Scoring Big in Performance Reviews
Irrespective of the fact of how happy you are with your job, it is guaranteed that you are certainly not in love with your annual performance review process. Performance reviews are usually held at the end of the year when you need to sit down with your manager and determine the following:
- Your contributions towards the organisation
- Check the alignment of your future goals
- Assess whether you have exceeded the expectations set for you
- Figure out if a promotion or salary hike is in the cards for you
If it makes you feel any better, your manager/boss equally hates these performance reviews. Nobody on either side of the table is fond of the process. Apart from being time-consuming for the supervisor, it also creates anxiety for the employee. The discussion entails talking about the positives and negatives which emerged out of your last review. With the changing times, a lot of organisations are revamping this annual performance review process by replacing it with more casual ongoing check-ins and monthly meetings. However, 90% of organisations are still seen to follow the traditional evaluation style, where the employees first fill out a self-evaluation assessment, and then managers submit their evaluation. Both the parties then discuss their points during a face-to-face meeting.
When your professional reputation, job security, and income are at stake, no matter how much you hate the process, you will still want to give your best shot. You wish to go to the review discussion by covering all the bases and try and make the most of the experience. The following five expert tips will help you to tackle your performance reviews quite effectively.
Get an Idea of What you are Headed For
If you are new in the organization or the department, it is advisable that you keep yourself abreast by going through the employee manual. You should skim through the organizational values. This will give you an idea of what is significant to your manager or supervisor from an organizational standpoint. It will give you an overview of what points you need to score in order to surge ahead.
The employee manual will provide you with an insight into your organization’s review process. Every organization follows the appraisal process a little differently. If your organization does not have an employee manual that you can refer to, seek help from your supervisor or the HR regarding the expectations. If you do so, it will demonstrate a certain level of commitment, respect, and maturity on your behalf. It is also a great idea to gather inputs and the inside scoop from your colleagues, as they have been through the process. You can gather useful tips on how seriously your manager treats these reviews and what you need to do in order to prove that you have given your ace performance.
Prepare for it Like A Job Interview
Do you recollect all the preparation work that you did for your initial interview while applying for your job? Well, this process needs to be approached in the same manner. Just as in a job interview, you are being interviewed for a certain position, in this scenario, you are being interviewed for your continued employment and the possible outcome of:
- A promotion
- A transfer to a better department
- An additional responsibility
- A salary increase
It is advisable that you revisit your interview preparation process. Practice a mock interview with a friend, get that good night’s sleep before the performance review discussion, and be ready to present the best version of yourself. Just as in an interview, your goal is to make a good impression on your supervisor this time.
You should also pay attention to your wardrobe. Wear comfortable clothes based on what your company dress code is. It will help you to don that professional look and add confidence to your overall persona.
Highlight Your Achievements
The performance review discussion is the time when you should highlight all your contributions be it towards your team or the organization at large. However, you need to exercise caution in the manner in which you project it, so that you do not come across as arrogant. It should project your confidence instead.
Support your points of achievement with letters of recommendation, notes or appreciations that you have received from clients etc. You can also present a spreadsheet that presents a weekly or monthly break down of your milestones, new projects, and even appreciation received. If you can outline specific examples of how your effort helped in boosting the company’s bottom line, there is nothing like it.
Be Mentally Prepared for Criticism
It is common for many managers to adopt an approach where they feel that an appraisal review cannot be all positive. They try to balance it out by highlighting certain negative aspects or shortcomings at your end. If you are mentally prepared to receive critical feedback, you won’t be caught off guard when such feedback is given to you. Make an attempt to pay sincere attention to the feedback that is being offered, irrespective of the fact if you are in agreement with it or not.
After you absorb the feedback, you should assure your manager that you will sincerely work towards the points which have been highlighted. Be proactive and let your supervisor know that you would like to schedule follow-ups. This would give the impression to your supervisor that you took the review seriously and is keen on working upon the points which have been highlighted. You can start by checking the calendar of your supervisor and share a monthly recurring meeting invite.
Avoid getting into a defensive mode when your supervisor points out some negative pointers. If you truly wish to grow within your organization and in your career, you should learn to take constructive criticism.
Build the Case for the Raise
The performance review is the time when your company compensates you based on your contributions and hard work. If you think that you have given your best and you have sufficient data to back your hard work, you may directly and confidently bring up your expectations in terms of a raise or a promotion. This is the right opportunity because you have your supervisor’s attention then and there. You can highlight to your supervisor that since the last review discussion, you have fulfilled all the expectations and hence you feel you deserve that raise or promotion.
Even if the salary review is not directly linked to your organisation’s performance review process, you can still initiate the discussion. Proactively ask your supervisor how you can grow within the company and what does it take to reach the next level. This will at least give you a direction, and you will feel better than all the prepping and practising for the review has been worthwhile.