement areas like technical and non-technical skills. Or other personal improvements. Reviewer needs to mention some specific goals employee need to meet for next appraisal. This will become base objective for next appraisal period.
This is the overall appraisal process. Now key part is how and when to ask for promotion and salary raise?
Here are some key points you need to study before asking for promotion and pay rise:
1) What are your previous year’s top achievements?You should be ready with list of key projects you did in past year. How was the overall quality of work in this period? Note down some examples, which will illustrate your contribution to company growth.
2) Positive attitude:Management like employees with positive attitude. Management will think about your leadership qualities before promoting you.
3) Your relationship with your boss and co-workers:This is a crucial point. Make sure you don’t have any disputes between you and your boss or co-workers. You should be a fair team player.
4) Any major work issue in previous year?You should be aware of project issues created by you. If these issues are major then think twice before asking for promotion or pay raise. If the issues are minor and you were not directly responsible for those issues then you can have explanation of these issues, if management raised these negative points in your appraisal meeting. Make sure you don’t blame any of your co-workers for any issue.
5) Explain why you deserve promotion:You need solid work portfolio to explain this. Put forward your contribution to company and how this helped to improve the company.
6) Are you prepared to handle challenges of senior level positions?Senior level position means more responsibilities. You need to have both technical as well as management skills to handle such positions. Explain how you are a best fit for the new position.
7) Be prepared to present exact amount to be raised in your salary:If management is ready to promote you then you might get this question: How much pay rise you expect? So do a little study of current market salary range for your new position. Come to some exact figures by doing analysis of your current salary, company’s previous salary hike records and your accomplishments for the appraisal period.
8 ) Know the exact time for getting pay rise:If you got promotion in last performance appraisal then ask for promotion in current appraisal only if you did some outstanding work. If company is in some financial problems then wait till company get out of this situation. (But don’t wait too much )
In short be professionals and specific. Ask for promotion and salary rise, otherwise you will get nothing. Prove your hard work and responsibilities. Be prepared for any outcome. It may be positive or negative. You should be calm in your response and don’t forget to thank your boss and handshake at the end of the appraisal meeting.
Hope this article will help you to climb your career ladder efficiently and will add some professionalism in your career.

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