How To Succeed in Your Next Performance Review
Jobs and tasks differ. Therefore, there are also different ways an employer evaluates the job performance of his employees. Traditionally, a performance review used to be taken annually but these days, many companies are trying to move it to a more performance-friendly approach – bi-annually.
Performance review refers to any method or means by which the performance of an employee is taken, documented, and evaluated. Some are in written forms, tests, interviews, or a combination of other types of reviews.
How you discharge your duties and perform in your next review can either be a stepping stone, up to your career ladder and personal life fulfillment, or a slide down.
Nobody is trying to get you scared or anxious but the stakes of a thing must be carefully weighed, for us to know the right attention to give a particular matter. The stakes dissected above are enough to get you edgy just like exams used to do or still do understandably.
A performance review is in a way an examination of a kind and you should know this- they are unavoidable. Accepting this early will keep you out of a lot of trouble.
This is why we are here for you. To show you how to avoid the negativities that an unsuccessful performance review can bring.
Before the end of this post, we shall also be dropping a few extra tips for a fabulous performance review so stick around.
For now, let’s go into the reason why you are here.
Steps To Succeeding in Your Next Performance Review.
There are some contents that should come up in your next review that will give you an edge before your employer. Here they are;
- Talk About Your Achievements: You should talk about your achievements. That’s why you’re there in the first place- to check your performance. Before this, you should have them memorized.
We would like to place a caution though, telling you to talk about your achievements does not mean or involve being in your employer’s face. Do not proudly make comments on how you’re so talented even if you are truthfully the best in the company. No one likes a busybody, certainly not your employer.
You should also give accolades to teamwork. Surely, there were a few as you carried out your duties.
Easily, your employer may/can forget some of your achievements. It is up to you to remind them of it. They tend to write off the minute details, you shouldn’t let them do so. It’s the little drops of rain that make a tiny ocean. Alone your achievements may look little but together, they tell a nice story of growth.
- Your Feedback is Important: Never forget that a performance review involves two people. It’s not just about the employee but the employer too. Talk about previous strategies recommended to you by the company, or any you have been using. How effective have they been? Do they need to be revised? Do they need tweaks? Should they be disposed of completely? Have the strategies had any effect on your social life? Were they negative or positive? Suggest better options if you have one. It shows you’re a serious worker.
- The Future of The Business: A performance review will and should always talk about the future of the company. Other things are branches from this tree. Even yourself, your achievements, strengths, weaknesses, organizational structure, company ethics, personnel, etc are all put in place to ensure that the entity that is ABC Company (your company) can move forward towards its goals.
So when next you are taking a performance review, do not take it without providing personal answers to: “How can the company become better?” “In three years, what would we achieve plying this same path?” “What is my part to play?” “Are we doing things right?”
Often than most, this question comes up in the reviews, a sincere, researched, and carefully backed answer will be most appreciated than shallow answers or, “nothing”. Start now to watch what can improve, you’ll surely find a few. There is always space for growth in a company.
- Do Not Spare Your Questions: We already said that a performance review involves two people. Do not agree to work in the dark. Ethically, your grade sheets should not be kept a secret. How else do you know if the method used is fair and logical if it is kept a secret?
Many organizations tell their employees what is expected of them and how their job performance will be evaluated before the job or at the start of it. However, if this is not your case and any part of the review seems confusing, speak out. If you think the standards of the review are not fair enough, ask questions.
In addition, many job interviews and advertisements mention commitment and teamwork as one of their skill requirements. Asking questions for the benefit of your improvement and the company’s is proof of this commitment.
- Smoothen Rocky Edges, Explain Misunderstandings: while carrying out your job, there is a possibility that you have stepped on toes, and had a glitch with a colleague or authority. It was probably already taken care of but it may also be documented in the personnel records. This cannot be changed but you can help to smoothen the edges with your company.
Find a minute or two to chip this in. Give more explanation not defenses. Talk about steps you have taken to avoid such and reassure your employer that you have learned from it.
Note: Do not drag this topic, especially if it was a long time ago but since this is the first review since the action, speaking on it with acceptance of wrong portrays you as a mature individual.
- Step Out/Self-Improvement: if you feel you are within your rights for a raise, this is the time to bring out your case. Do not be silent about it! After you have shown your progress and value of the company goals, try to get a better deal. Ask for the raise.
The employer must help its workers grow, to become a better version of themselves. If there are training, seminars, or academies you know would be a benefit to yourself, now is the time to mention it. A good employer knows your improvement and additional skills will bode well for the company too.
You should also listen to your employer’s response to your request carefully. His response will help you to have a clearer look at the company’s value for its workers and its goals. Your employer may agree or refuse for some reasons, for example, the company’s current limited financial capabilities, you are yet to be qualified, etc. You will know your next step with the company.
Extra Tips For A Fabulous Performance Review.
Like we promised, here are some extra tips for a better performance review:
- Focus On The Future Not The Past: a performance review is supposed to help you see what you are doing wrong or underachieving and how best to correct or proceed. The past should be considered but the emphasis placed on the future. The past should be employed in designing solutions for a better future.
Were you doing badly before? Now, these are steps to improving.
Were you doing excellently before? These are steps to maintain this level and extra steps to doing more.
- Always Come to a Conclusion: You should finish the performance review with a clear conclusion. You should be able to summarize the problems and solutions, your strengths and weakness. What exactly is expected of you?
It helps you to know where to pick up from for the next review. Then you would be able to say, this was what was recommended for me in the last review, here are the steps towards that direction, this is how well or badly they worked, etc. It also provides you with a scale for measuring your performance personally.
- Keep Records of Your Achievements and Failures: This is useful as a personal motivation to do more. The little achievements also matter. Every day will not be smooth and they become proof of your growth. It works both ways, adding value to you as an individual and to your company.
- Do Personal Performance Reviews: instead of waiting for the company’s official performance reviews, which could be annually, bi-annually, or quarterly, before knowing your performance, decide to grade yourself first. Use methods similar to the company or any you wish. This way you will find out your errors or areas of weaknesses long before the company’s reviews. Use your reviews to improve yourself. Also, this discussion of your during the company review shows you to be sincere and hard-working.
- Never Badmouth Other Employees: This is YOUR performance review, not theirs and it certainly does not portray you as a team player. Your employer wants to know that his staff is in good rapport with each other as it’s an engine for progress. You can make suggestions if the opportunity comes up but never bad-mouth. It looks bad on you too.
- Stick With the Plan for Success: When you have a recommended plan for success from yourself or your boss, stick with it. Until/unless in the long run, you find it to be false.
To be able to discuss your achievements in your performance review, you need to actually have achievements! No job is easy, they all require hard work. You should put in more hard work.
If you are finding it hard to do well in that job or achieve much, try to discover dig to the root of the problem, and tell yourself the truth. One of them could just be, that you haven’t found the right job fit yet and you just might need to get another job that’s more tuned to your abilities.