Prepping for your performance review – six steps to success

Performance review at work

Love them or loathe them, for most of us the annual performance review is a part of our working lives.

For employers, it’s a way to assess your performance, check that you’re on target to meet your key performance indicators, and to ensure you’re working in a way that aligns with company goals and values.

Your review is a valuable tool for both you and your employer, allowing you to connect and discuss your achievements and your challenges. It’s also a key part of career development, helping you to set goals and achieve them. It makes sense then, to spend some time preparing for your performance review if you want to get the absolute best out of it.

Here are six tips to get you started:

1. Know the process

Take time to understand the type of performance review your employer uses and make sure to ask any questions you have well in advance of your allocated time. Whilst some employers utilise self-assessment reviews, others may use 360-degree reviews which involve feedback from people that you work with. Arm yourself with knowledge so there are no surprises.

2. Review yourself

You probably already have a fairly good idea what your strengths and weaknesses are. It may be that you’re struggling in one area whilst exceeding in another. It helps to self-assess in advance of your review by noting down any achievements and any struggles. Think about how you can build on your strengths and what support you need to develop any areas for improvement.

3. Be ready to receive constructive feedback

Receiving constructive feedback can be difficult, so remember that it’s being given with the best of intentions. We all face challenges, but it’s the way we respond to these that matters. Be open to feedback and ready to take on board suggestions for improvement.

4. Be ready to give feedback

You’ll also have an opportunity to provide feedback to your employer during your performance review. You should make sure that you have this clear in your mind before the meeting. It may be that a particular process isn’t working as it should or that you aren’t getting those weekly one on ones you were promised. Regardless of the pain points, make sure you deliver constructive feedback that is respectful and helpful for both parties. If you’re unsure about what constitutes constructive feedback, talk to your colleagues or friends about their experiences.

5. Make a case for a pay rise

For some companies, salary reviews are help separately to performance reviews so make sure you know when the most appropriate time is to ask for a pay rise. If it’s during a performance review then arm yourself with information that supports your case; know exactly why you deserve it and be ready to verbalise that.

That means doing some work before your review to document what you’ve achieved during the year. It’s up to you to make a case to your employer for a raise, so have plenty of examples on hand that demonstrate your value.

6. Be clear on your objectives

The annual performance review may be your most important chance to communicate what you want to achieve within the company. Having clear goals that you can share with your employer will help you to continue developing and ensure that you’re both on the same page. If you’re after additional training or an opportunity to study something that’s aligned with your role, make sure you have all the details on hand.

Finally, keep in mind that you should be in good form for your performance review. Getting a good sleep and making sure you’re well-presented will help with attitude and mindset. Remember it’s normal to feel nervous, particularly if it’s your first formal performance review. Good solid preparation will help settle your nerves and make you feel more in control of your own destiny.


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Filed under: Career Advice Resources
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