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A performance review to remember

A man and woman nervous about their performance reviews
© Andrewgenn | 123RF Stock Photo

They’re a natural part of the working landscape, but performance reviews can leave you feeling like you’re stumbling around in the dark. While many managers see them as a waste of time, performance reviews can be quite beneficial if both employer and employee come prepared.

So, how can you get the most out of your performance review? 

Remember: you can’t change the past

In reality, you should be preparing for your next performance review from the moment you step out of your last one. Your boss will be looking at your last year’s performance, as well as your overall performance, so it’s a little late to decide to up your game the week before your review.

You don’t necessarily need to excel and achieve greatness in every area, but you do need to show that you’ve attempted to address the issues brought up in your last review. Be ready with examples.

Be ready to receive feedback

Bracing yourself for criticism will lessen the sting when you do hear it. Nobody is perfect; everyone receives criticism. Obviously, the amount you receive will depend on your performance over the last year (see the aforementioned point) – but remember that this is actually the point of the performance review. You want to identify things that you can work on and improve; otherwise, what’s the point?

Come ready with your own self-criticism. Think about things you’ve missed the mark on, and your game plan for getting back on track. Self-reflection will be your biggest asset in your performance review and your manager will appreciate your forward thinking and maturity. 

Have your feedback ready

This is your chance to have a one-on-one, honest conversation with your manager. Take with you a list of things that you would like changed or instated. Do you wish for more feedback or communication? Maybe you’re feeling stifled and micro-managed. If you can suggest some solutions, your manager will willingly receive your ideas.

However, remember to walk this line carefully. While you want to give your manager feedback about the business processes, this is your performance review, not your manager’s. 

Ultimately, your performance review will lead to a conversation about your pay (check out this article on how to negotiate your salary like a pro). It’s important to demonstrate that you have the ability to grow and improve, as this will help your salary to grow alongside you! 

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