6 Performance Review Tips for Employees You Need to Know
Performance appraisals are necessary to ensure you know your expectations as an employee, and to learn how your employer views your performance. They are also vital to ensure that your supervisor understandsyour career development goals and contributions to the organization.
With the right amount of preparation, you can increase your chances of a successful and smooth performance review conversation. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a performance review:
1. Prepare Ahead of Time
If you’re tempted to brush off your performance review, reconsider. Your performance review typically remains in your employment file for at least as long as you’re employed with the organization, and it can also be used as a legal document if the need arises. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to put adequate time and effort into your review ahead of time to support your career development and employment. Some options to help you prepare include:
- Marking your calendar to give yourself ample time to prepare for your review
- Gathering the appropriate documentation to support your accomplishments
- Giving some thought to your goals so you’re ready to share them with your manager
- Assessing some areas for improvement as you move forward
- Asking your coworkers for input on your successes and areas for improvement to help jog your memory and possibly incorporate into your review
2. Document Your Work Accomplishments
Your manager generally isn’t in the loop on all that you do or accomplish, so it’s up to you to make sure they know. Incorporate all your work accomplishments into your performance review discussion to highlight your value to the company. Be sure to include the action or task, as well as the outcome. In cases where you can provide quantifiable data, do so, as it provides a more specific and detailed account of your achievements.
3. Document Your Goals
An essential component of your performance review is goal setting. Where your manager might have some goals for you, you also want to go in with a list of goals to show your initiative and desire to grow and contribute as an employee. Consider the SMART goal system, so you can provide realistic and measurable goals, as well as how you’ll know you’ve been successful in achieving them. Some career goals examples for performance reviews include:
- Gaining a new skill
- Earning a degree or certification in your field
- Improving your productivity by a certain percentage
- Improving upon current skills, like problem solving, communication, and organization
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4. Ask Questions
Asking performance review questions shows that you’re listening and invested in the conversation. Follow-up questions to feedback also provide you with clarity when needed. Here are six powerful questions to ask in your performance review:
- What skills do you believe I need to improve upon most?
- What do you think I should do differently next year?
- What actions can I take to improve my rating next year?
- What do you think the most important company goals are for next year?
- How can I be more helpful to the people on our team?
- I'm interested in progressing in my career. What key goals would you suggest I set to achieve that?
5. Accept Feedback
Though a vital aspect of the process, the inevitable performance review areas of improvement are generally the least favorite for all employees. To help the feedback go down a bit easier, mentally prepare yourself ahead of time to be open and receptive to the constructive feedback you receive. No one is perfect, and we all have room for improvement. Receiving another’s perspective on how we can improve allows us to grow and develop as people and employees.
6. Ask For Support
When sharing your goals with your manager, also share the support you’ll likely need to achieve those goals. Doing so highlights your ability to problem-solve, analyze, be a team player, be willing to ask for help, and more.
How to Ask For a Raise During a Performance Review
The performance review period is a time when many employees approach the subject of a raise. To do so, be sure you understand how your organization’s review process ties to salary increases so you’re equipped with the proper knowledge to broach the subject. From there:
- Use the work accomplishments you’ve highlighted and tie those to how you add value and impact the company’s or team’s bottom line and productivity
- Go in with research and evidence of your value in the market
- Have a figure in mind that you believe is fair
- Be ready to negotiate
If you don’t get the raise you desire during the communication, ask when you can reasonably expect your next increase or broach the conversation again.
For additional on-the-job tips and career advice, visit our Job Seeker Resource Center.
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