Performance Review: Tips for Employees

Friday, March 14, 2014

For many employees, performance reviews are seen as a time wasting exercise.  But when approached strategically, they can be a great opportunity to spend uninterrupted time with your boss to demonstrate your contribution to the company, increase your visibility and explore how your role can develop further.

Here are some suggestions to help you get the most out of your review:

Understand your past
Use last year’s performance review as a starting point. Review the goals that you agreed to at your last meeting and be prepared to discuss what outcomes you have achieved. If you have fallen short in certain areas, let your manager know your strategy to address and rectify the situation.

Know your accomplishments
In advance of your meeting, list your key achievements and how you have contributed to your department and the company. This is a great opportunity for you to promote yourself – remember many bosses are so focused on their own workload that they may not be aware of your specific contribution to the department. If you don’t have quarterly reviews, consider writing a quarterly self assessment and keep a file so that at year end you have a summary of major accomplishments for the year.

The following are some guidelines of what you could include:
• Specific measurements of goal achievements
• Client feedback
• Examples of teamwork and leadership
• Training you attended
• Projects you worked on

Don’t get defensive
Remember an annual review is a forum for discussing both your strengths and weaknesses. It can be difficult to learn that your manager's opinions about your performance differs from your own self-assessment. If you don’t agree with their opinion, be patient and try to clarify the issues. If you receive a poor review in one area, work with your manager to develop a strategy for how you can improve your performance.

Questions
Actively participate in the process. By asking questions you will show your ambition, drive and passion to succeed.

Examples of questions you could ask could include:
• What are the three most important things I need to accomplish in the next six months?
• How can I help you achieve your goals/ performance targets?
• In order for me to achieve a promotion this year, what areas do I need to focus on?

Conclusion:
By taking the annual performance review seriously and preparing for your meeting, you will help position yourself as a committed employee with a strong desire for continuous improvement and development. This will ultimately help secure your future in the company and better position you for future promotional prospects in the firm.

About the Author Laura McGrath is the owner of Interview Techniques, a leading provider of interview coaching services. She has spent the last 15 years in staffing and recruitment and is a regular contributor with RecruitIreland.com and the Sunday Business Post.
Go to: www.interviewtechniques.ie