In most performance reviews, managers offer their assessment of an employee's performance and then outline future expectations; often setting a timeline to achieve goals. Here are some performance review tips to take the anxiety out of the process and maximise what you get out of this valuable two-way conversation.
1. Be prepared
Keeping track of where you performed well, when and why you received feedback, and any KPIs, will take much of the stress out of your planning process. It will also avoid a last minute scramble for evidence of the past year.
2. File evidence
Did you get great feedback from a client about your timely service delivery? Did a senior member praise your problem-solving skills? Whatever the commendation, if your skills and achievements are celebrated, file them away in an easy-to-identify folder.
3. Request feedback in writing
If colleagues, clients and stakeholders haven’t provided feedback on the work you’ve done together, ask them. Having a range of people from within and outside the organisation provide feedback will provide a comprehensive picture of how you performed across your various duties. Whether positive or more constructive, ask the source to document any feedback, if even briefly.
4. Reflect on your previous performance review
Have you achieved what you set out to in your last review? Maybe you weren’t able to, because a large project got in the way, or the direction of the department changed? Again, it’s best to note and track these changes when they occur, so you can confidently account for what you have accomplished.
5. Be honest and open
Many reviews ask for a component of self-assessment. If it's not required, consider writing something independently as it’s a valuable exercise to provide more information for your manager to determine eligibility for rewards and benefits, such as pay rises or promotions. It will also make you more receptive to constructive criticism, and implementing recommendations more effectively.
If you are undertaking your first performance review, don’t be afraid to ask your manager in advance what to expect from the process, such as documentation. Perhaps they want you to present feedback in a particular way? The review process shouldn’t be one of secrecy and you’re entitled to know the metrics or benchmarks against which you’ll be assessed.