Performance review time, are you ready?
As a manager, you probably do performance reviews for the people that report to you, but it’s not just the rank and file that get performance reviews. Your boss reviews you too! As the time for your review rolls around, are you looking forward to the opportunity or dreading it? In order to make it a positive experience, you need to be prepared. Even if you are lucky enough to have a boss that wants to help you succeed, it is important to know how to get the most from your performance review.
Responding to feedback
It is pretty easy to respond to positive feedback, but have you anticipated that you may receive some constructive criticism? If you are blindsided by negative feedback, you don’t want to blurt out defensive comments. If you give it a little thought, you probably already know what the criticism will be. You know that you missed a few deadlines, made a few mistakes or simply dropped the ball on something. Or maybe you just haven’t grown as much as your boss expected since your last review. Take responsibility for it and come to the review armed with ideas for improving your performance. This takes some preparation, but certainly beats being put on the spot with nothing to say for yourself.
Performance review prep goes on all year
Don’t count on your memory to help you during your performance review. Keep a work journal during the year and notate what you accomplish as it happens. Include projects that increase revenue, updates technology, teaches new skills, creates networking, employee development and anything else that has contributed to company growth.
Old goals and new goals
During your performance review is the time to check on last year’s goals. Did you meet your goals? Did you learn any valuable lessons? Were your accomplishments utilized in the company with good results? For goals that you did not reach: Were there obstacles or have priorities changed? Are there resources you needed that were unavailable to you?
Have you set new goals for the year? What is your plan for implementing them? How will they help the company? What resources do you need to move forward? Are there roles within the company that interest you? What would you need to do to be considered for those positions?
Performance reviews sometimes bring up bigger issues
In some companies, the performance review may be a rare opportunity to get some bigger issues out in the open. Both sides of the equation may use this time to bring up serious concerns. Your manager may need to have a difficult conversation with you about a performance improvement plan. Prepare for this to show that you are serious about making the necessary adjustments. This is not easy, but going into the performance review with a positive attitude while ready to make changes will help.
What if you are the one that needs to initiate a difficult conversation with your manager? Are you stalled in your career and want to know why? Or, for a variety of reasons, you want to transfer to another department internally. Come to the review prepared to talk this through with concrete examples of how you can contribute in the role you desire. Be open to your manager’s suggestions of what steps you need to take to move forward.
Great Hires will turn into positive performance reviews!
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