If it’s time for annual performance reviews and you are feeling stressed, you are not alone. 60% of respondents in a recent survey revealed feeling stressed as annual performance reviews approach. If it’s your first ever performance review, the experience can be even more nerve-wracking, but the good news is – there is a way out. You can ace the performance review, provided you make the right moves and time them well.
here are five tips to prepare for your first performance review
1. do your homework
It is not fair to expect managers to track every single KPI of their team members or their accomplishments, which is why it is necessary that employees take some ownership here. Prepare a career portfolio i.e. a comprehensive list of all your tasks, accomplishments, and how they have contributed to the teams’ goals or overall business performance. Having this list ready will give you the confidence to discuss your contribution to the company’s bottom line and your fit with the company, reinforcing your value to the company.
2. make a mental note of your strengths and weaknesses
Be honest in your self-evaluation and jot down the strengths you bring to the table as well as the areas that need personal and professional improvement. If you’ve been honest, there’s a good chance your manager will agree with you on these aspects. If the manager’s view differs radically from yours, do not get defensive or blame others. Listen, reflect and then choose to act thoughtfully.
3. ask the right questions
A good review should be a two-way dialogue. If you feel like your manager is forgetting some of your key achievements or focusing only on certain aspects, do not be afraid to bring up those points. Again, the career portfolio will help you keep track of everything, so make sure you prepare a detailed one. Utilize your first performance review as an opportunity to grow. Ask your manager how you can get ready for the next position you want or if they feel you are fit to assume new responsibilities. To impress your manager, you can even create a list of your own goals for the next year and discuss them during the review.
4. check your ego at the door
Do not be blinded by your ego or preconceived notions when you go in for your first ever performance review. Listen to what is being said with an open mind, have faith that your seniors have only your best intentions at heart, and accept their feedback - whether you like it or not. Don’t forget to take notes during the process.
5. create an action plan
After the review, reflect on all the points you have jotted down and make a solid action plan. What are some short and long-term goals for this year, how do you plan to achieve them, do you need extra training, and so on. Not only will this plan help align your goals with business objectives, but it will also prove beneficial for personal career development too.
be proactive throughout the performance review process
The best thing you can do to ensure your first performance review is productive and fulfilling is to be proactive. Coming prepared with examples and information, asking for and giving suggestions, and showing your willingness to take feedback in the right vein - all convey positivity - one of the most sought-after traits in employees.