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Your Performance Review: Sabotage or Springboard

Not long ago a woman contacted me the day after she had the worst performance appraisal of her career. Feeling blindsided by unwarranted criticism and unrecognized for the hard work she had contributed during the year, she was ready to walk away from her job!

At that point all I could do was damage control. While I was able to offer advice and strategies to help her gain clarity about what happened, minimize the damage to her self esteem, and help her re-establish communication with her boss, how much better it would have been had she come to see me before her performance review! We could have tracked her progress on key projects, identified challenges she has faced, and developed an action plan to help her overcome them. She might have even walked away with praise and a raise instead of criticism.

Follow these suggestions to make your next  performance review a springboard to success.

    1. Meet with your manager to set goals for the coming year. Ask your boss, “What is the most important thing I can do for you?” “What would it take for me to be your dream employee?” “What would you most like me to accomplish this year?”

 

    1. Track your progress toward goals and on projects. Identify results you’ve achieved, make note of comments from others, awards earned, and letters of appreciation.

 

    1. Schedule a quarterly appointment with your manager. Update him or her on goals reached and new goals identified. Ask for feedback on your performance.

 

    1. Thirty days before your review, schedule a five to fifteen minute meeting with your boss. Provide a recap of achievements since your last review. Request feedback and ask what other information he or she would like prior to the performance appraisal session.

 

    1. The week before your review, prepare an accomplishment list that outlines your work since your last performance review. Note your specific projects completed, goals achieved, and challenges faced.

 

    1. During the performance review, confidently discuss your successes. Point out instances when you saved the company money, increased sales, or improved efficiency. Whenever possible demonstrate the dollar value you’ve added to organization.

 

    1. Calmly discuss areas where you feel you need to improve. Ask for feedback and really listen to it. Proactively offer a plan outlining the steps you will take to continue to grow and increase your expertise in key areas.

 

    1. Identify challenges facing the department or organization and offer suggestions for streamlining processes and making the department run more effectively. Make your interest in the success of the department and company obvious.

 

    1. Stretch yourself by asking to take on new, different, or more challenging assignments. Let your boss know you are ready for more responsibility.

 

  1. Know what you are worth and be willing to ask for it. But first hear your boss out. He or she may have a number in mind that is better than the one you have identified. Wait until your boss makes the first move then, if necessary, be willing to negotiate for what you want—on the basis of worth not need, of course!