Performance reviews are a formal evaluation of an employee’s work performance and ultimately assess their strengths and weaknesses. A common misconception is that they are only beneficial to the business. However, while performance reviews do offer insight for managers, a properly managed review is an opportunity for you to gain feedback and identify goals. It is a chance to voice any issues or concerns and discuss opportunities that might be available to you. It may be a time to discuss a pay rise, although we will revisit this later in the article.
Performance reviews often take place annually, towards the end of the year. There can be a lot of anticipation! This article will look at how to prepare for your performance review and what to expect.
Prepare A List Of Your Achievements
This is no place for modesty in a performance review.
In some companies, your annual performance review might be your one big chance to showcase your accomplishments and progress. Where a good manager or managing team should know their employees well, particularly in large teams or agencies there may be example of your efforts in projects that slip through the radar. It is inadvisable for example in a team project to be constantly making a point of your role in it and how you contributed to the project success throughout. But you can do this in your performance review.
Take some time to reflect on your year. Consider your goals and responsibilities and write down things you were part or, things you are proud of and any other achievements that demonstrate your skills. This can seem like a daunting task, so make use of your calendar and emails as well as refer to notes, presentations and other documents that can back up your performance.
Using numbers and being specific is always advisable too. For example, if you work in an advertising agency you can look at how much revenue a campaign you launched brought in.
You should also consider things you have learned and personal accomplishments too. You could even use emails or testimonial-type feedback from colleagues, managers or clients to further show your value and positive relationships with people you work with.
Be Prepared To Engage With Your Performance Review
It can be uncomfortable to listen to feedback about yourself – constructive or otherwise. For this reason, you should be open minded and be prepared to receive comments on your performance. It is often uncomfortable for the person giving the feedback too. So, the more professionally you handle yourself, the better.
While you are noting your accomplishments you might want to think about your own areas of improvement. Be as honest as you can with yourself and you will be prepared to hear it and you can prepare to respond. Some handy tips for responding professionally are as follows:
- Do not respond defensively, and try not to get flustered.
- You should calmly ask for examples if you aren’t sure what situation they are referencing.
- If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask if you can think about the feedback after your meeting and resume the discussion later
- Own up to mistakes
- Ask for suggestions of how to improve
You employer has a responsibility to handle your performance review in a certain way too, it can be just as uncomfortable for them! If you are an employer, you can get some tips on how to deliver an effective review here.
While your performance review is about assisting your progress as an employee and team member. It is also your chance to discuss your expectations of the job and your ambitions for career progression. Remember you can ask for advice on how to track to ensure you are doing your job well, and ask what your employers goals are for the company and for you! This will help you understand what is expected of you and see if your daily duties fit within this. You may find you are leaning into another role or taking on too much work.
Use Your Performance Review To Clarify Your Goals
Are you happy with your current role and career path? This is your time to discuss what your options are for moving into new departments or roles. It’s ok if you don’t know the answer to ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years?’
It can be helpful to think of skills you want to learn or if you’d like to manage people or be responsible for a new development. This can help you figure out you next few steps and give you something to work towards and measure progress against throughout the next year!
Your superiors will be able to advise and perhaps give you examples of how what you want has been achieved by others in the past.
It can feel daunting to ask for things you want directly. However, your performance review is often the perfect time to tell your boss what you want to achieve. This can include a raise or a promotion.
Be aware though, when it comes to the timing of your performance review, chances are the annual budgets will have already been set so any positive outcome will likely be delayed to the following year. This is a good opportunity to get the ball rolling. In your discussion about your goals and achievements you can build the case if you believe you are being underpaid.
Fair Warning: You Might Not Get What You Want Straight Away
Many people say they would find it helpful to receive feedback throughout the year. Open the channels of conversation with your employer and don’t be afraid to ask for a meeting if there is something you want to discuss.
Being prepared and professional are the key takeaways for your performance review. But in regards to things you ask for, you might not get what you want straight away.
You might find your goals don’t fit with the company’s immediate goals. Or, there isn’t time or space for a certain request to take effect immediately. Don’t be discouraged. Work with your manger to set mini-goals or stretch goals that will set you on the right path.
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Tags: career goals, career progression, digital marketing, digital marketing jobs