It’s the new year and many of you are due for a performance review soon.
Many people dread this process and the extra work that comes with filling out your own performance review or responding to a peer’s performance review request. Despite your feelings, it is critical to properly prepare for your performance review.
Accomplishments and Results
Many of us have fantastic managers, but even the best manager does not keep track of all the good work you have done throughout the year. It is your responsibility to make sure your accomplishments are recorded and communicated.
It is a good practice to document your accomplishments as they happen throughout the year because it’s easier to document them when they are fresh on your mind.
You should not only document the accomplishments, but also document the results you delivered through those projects to your employer. Did you increase productivity, reduce costs, or improve customer satisfaction? Be sure to document it.
Not all of us are able to keep our “Accomplishments Document” up-to-date throughout the year. If that is true for you, spend some time now reviewing the past year and documenting your accomplishments. It may take some time to review your year and recall the work you did and the results that work generated, but take the time to do this and document it.
If your company has a standard review format and document, utilize your newly created Accomplishments Document to fill out the paperwork. If your company has less formal reviews then use the document to speak to your accomplishments in the conversation with your manager. Make sure this happens before your employer considers raises for the year!
Please note, when thinking about your accomplishments, consider how your actions helped the company or your manager. If you created a training manual for your team which kept co-workers from bothering you with questions five times a day, that is considered a personal accomplishment.
Instead, consider what the bottom line is for your employer. If you created a training manual that reduced the ramp-up time for new employees from 3 weeks to 1 then communicate how you helped make new employees more productive much more quickly.
Now would also be a good time to update your resume with these accomplishments if you haven’t done so already.
Performance Review Goals
Part of your review is to discuss all of the good work you have produced in the past year, but it is also important to discuss the future. Use this time to also address opportunities for the upcoming year.
What are your goals for this year? Is there a project you would like to be aligned with? Would you like to begin managing people? Is there a new technical or soft skill you would like to learn or master this year? Think through ways that you can continue to grow and develop. Do some research on training or educational opportunities that might be necessary for you to develop new skills. Now is the time to discuss achieving your goals with your manager.
Focusing on your goals during a performance review can accomplish two important things. First, it is a chance to show that you are proactive and want to become more valuable to the company. Second, it is a chance for you to take charge of your career and ensure you are developing the skills you need to move to the next stage of your career.
Being prepared will ensure you get the most of your performance review. Focusing on your past accomplishments and your future goals will help you take ownership of your career.
What are your tips for performance reviews? Let us know in the comments section below!