Performance reviews are an important opportunity for employees to reflect on their performance over the past year and receive feedback from their managers or supervisors. While some employees may dread these conversations, they can be valuable in helping you identify areas for improvement and grow in your role. To make the most of your performance review, it’s important to prepare in advance. In this post, we’ll share eight tips for preparing for your performance review conversation as an employee, so you can go into the conversation feeling confident and ready to discuss your performance.
Table of Contents
- Tip #311: Review your performance goals
- Tip #312: Collect feedback
- Tip #313: Be honest with yourself
- Tip #314: Keep a record of accomplishments
- Tip #315: Prepare questions
- Tip #316: Develop a plan for improvement
- Tip #317: Stay positive and professional
- Tip #318: After your performance review conversation, follow up with your manager or supervisor
Tip #311: Review your performance goals
Reviewing your performance goals is an essential first step in preparing for your performance review conversation. It’s an opportunity to assess how well you’ve performed over the past year, and to identify areas where you can improve. Take some time to go through the goals you set for yourself during the previous review period. Look at the progress you’ve made towards achieving them, and identify any goals that you may have fallen short on.
As you go through your goals, make a list of your accomplishments and any challenges you’ve faced along the way. Think about what you’ve learned from these experiences, and how you can apply these lessons to future projects. It’s also important to identify any skills or knowledge gaps that you may have encountered, so you can address these in your upcoming performance review.
By reviewing your performance goals, you’ll be able to approach your performance review conversation with a clear understanding of your achievements and areas for improvement. You’ll also be better equipped to discuss your performance with your manager or supervisor, and to set new goals for the future. Remember to be honest with yourself as you assess your progress, and to focus on specific, measurable, and achievable goals that will help you grow in your role.
Tip #312: Collect feedback
Collecting feedback from others is another crucial step in preparing for your performance review conversation. Your colleagues, managers, and anyone else you’ve worked with over the past year can offer valuable insights into your performance and how you can improve. Gathering feedback from others will also help you understand how others perceive you and your work.
When collecting feedback, consider asking specific questions that relate to your job responsibilities and goals. This will help you get more detailed and actionable feedback. You can also ask for examples of specific situations where you excelled or could have done better. This will help you get a clearer picture of your strengths and weaknesses.
Remember that receiving feedback can be challenging, especially if it’s negative. However, it’s important to remain open and receptive to the feedback you receive. Be sure to thank those who provide feedback, and consider how you can use their feedback to improve your performance. By gathering feedback from others, you’ll be better equipped to identify areas where you need to improve and set new goals for the future.
Tip #313: Be honest with yourself
Taking an honest look at your performance, strengths, and weaknesses is a critical component of preparing for your performance review conversation. It’s important to be honest with yourself about your performance, so you can identify areas where you need to improve and set achievable goals for the future. This requires a willingness to be self-reflective and open to feedback and criticism.
When assessing your performance, consider both your strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to acknowledge where you’ve excelled, as well as where you’ve fallen short. Be open to constructive feedback and criticism, and take responsibility for any mistakes or shortcomings. This will demonstrate your commitment to your role and your desire to improve.
Here are five questions you can ask yourself for a good assessment:
- What are my key accomplishments over the past year?
- In what areas have I excelled, and what specific skills have I demonstrated?
- What are the areas where I need to improve, and what steps can I take to address these shortcomings?
- How have I contributed to the overall success of the team or organization?
- Have I been able to effectively manage my time and prioritize tasks to achieve the desired outcomes?
Tip #314: Keep a record of accomplishments
Keeping a record of your accomplishments throughout the year is an important step in preparing for your performance review conversation. This can help you track your progress and ensure that you’re meeting the goals and expectations set out by your manager or supervisor. It’s also a useful tool during your performance review, as it will help you provide concrete examples of your achievements.
When keeping a record of your accomplishments, be specific and include details such as project outcomes, metrics, and any recognition or awards you’ve received. This will help you clearly demonstrate the impact of your work on the team or organization. It’s also a good idea to update your record regularly throughout the year, so you don’t forget any important details.
By keeping a record of your accomplishments, you’ll be able to approach your performance review conversation with confidence and clarity. You’ll be able to provide specific examples of your achievements, and use these as evidence to support your case for a raise or promotion. Remember to focus on outcomes rather than just activities, and to tie your accomplishments back to the goals and objectives of the team or organization.
