3 Ways to Shine at Your Performance Review

Follow these three tips so your performance review deserves a standing ovation!

Each year, or multiple times per year, say quarterly, the boss brings in each employee to his or her cushy corner office for that often dreaded, sometimes highly anticipated, but always expected, performance review. If you haven't had one yet, you're bound to eventually. But it's nothing to get frazzled about, in fact, it can bring you to the next phase of your career.

Whether or not you feel like you've done a stellar, or at least satisfactory job leading up to the review, the prospect of actually sitting there to have your work hashed out, picked apart, and evaluated is daunting. You want to appear confident and put forth the best version of yourself as you discuss your performance, from the A+ moments to those not-so-remarkable ones. Hey, we all have 'em.

You may be nervous, hopeful, or even self-assured, but no matter your emotions, you really never know what's going to go down. However, you can prep yourself in order to shine like the star you know you are or aspire to become. Follow these three tips so your performance review deserves a standing ovation!


Prepare Ahead of Time

Even the most confident employee should get ready before the big meeting. Collect your facts and figures, make notes, and rehearse key talking points. Of course you know what you've been up to since your last review, but your boss is busy, and may only have a broad overview of what you have done specifically. Listing out your main accomplishments and what you've done to move the needle will be imperative discussion points when your boss needs to know what makes you a value to the company.

As per USA Today, prepare a self-evaluation. "Plan ahead by keeping a file of your accomplishments. Then, prior to your review, draft a document reviewing your accomplishments. Use bullet points, making it easy to read with measurable outcomes. Provide your self-evaluation to your boss prior to your review."

This planning will allow your boss to save time during your meeting and already have a feel for what to further delve into. It will also show that you're organized and prepared. Plus, it will help you stick to a positive discussion trajectory and give your boss a better understanding of your progression and work ethic. It may also ease any jitters you have regarding forgetting prime topics you want to cover during the performance review.

State Plans for the Future – Personally and Professionally

So you've made it this far, but what's to come? A plan of action is just what your boss wants to learn about once you've followed up on the past. Knowing that your boss wants to hear about goals and moving forward is a positive sign that your performance review made the grade up to that point.

Talk about how you want to help make the company stronger and grow professionally – both for your own goals and for the good of the company. Forbes interviewed some members of the Young Entrepreneur Council. One member, Brittany Hodak or ZinePak said, "Entrepreneurs value employees who are constantly striving to make themselves better—having a more skilled team leads to a better company. Another member, Phil Laboon of Clear Sky added, "I am always looking for my employees to tell me things they would like to pursue within the company. By suggesting a project they would like to manage, it shows me their continued interest in the company. I feel confident that if it's a project they are suggesting, then they will excel at it."

Showing that you have a vested interest in the company's success is just as important as what you've done so far. There is always room for new strategies, projects, and improvement. Prove you're in it for the long haul and have visions for the months and years to come.

Discuss What's Not Benefiting You or the Company

Not every breath of your conversation during your review needs to be rainbows and butterflies. It's beneficial to discuss items that need improvement too. Honesty is valued and an ambition to do things better is always appreciated by an intelligent boss. It's also a good idea to discuss ways to change things up or introduce new practices and performance-enhancing programs or technology.

As per Forbes' interview with entrepreneurs, Manpreet Singh of Seva Call said, "I love it when team members keep me informed of new performance-enhancing options. And performance reviews are the perfect way to contextualize a conversation about the benefits of adopting new tools and methods."

When you can be open about room for improvement, everyone wins. As USA Today puts it, "Get consensus with your boss in terms of how you'll address your opportunity areas or weaknesses. Remember, we're all works-in-progress so have a positive attitude about improving your performance."

Keep your ideas well-formulated – don't go on a tirade about co-workers in the office or nitpick about inconsequential issues. Most importantly, at your next review, be prepared to exhibit how you've made progress in the areas discussed.

After a successful review and the timing is right, a raise in salary may be just what the doctor ordered. Need help in how to approach your boss to discuss a salary increase? Check out these tips to make it work in your favor.

Are you ready to shine at your performance review? Keep cool and show your boss you're an asset.

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