10 Performance Appraisal Tips for your next Performance Review
Your performance appraisal is a matter of great importance, in order to ensure that you have a successful employee performance appraisal, you need prepare for it well in advance. Instead of adopting a passive role, waiting for the outcome, you can prepare for your meeting with your manager by ensuring that he/she has a broader and detailed picture in terms of your achievements, goals and performance.
How to Prepare for a Performance Appraisal
1. Embrace an open mind
Keep an open mind before stepping into the appraisal meeting. Do not get into defensive mode. Constructive criticism is always for your betterment. Hence, you should develop the habit to take it in the right spirit. When you get into the defensive mode, you tend to listen to feedback well and miss the essence of the message. Be open to feedback and pay attention to the goals and career development plans that your manager lays out for you.
2. Be honest
Do no exaggerate your achievements. Reflect hard on your results and use any perceived gaps an an opportunity to develop & grow. Whatever the result, a good manager will support you no matter what. It is more important to demonstrate what you have learnt from any challenging scenario than an embellished result. It demonstrates maturity and leadership potential.
3. Prepare a list of your accomplishments
It is also equally important to prepare a list of your accomplishments. As you prepare your list, make sure that you capture not just the “what” but also the “how” of what you accomplished. However, you need to keep it brief. Provide your manager with any contextual details that they may need to gain an in-depth understanding of your performance. It is also important that you identify any challenges that you may have faced, as well as any support that you received from your peers. Save and collate any appreciation emails, certificates of recognition, or any awards that you may have received. Maintain a record of any training or development or knowledge sharing activities which you have completed. Use this information as supporting material for your discussion with your manager during your performance appraisal meeting. You may even submit this information to your manager prior your review, so that it helps them to rate you better.
4. Reflect on previous performance appraisal
Before your next appraisal cycle, re-visit your last appraisal and review your job description, competencies, the goals which were set for you, as well as the career/skill development plans set out for you. For this cycle, you can use these as the foundation to list out the details of your accomplishments, your strengths, and areas for improvement and how far you have been able to achieve the targets that were set for you during your last performance appraisal. Collate any regular progress reports that you may have maintained for yourself such as weekly or monthly reports or your project status reports. These will help you to review your performance highlights and milestones during the entire year, and it will also help you recollect any challenges that you may have encountered. Take a look at the feedback and ratings which you received in your last appraisal. This activity will give you a sense of how your growth and development since then.
5. Showcase you strengths
It’s important to showcase your value proposition to the organisation by positioning your strengths and unique skill set. This will demonstrate the impact of your efforts and how how you approached tasks, projects and relationships. For example, I leveraged my analytical skills to research our customers pain point in the on-boarding process and embraced agile principles to develop product enhancements that resulted in a 30% percent increase in sales, a 40% decrease in customer support and 15% increase in customer NPS.
6. Review your performance and development plan
It is a good idea to maintain a personal journal of your performance. This is a good time to take it out now and review your notes. Make a note of any recurring themes or trends that point out things kike your strengths, knowledge or skills that need improvement, challenging situations or people or any particular project or type of work that you enjoyed doing. It is never too late to start a journal. Maintain a record of your accomplishments, activities, positive feedback received, and any kind of challenges so that you are able to document the details while they are still fresh in your mind. Listing these kind of details will help both you and your manager get a detailed and objective view of your performance and
If you didn’t maintain a journal so far, start today. If you maintain a record of your activities, accomplishments, successes and challenges as they happen, it will help you to capture details while they’re still fresh in your mind. Having all this detail handy will help both you and your manager get a detailed and more objective view of your performance. This will also prevent you from having a biased opinion and it will also prepare you better for your next performance appraisal.
7. Complete a self appraisal
It is a good idea to do a self-evaluation. Follow the same format and go through each of the goals and competency parameters and rate your performance accordingly. Adopt an objective approach and it is important to be utterly honest with in giving yourself ratings. The purpose of this exercise is not to give yourself good rating but it is a means to share your perspective pertaining to your performance with your manager before your actual appraisal meeting. In an ideal scenario, you should share your ratings with your manager prior to your appraisal meeting. It will help them prepare better for the meeting and also point out any differences in both of your perceptions. In case you have not shared with your manager, you can always bring it to the table during your discussion and use it as reference.
8. Prepare a list of areas for development
While you review your job description, performance notes, competencies, goals, list of accomplishments, etc, you need to identify any areas where may have struggled, or areas in which you feel you lacked performance lacked, and make note of these. Identify any specific areas in which you think there is scope for improvement. Also, identify areas where you would like to upgrade your skills or expertise and share with your manager. Ensure that you discuss any aspirations or career plans that you may have for yourself. Carry out a research of what all learning activities or training programs you can take up in order to upgrade your skill set or get certified in a certain domain.
9. Draft SMART goals for next performance period
Be proactive and do not wait till your manager sets goals for you. Try to draft some goals based on your job description, your department or the organization’s higher level goals. While drafting these SMART goals, try and look for opportunities so that you can take up additional responsibilities and increase your knowledge. Take these goals to your manager and review them together.
10. Share appraisal with manager
You should make an attempt to share the data that you have prepared for your appraisal with your manager before your actual performance appraisal meeting. This will help your manager as well to prepare for the meeting in a much more effective manner and it paves the way for an open one on one dialogue between you. It will also help them to deal effective for any differences in opinion and you both can avoid unpleasant surprises at the time of the meeting itself.
Your career is your responsibility. Hence you must know how to manage your own performance and ensure how you can strive towards development and success. With proper preparation and participation, your performance appraisal can be a productive meeting which will eventually help you augment your career path. So make the most of it!