Tip #315: Prepare questions
Preparing a list of questions to ask your manager or supervisor is an important step in preparing for your performance review conversation. It shows that you’re engaged and committed to improving your performance, and can help you get the most out of the conversation. Your questions can cover a wide range of topics, from feedback on specific projects to clarification on company policies.
When preparing your questions, be specific and targeted. Consider what you want to achieve from the conversation, and frame your questions around those objectives. Some good examples of questions to ask might include, “What can I do to improve my communication skills?”, “What specific areas of my work should I focus on to help achieve the team’s goals?”, or “How can I get more involved in projects that interest me?”
- How would you evaluate my performance over the past year?
- What are some areas where I excelled, and where do I need to improve?
- What specific goals or objectives should I focus on for the upcoming year?
- What skills or knowledge should I develop to improve my performance in my current role?
- Are there any training or development opportunities you recommend for me?
- What are your expectations for me in terms of my contribution to the team or organization?
- How can I better support the team or organization in achieving its goals?
Remember that your performance review conversation is a two-way dialogue, and your questions are an important part of that conversation. By asking thoughtful and well-prepared questions, you’ll be able to better understand your manager or supervisor’s expectations, and gain insights into how you can improve your performance. It’s also a good idea to take notes during the conversation, so you can refer back to them later and take action on any feedback or suggestions you receive.
Tip #316: Develop a plan for improvement
Based on your performance review and feedback, developing a plan for improvement is a critical step in ensuring that you continue to grow and develop in your role. This plan should be based on specific areas where you may have fallen short, and should be aligned with the goals and objectives of the team or organization. It’s important to create a plan that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART), so you can track your progress and hold yourself accountable.
When developing your plan, focus on specific actions or behaviors that you need to change or improve upon. This might include developing new skills, seeking out additional training or education, or changing your approach to certain tasks or responsibilities.
Be sure to identify the resources and support you’ll need to achieve your goals, and set specific deadlines for achieving them.
Tip #317: Stay positive and professional
Staying positive and professional during your performance review conversation is key to making the most of this important opportunity. Remember that the purpose of this conversation is to provide feedback and help you grow and develop in your role. While it can be tempting to become defensive or emotional, it’s important to stay focused on the future and on finding ways to improve and grow.
One way to stay positive and professional is to come into the conversation with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Be prepared to listen carefully to your manager or supervisor’s feedback, and ask questions to clarify their expectations or suggestions. Avoid becoming defensive or making excuses, and instead focus on finding solutions and ways to improve.
Remember that your attitude and demeanor during the performance review conversation can have a big impact on how it is received by your manager or supervisor. By staying positive and professional, you’ll demonstrate your commitment to your role and to the success of the team or organization. You’ll also be better equipped to take constructive feedback and turn it into actionable steps for improvement.
Tip #318: After your performance review conversation, follow up with your manager or supervisor
Following up with your manager or supervisor after your performance review conversation is an important step in ensuring that you stay on track to meet your goals and address any concerns that may have been raised. This shows your commitment to your role and your desire to continue improving your performance. It’s also a good opportunity to ask any additional questions or clarify any feedback that you may have received.
When following up, be specific about the actions you plan to take to address any areas where you need to improve. This could include setting new goals, seeking out additional training or education, or changing your approach to certain tasks or responsibilities. Be sure to set specific deadlines for achieving these goals, and identify any resources or support you’ll need to achieve them.
Remember that following up is not just a one-time event. It’s important to regularly check in with your manager or supervisor to ensure that you’re making progress towards your goals and addressing any concerns they may have raised. This will help you stay on track and continue to grow and develop in your role. By demonstrating your commitment to improvement, you’ll be able to build a positive relationship with your manager or supervisor and position yourself for success in the future.
Preparing for a performance review conversation as an employee may seem like a daunting task, but it’s an important step towards your professional growth and development. By following the tips we’ve outlined in this post, you’ll be able to approach your performance review with confidence, clarity, and focus. Remember to review your performance goals, gather feedback, be honest with yourself, keep a record of accomplishments, prepare questions, develop a plan for improvement, stay positive and professional, and follow up. By doing so, you’ll be able to have a productive conversation with your manager or supervisor, and come away with a better understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth.