Seven Things to Help You Prepare for Your Annual Performance Review

Your performance review is an opportunity for you to share your professional progress and goals with your manager and have a productive dialogue about your growth and advancement. Use these seven tips to make it a positive conversation:

Start early.

Start to collect relevant data and information immediately following your review – for next year. Make this an ongoing practice so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute.

Plan to market yourself.

You’re the salesperson – and the product. Before you meet with your boss, go over your list, which should highlight your achievements during the past year.

  • Include projects that you finished ahead of deadline and/or under budget. How did you save the company money? Did you improve processes or systems? Include any skills you acquired or honed during the year. How did you grow?
  • Quantify your accomplishments. How much money did you save? To what degree did productivity improve as a result of your process improvements? Be ready to talk up your achievements and have the numbers lined up to solidify your story.

Identify areas for improvement.

Be honest about your weaknesses and take charge of your professional growth.

  • Discuss skills you haven’t had the chance to use and initiatives you’d like to take part in. It may be helpful to solicit some feedback from trusted coworkers in this area.

Set SMART goals.

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. They help you focus your professional advancement and avoid wasting time on tasks that lack value. When you set your own SMART goals, you take responsibility for your own success.

  • Discuss your goals. Get your manager’s buy-in to earn a certification, take a course or seminar, or join a professional organization that will enhance your skills and broaden your network.

Defend your salary expectations.

Even if your company has a structured policy for pay raises, your review is the time to open the door to future salary negotiations.

  • Research what others in your position earn. You may learn that you’re making significantly less – or not. If you find out you’re on the high end of the salary range, you may want to ask about taking on additional responsibilities that would justify an increase.
  • Many companies hesitate to give raises to employees who don’t ask for them. But don’t simply ask: Justify your request using your list of accomplishments and improvements.

Be prepared for shortcomings that may be brought up.

Even top performers have room for improvement. No matter how well you feel you’ve been doing, prepare yourself for a few hard truths.

  • Don’t argue. Whether your manager’s perceptions are true or not, getting emotional or argumentative will only make you look ill prepared and unprofessional.
  • Tell your boss what you need to do better. Maybe it’s more time to work without interruptions or a new software program. Don’t whine, complain or belittle others. Instead, have a reasonable solution to offer.

Sharpen your listening skills.

Listen without interrupting and remain professional. You’ll have your turn to speak and when it comes, you’ll be ready. This is your chance to provide your boss with the information they need to make you shine, as you wind up this year and begin a new one.

Do you need additional guidance in managing your continued professional growth? Read our related posts or contact the career development experts at Employment Professionals Canada today.