By: Christopher Woods
Every year in July my company does its annual performance reviews. This is a pretty standard occurrence for most corporate entities. It is the time when your manager reviews your performance since last year (see what I did there?) If you were given a matrix or task list to complete, this is the time when you are evaluated on your progress. It is also when you find out if you receive a raise and/or bonus if your company is one of those that gives those. They’re not guaranteed.
I hate performance review time. I always feel like it will result in my termination. This is usually because I am ridiculous and unnecessarily hard on myself for no legitimate reason. Also, my jobs have not been the most particularly challenging once I’ve “mastered” them so I have a lot of down time. In the past ten years of my professional career I have never had a “bad” performance review. Furthermore, I’ve only had one warning to get my act together and actually work. It was warranted.
We here at The Sellers Group want you to be confident when you go into your performance reviews, so here are a few things I’ve learned over the past ten years that will help you get prepared and stay prepared.
- Dress nicely for your review, and look your supervisors/managers in the eye when they are talking to you. You don’t have to dress up if your company has a relaxed dress code, but make an effort on that day to look your best.
- If you were given a task matrix or goals to accomplish during the year, complete them as much as possible. If you haven’t been able to complete everything make sure you track your progress and have a legitimate explanation for why a task wasn’t completed and have a plan for accomplishing this goal, if possible.
- Take initiative to improve your skills throughout the year, and track your accomplishments. Many companies have professional development budgets for their employees, and they may be willing to foot the bill for certain trainings that will make you more efficient at your job. Be sure to ask about those and seek them out.
- Keep track of the feedback you receive from your coworkers, clients, and other colleagues, especially if it’s positive. It is a good idea to print or even forward this feedback to your manager. This helps your morale, and will help your boss see your value.
- Be prepared to ask questions about the feedback you receive during your review. Your manager may ask you to respond to your evaluation. If applicable take responsibility and be accountable for your mistakes or shortcomings. Acknowledge them and be prepared to make your case for how you will improve in the future.
- If you get a chance to provide feedback to your manager be prepared to offer constructive criticism. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, ask questions about your role or the company that show that you are invested in the success of your team and the company as a whole. Understand that your feedback may fall on deaf ears and you may be powerless to affect any type of change.
- Be confident in yourself and your abilities yet remain humble. You were hired for a reason. Show that you appreciate the opportunity for working for your company because they have invested in you. It is an investment to train and develop an employee. They would much rather keep you than hire someone else and train them.
Photo Credit: Lee Chapman