Getting the most from your performance review
A workplace performance review shouldn’t be something that leaves you feeling anxious, nor should it be seen as a process you are simply obligated to go through. Take the time to prepare correctly and think about the outcomes you want, and it can be an opportunity to have a constructive conversation with your Manager that positively impacts your satisfaction and success at work.
A ‘go with the flow’ attitude is never the right approach. Your input is just as important as your manager’s in ensuring the experience is positive and productive for both of you. So to get the most from your next performance review, consider the following preparation tips.
Do a self-assessment before your review
Before your formal review with your manger, do an honest and objective review of your achievements by yourself. A good way to start is by looking at the results of your last evaluation if you’ve had one. What personal and professional goals did you set for yourself, and have they all been met? List out all goals and map out your progress against each, using evidence where you can.
If you haven’t quite met all your targets or KPIs, be prepared to discuss exactly where you are in terms of accomplishing them, if you’re encountering any difficulty, and why. A good manager will typically view your review as a way to help you succeed, not a chance to criticize.
Prepare a discussion plan
Your Manager will generally drive the meeting, but the review should be a two-way discussion, so come prepared with a list of everything you want to cover personally. Some topics could be;
Any workplace frustrations or barriers that are coming in the way of you doing your job
Areas where you need more support or guidance from your Manager
Professional development objectives or expectations that aren’t being met
Your ideas for how you or your team could deliver more results for your company
Bring evidence of your achievements
Promotions and salary increases are directly linked to your performance against targets, so if you feel you are due for either then your review is the best opportunity to bring this up. Give your manager measurable examples of how you have over-delivered on your targets. Gather any positive comments about your performance from clients and colleagues (in emails or testimonials etc.) as supporting evidence. Focus on achievements you know helped the organisation’s bottom line or improved overall efficiency. These results speak volumes about your value as an employee.
Expect constructive criticism
At the end of the day it is a review of your performance, so expect that part of the conversation may be about aspects of your job that you need to work on. Use the feedback constructively as its purpose is to help you improve, and in some instances may be an expectation if you want to keep your job. If the comments are overtly negative or you don’t agree with them, avoid the temptation to be defensive or dismissive and instead have an honest discussion with your manager.
Think about your long-term goals
A commonly asked question in reviews, and one that rarely gets answered properly is, “Where do you see yourself in the future”. Everything you currently do in your job should be with a longer-term goal in mind, whether it’s a promotion or just new role responsibilities. Use your review to talk to your manager about the skills you want to develop, and what training or projects will help you meet these goals.
So be an eager and willing participant in your next performance review, and don’t waste this opportunity; together, you and your manager can use this time to map out the best path for your career advancement.