Maximize Your Performance Review

Aug 16, 2021

3 Min Read

Getting an annual review from your employer is just like those days when it’s time for your teacher to issue report cards. Regardless of whether you got a good or bad report card, the feeling of anticipation and anxiety is universal. 

Feeling stressed out about your performance review is normal even if you have confidence in doing a good job. A performance evaluation is a tactical way of knowing your career improvement or where improvement is needed.

Many employers often make decisions about raises and promotions on employee performance reviews (also called performance appraisals or employee evaluations). Through performance reviews, an employer decides whether they’re a valuable asset to the company or if they are not pulling their weight.

Performance reviews make employees feel helpless because the person that writes it has a powerful influence over them. Your employer’s decision about what you’ve done so far goes into the report and your permanent file with the company. You may not have full control over this situation, but you still have some.

You can ease some of your stress and even improve the outcome if you have a strategy for handling the review.

Get Familiar With The Process

The fear of the unknown is the worst part of the whole performance review process. To feel more in control, familiarize yourself with how the whole review process works. Ask co-workers what to expect if this is the first performance review from your current employer. Understanding why most employers evaluate their workers through performance assessments is essential.

In short, their goal is to give feedback, communicate expectations, and create room to converse with employees.

Do a Self-Review

Before your employer’s review, evaluate your own performance. Highlight all your achievements and accomplishments over the last year. It will help you understand them as they occur instead of doing it all at once.

Maybe this advice is too late for your current review, but it’ll help you in the future if you remember to apply it. Keep in mind how your manager benefitted – retention of current clients, a bigger client roster, or higher profits. All of these items will be relevant to your review in proving you’re a strong team player.

Be specific in your review! Start by indicating the number of clients brought on board, the percentage retained, or the amount by which profits increased. List everything you would like to address during the review and pile up the necessary documentation you need to support your claims. Check your self-review the night before meeting with your boss. It will get you prepared to discuss all your achievements and accomplishments with your boss the next day.

Learn How to Respond to a Bad Review

Thinking about what to do when things don’t go well as you expected might seem counterintuitive. But in essence, it’ll help you respond effectively to a bad review when necessary. Plan ahead so you aren’t caught unexpectedly. 

If you’ve got a bad review, the best thing to do is resist the urge to react instantly. Ask to meet with your boss a few days later. This break in between will help you calm down and think about the review objectively. Furthermore, you may conclude the review wasn’t fair or discover that the negative feedback wasn’t that different from what you expect.

Even if you think the review is accurate, keep your composure calm. Use the meeting as an opportunity to analyze ways or methods to improve. It is not bad to sincerely discuss an unjust review with your boss. Maybe you felt too overwhelmed to discuss your achievements during the initial evaluation. If you’ve got a clear example to counter the criticisms, this is the perfect time to address the issue.

Prepare for Takeaways After Your Performance Review

Irrespective of the results, your performance review is an opportunity to learn valuable information (whether it’s about yourself or your boss).

Use accurate criticism to deduce how you can improve over the next year. Initiate meetings with your boss throughout the year instead of just keeping her informed during a review. Many people realized after a performance review that their managers weren’t aware of their achievements.

Ultimately, good feedback offers you an opportunity to know what to keep doing. It also helps you take additional actions to make next year’s review better than the present one.

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