TECH, BUSINESS AND CAREER INSIGHTS

Five Things to do Before a Performance Review

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars

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A performance review can be a scary thought. When the time rolls around to discuss your work over the past months, it is easy to only think about all the things that could go wrong.

The statistics are startling: 45 percent of HR leaders think annual performance reviews don’t accurately assess an employee’s performance and 53 percent of employers don’t track improved performance. To ensure your employers recognize your performance, you have to show them what you want them to see!

While at TSP we don’t mandate the annual performance review, we do believe regular reviews and feedback is essential to growth and success. If you have an upcoming formal review or even a more casual check in meeting, use our below tips to walk in fully prepared.

KEEP A RUNNING LIST OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
There is not a one-size-fits-all technique for tracking your achievements. We recommend keeping up with a work journal throughout the year. If you’re more of a digital person, create a folder in your inbox to drop complimentary emails in. For those of us who can’t keep up with a running list (we promise you aren’t alone), use the week leading up to your review to look back on the past months. Think about the major assignments you worked on and the role you played in different projects – even the smallest achievements should be considered a big win!

REVIEW YOUR CURRENT JOB DESCRIPTION AND THE ONE YOU WANT
Jobs can be demanding and we're often asked to do tasks that may not be true to our job description. While this is normal, it is important to not let the unexpected tasks defer you from your actual job role. Start by reviewing the job description you received when you were first hired or promoted.

Go through the list of responsibilities and make notes of the things you’ve excelled in. Next, bring out the job description of the job you are working towards. As you review this, place a check by those responsibilities you are already fulfilling. This simple task will arm you with the best argument as to why you're ready to move up the corporate ladder.

HAVE A CANDID CONVERSATION WITH YOUR COWORKERS
Before you go in to speak with your boss or manager, have a frank conversation with the peers you work closely with. While it can be intimidating to ask for feedback from those you work with on a daily basis, doing so will also allow you to see how others view you. Your boss or manager may have similar critiques, and by anticipating what these critiques may be (with the help of your colleagues), you can prepare the best response and not be caught off-guard during the review. 

BE PREPARED TO DISCUSS YOUR SHORTCOMINGS
Just as you should be prepared with your list of accomplishments, you should also be ready to discuss those moments where you didn’t shine so brightly. These moments can be work related or even personality related. If you know you had a rough month where your work wasn’t in tip-top shape, accept responsibility. If you’ve received feedback regarding your behavior at work, prepare to explain the efforts you made to reverse those weaknesses. Take any negative feedback with grace and don't get defensive!

MAKE A GAME PLAN
Finally, the best thing to do before your review is to make a game plan of what you want to say. List the accomplishments you want to discuss and the extra responsibilities you've taken on. If you're ready to ask for a raise or promotion, rehearse what you want to say beforehand so you leave the room without asking. In some companies, the opportunities a review provides don’t present themselves as often as they should. Use this time to humbly brag about your performance, address any grievances you may have and ask for the things you want.

Performance reviews can be intimidating, and the best way to overcome any fears associated with criticism or talking about yourself is to prepare in advance. Taking the time to look back over the months that have passed since your last review is essential in succeeding during your meeting and the time following. Regardless of where you are in your current role, the often-dreaded review can be the catalyst you need to move forward in your career.

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