A performance review serves many purposes. For some people, it is a time when salary increases are determined. For others, it is an opportunity to discuss past performances, as well as a chance to set new goals. Whether a performance review is a formal occasion with a written form, or if it is a casual conversation, here are a few pointers to follow to get the most out of your next performance review.Addressing Shortcomings
An ideal performance review is an honest discussion of both positives and negatives: areas of demonstrated strength and weakness. This discussion should not come as a total surprise to you, as you should be routinely soliciting feedback from your employer as to how well you are performing. However, if you receive a write-up emphasizing your weaknesses, and you plan on staying with the company, you should take this performance review very seriously. Realistically, this write-up is a formal warning, a step in a procedure that could lead to your termination.
During your performance review, make sure you receive specific examples from your employer that address your shortcomings, and establish a “road map” of how you can improve your performance. Don’t be afraid to take notes during this meeting to make sure you capture your employer’s examples and suggestions for improvement.
If you feel that your employer is not correct is his or her assertions, provide your own explanations, or schedule a follow-up meeting if you cannot organize your thoughts on the spot. Ultimately, you can turn this situation around in your favor by establishing a plan for what you need to improve, how you will reach your goals, and a realistic timeframe for when you will achieve your improvements.
If your performance review does not include specific mention of your past achievements, don’t be modest in providing your employer with specifics.
It is a good exercise to keep track of your completed projects, successes, and other achievements throughout the year; by the time of your performance review, you will have a comprehensive record of what you’ve accomplished since your last review. Be sure your employer has a copy of your list of accomplishments before your review so that he or she can give you specific feedback on how you’ve achieved your goals, and what areas you should focus on improving.
Also, by providing your employer with an itemized outline of your completed projects and successes, you can avoid having a vague performance review, and this will improve your chances for a significant salary increase.
Minimal Salary Increase
If you receive a minimal salary increase that is below your expectations, find a way to address your dissatisfaction with your supervisor. As mentioned above, be sure to have concrete evidence (such as a list of your accomplishments throughout the year) to support your claim that you deserve a higher salary increase. Provide your supervisor with examples of how you have directly made contributions, such as an increase in revenue, productivity, morale, or efficiency.
In conclusion, the more ways you can show your supervisor how you’ve made a positive impact at the company, the better your chances are of getting what you want from a performance review.