Performance reviews typically happen once or twice a year at most companies:mid-year and end of year.
Regardless of whether this is your first performance review or your thirtieth, an upcoming performance review can cause stress and uneasiness. And that’s common.
People fear the unknown or worry about possibly receiving negative feedback.
The good news is that being prepared will help lower anxiety—and is the key to a successful meeting.
Though your manager will have their own notes and agenda, you can come with yours, too!
It will help you feel more empowered, more at ease and part of the conversation. Because that’s what a good performance review should be: a conversation.
Tips for a successful performance review.
1. Show your work.
The goal of a performance review is to discuss how you’re doing in your role. Now is the time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished.
Gathering data is the first step to help you have a productive conversation. Numbers are great, when possible, to demonstrate that you are meeting expectations.
Think about what you do that is measurable. For example, if you’re expected to ship out X items every week, calculate how many items you have shipped successfully over the past year.
Is there a process you have streamlined? What were the results, and how can you illustrate this?
Give yourself time to prepare and present clear and easy-to-digest information. Share how much of an impact you have made in your role.
2. Consider how else you can contribute.
If you believe you’re hitting your goals, look for ways to do more. Think about what would greatly help your team or your manager.
Are there any areas where you’re consistently exceeding expectations? Is there something you can do to a greater extent, such as helping to train new employees? Having an idea of how you can add value will help drive a thought-provoking conversation.
That said, you don’t need to think of every possible way to contribute. Your manager will have thoughts about what more you can do. Just remember that this is not a one-sided conversation. Your perspective matters, too.
So be an advocate for yourself and show your manager that you’re a team player. Because the more ways you can provide support, the greater an asset you become.
3. Ask about development.
If you’re looking to grow professionally, strengthen your skills, or establish a long-term career with your current employer, a performance review is a great time to ask about development.
Ask your manager what growth in your role would look like. And if there is a specific role that you want to work toward, ask what it would take for you to grow into that position. Is there any training you’d need? How can you get that training?
Explaining or expressing an interest in “more” is a great way to get on a manager’s radar–in a good way.
It demonstrates that you are invested in a future with the company. And for any employers struggling with turnover, what they hear is, “I want to stay.”
Performance reviews are conversations.
It’s natural for these discussions to feel intimidating. But they’re not meant to scare you. Performance reviews exist to help you grow. Lean into your manager. They want to see you succeed.
Jim Harmon, TERRA’s Colorado Area Director, shared his thoughts on the purpose of a performance review.
To me, a performance review is the story of wins and losses experienced through the year. And afterward, employees should walk away from a performance review with a clear understanding of what is needed to achieve future success and feel really inspired to go out there to get after it.
Remember, it’s a dialogue. You can check in with your manager about your performance at any time. As long as you come prepared to participate, you’re more likely to have a great conversation.
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