Managing Your Performance Review

The performance review process can be demanding and sometimes nerve-racking. It can also be rewarding, given the right conditions and frame of mind. More than an accounting of your various projects and activities, your review is an opportunity to showcase what you have accomplished. Even if you keep your manager informed via weekly reports and 1:1 meetings, you can positively influence your overall performance picture by synthesizing that information and providing additional insights.

Here are a few preparation tips:

Track your Accomplishments

Don't wait until the last minute. If you track your accomplishments throughout the year, it will be much easier for you to remember not only what you did, but also the outcomes, benefits, and implications of your efforts. Make a special note of the obstacles you overcame, the extra challenges you took on, and instances when your results exceeded expectations.


Focus on the Bigger Picture

When describing your accomplishments, indicate your awareness of how they support team, departmental, and company goals. Point to the positive impact of your work on other individuals or groups, and show how your contributions add value to the company. Also, keep in mind your manager's priorities so that you can align your accomplishments with his/her objectives.

Highlight your Strengths

Talking about your performance gives you the chance to highlight the strengths you bring to your job. As you chronicle your achievements, say when and how you have demonstrated initiative, flexibility, perseverance, creativity, leadership skills, the ability to handle pressure, or the ability to influence others. Point out specific instances where your knowledge, experience, level of expertise, and credibility have been valuable assets in reaching your objectives. By identifying your unique combination of strengths, you can distinguish yourself as an asset to the organization.

Help Your Manager

Even if you think you are doing a terrific job, you will probably be relying on your manager to push for your next raise, bonus, or promotion. If your company has a ranking and rating system, your manager will need to justify why you deserve a greater reward than another employee with a similar track record. So, the stronger your case and the more useful information you give your manager, the greater the chance that your accomplishments will be recognized and rewarded.

Address Any Shortcomings

If you fell short of your objectives or your performance was not up to par in some areas, you will need to analyze the reasons, be prepared to discuss them, and think of ways you can improve. Look for learning opportunities and avenues for growth. Put defensiveness aside and collaborate with your manager. Since you can't re-write history, put your focus and energy on the future. There is always tomorrow…and the next review.

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