How to Prepare For Your Annual Performance Appraisals Review

Performance review is that time of the year when every employee starts documenting his work progression to be presented in the one-on-one discussion with his boss. If your performance appraisal is just around the corner, it’s the time to prepare now.

A performance evaluation process includes identifying the opportunities that can win employees a rewarding compensation, appreciation or a new role. Apart from all these, an annual work review brings in discussions related to the areas of improvement, future expectations or even a constructive feedback. In short, performance appraisal mainly involves:


 –   Face-to-face discussion between employee and the manager

 –   Reviewing the set goals, responsibilities and results of the work done throughout the year

 –   Discussion on career development and opportunities

 –   Formulating goals for the next year


In some cases, appraisals occur every quarter, however, in some companies, these are conducted annually or never even happen in some. Nevertheless, these annual reviews play a vital role in evaluating and formulating your goals for the next year’s performance. Many employees dread the idea of sitting down with their managers to discuss how they have performed throughout the year.

For some, this brings disappointment, anxiety, stress, or even unpleasant surprises. Hence, whether you are a little nervous about your feedback or expecting some big surprises coming your way, it is advisable to prepare in advance. Your manager might know that all the important work is being done and the targets are almost achieved, but there could be a possibility that he doesn’t know what exactly is your contribution and what more you are willing to do in the coming months, until you convey this directly. Annual performance review is the right time to highlight this.

Here are a few tips that can help you prepare a positive discussion with your boss and make your review count for you:


Evaluate Your Performance

Before the final discussion with your boss, it is vital that you self-evaluate your performance and quantify your growth in terms of targets achieved, initiatives and overall contribution to the work. You can easily evaluate your performance by writing down your responsibilities, goals you have achieved, areas of improvement, challenges and career plans. Critically accessing your own weaknesses and strengths will prepare you to ask for more in the future or acknowledge the manager’s feedback.


Prepare to Ask Certain Questions

An annual review is not only about the employer evaluating your overall performance and rating you on the set parameters, it also involves sharing your own goals and gaining clarity on your future role, responsibilities and growth prospects. Hence, be prepared to ask your manager relevant questions concerning your salary hike, recognition or career growth. Take this one-on-one discussion as an excellent opportunity to take the direct feedback.

Note down the points you want to put across. For instance,

 –   areas of improvement

 –   prospects for new responsibilities/role

 –   increased opportunities for skill development, learning and growth

 –   what is expected from you to reach the next level


Don’t Get Defensive

Even if you have showed up as a great performer, it is important that you remain prepared for any criticism. Avoid getting defensive and respond smartly with the right evidence and facts. It is not the time to take anything personal and concentrate on understanding what has made the reviewer to highlight a particular point. Ask for more clarity on that and instances to understand the issue.

Justify calmly if you are right, but don’t be defensive if you’ve actually missed out something. Remember, no one is perfect, and so are you! There is no harm in accepting where you went wrong and instead, discuss how that can be amended in the future. It not only shows that you are accountable for what you do, but also reflects your willingness and focus on improving that.


At last, Consider all the Points Discussed

After the performance review is done, it is the time to take action on the points discussed and feedback to plan your work ahead. A healthy performance discussion is an opportunity to take your career to the next level and improve your work.

 It is vital to consider these points to avoid feeling that the overall annual appraisal was unfair. Still, if you feel that the appraisal is poorly done, discuss it with the manager to clarify it. If nothing comes out, do not hesitate to take it further with the HR manager. However, it is always advisable to understand the feedback and clear any confusion with your manager.

Going through the appraisal process becomes easier and productive if you are prepared in advance with the questions to ask and a record of the work you performed throughout the year. After all, a fair performance review is an important part of your job satisfaction.


Take Away:

If you believe that, you have performed extremely well or due for a promotion, be prepared to present your work with the required statistics, mention the skills developed, processes introduced, etc.

Ensure your manager gives enough time for a two-way performance discussion. An insincere or a rushed discussion is nothing, but highly demotivating for any employee.

Do not hesitate to discuss the areas where you are struggling (of course, to improve your next performance!)

Think and plan your goals for the next year. Discuss them with the manager if you need any training or development sessions.

Be honest with yourself to avoid any disappointments.


Good luck!

 Disclaimer: The article includes generic tips for employee performance. Country/location/company wise employee appraisals may vary.


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Categories: Career Advice

About Swati Srivastava

Swati Srivastava is an avid writer who loves to pen down her ideas and career tips for professionals working across the globe. Her blog posts, new career stories, and articles inspire many job seekers.

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