Do you view a performance review as an uncomfortable or stressful event? Do you make it a goal to simply get through the meeting with your boss as quickly as possible? Maybe every evaluation leaves you confused about your next steps in your job.
You might not always get a perfect review, but with our help, you can ensure every performance appraisal is a productive one.
Start taking steps today to take back some control over your professional development and get the evaluation you want. You might not always get a perfect review, but with our help, you can ensure every performance appraisal is a productive one. Just as you use professional resume writing tips to build an impressive resume, use the following guidelines to build a solid case for your job performance that helps you gain a positive review.
How To Demand the Performance Review that You Want
1. Set goals and expectations for the meeting
As your evaluation date approaches, make sure you understand what your boss wants to discuss and how long the meeting might last. You can talk about these things in person, but a short email will also do the trick.
According to The Muse, knowing what to expect is an excellent way to kick performance review anxiety. The less anxious and more confident you are, the more likely you are to get what you want from the review.
What specific topics do you hope to cover? You may want to talk about a particular milestone or incident. Perhaps you want to explore the possibility of a promotion, or you might want to develop a better understanding of certain responsibilities. Define your goals for the appraisal to help direct the meeting towards the outcome you want.
2. Remember your most recent review
“Preparation is key to getting the review you want,” says Elizabeth Thomas, a seasoned executive for a large national bank. “One of the first steps in preparation is looking back at your last review. What responsibilities and expectations did your supervisor outline for you?”
“Preparation is key to getting the review you want”
Recalling this information helps you self-analyze and build your case for your performance. Don’t have your evaluation document on hand? Search your email to see if you find something. If this is your first assessment with your company, refer to the job descriptions communicated to you at the beginning of your employment.
3. Track areas of both success and struggles
With your last evaluation in mind, determine the ways in which you met goals or exceeded expectations. Your manager might not know about all of your accomplishments. Feel free to draw attention to them in your performance review. Compile documents that illustrate these successes. Such documents may include awards, certificates, or emails.
Look at areas in which you struggled as well. Think of ways to improve in the next period. Consider asking your manager for further training or mentoring. Most managers appreciate such a display of dedication to the job.
4. Prepare your own goals for the next period
Tracey Hamilton, a senior manager who holds dozens of performance appraisals each year, recommends having your own set of goals when you attend your review. This not only impresses managers but also helps steer the conversation towards the topics that are important to you.
Having your own goals shows passion, initiative, and ambition.
“The goals I set for my employees sometimes differ from their own goals,” Hamilton says. “However, I still want to know how they hope to progress in this next period and what paths they wish to take in their careers.” Having your own goals shows passion, initiative, and ambition.
5. Complete a self-evaluation
Your employer might give you a self-evaluation form to complete and submit before your performance review. Fill out this form honestly and thoroughly, as this helps you prepare for your meeting. If your company does not practice this, complete a self-evaluation anyway. Think of individual accomplishments that you can use to defend your evaluation. Bring a copy to your performance appraisal to guide you in your discussion.
6. Ask for clarification
The last thing you want is to leave your evaluation meeting confused about your next steps. A successful appraisal provides you with fresh goals and direction. “You and your boss should conclude your appraisal with the same expectations of how you will move forward in the next period,” states law firm executive Nancy Terry.
Supervisors do not always communicate clearly. “If you do not understand an aspect of the review, ask your boss to clarify,” Terry suggests. “It is best to clarify immediately during your performance review. This can help you avoid potential mistakes, conflict, or feelings of resentment later.”
7. Know how to respond to negative feedback
Receiving negative feedback is not fun, but according to Forbes, there are many ways it can lead to greater success in your career. It is important to know how to respond when your manager gives you constructive criticism in your review.
Remember, no one is perfect.
You can discuss legitimate explanations for your shortcomings with your boss. However, never argue. Sometimes, you may not have a reasonable justification. In those situations, ask a few questions to ensure you understand why you received the feedback and how you can improve your performance. Stay calm and talk about the matter rationally to show your dedication to working on the problem.
Remember, no one is perfect. Virtually everyone in your workplace has received negative feedback before, even your boss.
8. Request additional or more frequent feedback
A successful performance review will consist of both positive feedback and constructive criticism. “Don’t accept a perfect performance evaluation without some discussion about how you can improve,” warns Katie Farthing, an experienced staff supervisor. “Critical feedback is a crucial tool in career development,” she says.
You may feel discouraged, overwhelmed, or confused about negative feedback from your supervisor. However, there is still a way to make your performance evaluation a success. Ask your boss to provide more frequent feedback in the future. This helps you stay on the same page and prevent an overload of negative feedback in your next review.
If you set specific goals and expectations, prepare for your meeting, and know how to manage feedback, you increase your chances of getting the performance review you want and deserve. These evaluations can help you progress in your profession, which in turn may lead to new and exciting job opportunities.
Remember that to get the job, you need a stellar resume that markets your best skills and accomplishments. Turn to our easy resume builder to create a compelling professional document.