Our previous article on preparing for annual performance reviews raised some questions that are worth delving into a bit more. We wanted to drill deeper into the specifics of how to have a positive and productive discussion with your manager so that you can make your annual review a success. Here are four items to consider further as you step into your review:
Understand What Your Manager Is Trying To Get Out of the Review
Your supervisor wants to help you improve. Whether it is through praise or constructive criticism, their goal is to help you improve your performance. With that in mind, come to the meeting prepared with ideas of what you are going to talk about in your review. What are the areas that you are thriving in? Where can you improve? How can you show your supervisor that you take your job and your personal development seriously? These are all things to consider as you get ready for your meeting. You want to come in prepared.
If You Have Done Your Homework, Be Forthcoming About It
If you have taken time to consider what would make you a better employee, or what would make the department better, don’t be afraid to talk about it in your review and discuss it with your manager. Your manager wants to see you succeed and will be happy to see that you are identifying issues that you can work on. They aren’t going to hold your suggestions about improving yourself against you; they are going to take it as a positive. They may even turn it around on you and tell you that you are being too hard on yourself, which allows them to raise positive aspects of your performance. It is much more comfortable and productive if you can identify areas for improvement so that they can praise where you are doing well.
Complete Forms and Look Like You Took The Time to Understand Them
If there are forms that you need to take into your review make sure that you take the time to complete them thoroughly. Furthermore, pay attention when you are filling them out and understand what your answers mean. If you are giving yourself an “excellent” score on your job performance, have a reason why you are giving yourself such a high grade. This way you can back up your answers when you are in the review. Don’t put an answer down on the form without being able to back it up when you are in the review.
Come With Your Own Goals
Managers appreciate it when their employees are proactive and come into the meeting with goals for professional development. Managers want to develop their teams, and it is much easier when their employees have already identified the growth areas in which they are interested. Taking some time before the meeting to really consider your future goals will make for a more production review. It will demonstrate that you are taking an active role in your development, which lets the manager know that you are engaged and working to deliver the best performance possible both for yourself and your team.
Having a positive review is as much about execution as it is about preparation. If you do what is necessary to prepare for the interview you will end up having a productive meeting. If you are looking to move up in your company, this is the best one-on-one time you are going to have.