For most working professionals, job performances reviews are frightening. You have to sit down with your boss in a one-on-one setting behind closed doors, and your job security feels like it’s hanging on a balance. In reality, performance reviews can be a breeze.
While they might seem intimidating, most performance reviews are aimed at helping you improve your work performance. They’re meant to show off your accomplishments and guide you on what comes next. Follow these tips and you’ll leave your next performance review unscathed.
1. Be Prepared
The process for performance reviews varies between companies, so you should ask your peers and maybe even your boss what to expect. You should be keeping daily or weekly work journals with your completed tasks and some sort of ranking system for their importance, and you should also keep a tab on how your successes aided the company.
2. Be Honest
If you’re struggling in one area of work, don’t be afraid to mention it or concede that you need help. Don’t beat yourself up over failures, but admit to yourself and your boss that you could use a little polishing in certain areas. Don’t do this if it’s not necessary, though. If you’re good at something, make sure your boss knows it.
3. Assess Your Team
Your performance review is not an opportunity for your boss to complain about your failures; it’s an honest assessment of how well you and your team work together for the ultimate success of the company. If you have suggestions for better harmony and productivity among your team, give feedback to your boss so she’ll know you both have the same objectives.
4. Know Your Accomplishments
Don’t sell yourself short. If a success of yours has flown under the radar, now’s the time to bring it up. Chances are, your boss will ask what you brought to the team in the time you’ve been there, and you should know exactly how your work has affected the company. Keep a running tally of the good things you’ve done for your company, and make sure you let your boss know what they are.
5. Be Open to Constructive Criticism
You’re bound to hear a few ways you can improve your work at your performance review; after all, these periodic assessments are meant to help everyone improve. Don’t get defensive and try to rebut everything your reviewer is saying; if what she’s saying is true, acknowledge it and ask for input on how to improve.
6. But Not Destructive Criticism
Receiving a litany of complaints about your work is rare, as the people who like to do this don’t last long in management positions. However, if it happens, be prepared to stand up for yourself and re-assert all that you’ve done for the company. You should be able to see this coming—complainers like to complain, and if your boss is one to break you down, likely she’s done it before your performance review. Don’t let her get away with it.
7. Give Feedback
There should be a point in the review session where you’re asked if you want to give feedback on your colleagues, your boss, or the projects you’ve worked on. Be honest, candid, and kind when giving criticism; after all, presumably, your reviewer was kind to you when giving you feedback about your work. Don’t leave anything out, but give suggestions for improvement rather than complaining.
8. Ask Questions
You’re meeting with your boss to learn how to make your performance better, and being engaged in the conversation is the best way to do that. Ask specific questions about your performance, how you could improve your work, and for any other suggestions the reviewer may have.Performance reviews shouldn’t be feared; in fact, if you’re not receiving any periodic feedback, you should be concerned. Presumably, your boss wants the same things you do: for the company to succeed. If you’re honest and assertive in your performance review and know what to expect, you’ll leave your review with more positive motivation than ever.
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