How to make the most of your performance review
With the onset of March, irrespective of how distressing the term might sound but employees can barely escape the conventional practice of “Annual Performance Review”. The face to face conversation with your boss comprising of positive and negative feedback is something you may not be very fond of. But if you take the right approach and consider them to be an ideal opportunity to learn and grow, performance reviews can be made more productive and less stressful. Performance reviews are instrumental in your professional development and have a significant impact on your pay-scale. Therefore, it is important to use this tool to its fullest.
Here are a few tips to ace your annual performance review.
Don’t treat it like a performance review
Most people go into performance reviews thinking that the boss knows all that they have done anyway. That’s a mistake. Don’t treat your performance review as a review but as a job interview. Understand your company’s review process and prepare yourself for it just like you prepare yourself for an interview. Familiarizing yourself with the review boosts your confidence, Self-preparation is the first step to avoid a bad review. Once you understand the process, the next step is to evaluate yourself. Review yourself before your boss reviews you. Make a list of your achievements, strengths and how it has benefited your employer. Most importantly, don’t forget to backup your claims with proofs. Gather all the supporting documents that can help you to earn points during the review. Similarly, prepare another list of your weaknesses and major challenges over the year and your plans to overcome them. Never go to your employer just with a list of your challenges but also tell them how you are planning to overcome them. It will show your boss your willingness to improve and will leave a positive impression on them.
Be a listener first and adopt the right attitude
Attitude is key to ensure you drive the review in your favor. A bad attitude can overshadow your accomplishments and ruin your chances of an excellent appraisal. Employers prefer employees that not only yield quality work but are also respectful and courteous to their colleagues. So, make sure you go to the appraisal meeting with the right kind of attitude. Listen to the feedback carefully. Reviews can’t be all positive. They are a mix of good as well as bad things. It goes without saying that everyone likes to hear good things about themselves, but no one wants to hear about what they’re not doing right. Listen to both the positive and negative feedback calmly, whether you agree with it or not. Above all, avoid slipping into a defensive mode. Learn to take constructive criticism if you genuinely want to grow within the organization. After all, negative feedback shows that your boss has faith in you and feels that you can improve. If you solicit feedback and ask your boss what new skills you need to learn to improve, you will make a more positive impression.
Be vocal about your expectations
A review is a right time to showcase your value to the business. Highlight the achievements, the important actions undertaken and put forth yourself as a deserving candidate. Don’t shy away from bringing up the conversation about your bonus and promotion. Make sure you are direct as well as polite in your approach and you give your boss a reason why you deserve a certain position or bonus. If your boss has pointed out skills that need improvement, ask for training support. There are a lot of e-learning options today that you can find on websites like shinelearning.com which can help you skill up and be ready for the next role.
Analyze your review
No matter how good or bad your performance review goes, consider it as a learning opportunity. Analyze all the important pointers discussed during the review and focus on the areas of development.
Lastly, employees should not make reviews a yearly affair. Frequent reviews with your manager will help you understand the business requirements. One should also opt for more frequent reviews to develop their skill set. Most importantly, it puts one on a track to growth.