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How to Rock Your Annual Performance Review

October 23, 2014

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Are you nervous before every yearly performance review? Read on to learn the best ways to prepare for your review, calm your nerves, and ensure that you receive the recognition and compensation that you deserve.

Before Your Review

If you’re organization doesn’t require you to complete self-review forms, create your own. Start the process right after your last review. Write down your achievements — have you increased revenues? Decreased expenses? Come in under budget on a project?  Be specific. Include deadlines met and new ideas implemented. Did you save the organization $20K in hotel and travel costs? Show how you’ve performed above and beyond your everyday duties. 

Also, consider what support you need from your boss. What sort of measurable goals are you shooting for and how can the boss help you with them, moving forward? If you missed a goal this year, think about how you can prevent it from happening in the future.

During your review

Ask if you can start by discussing your accomplishments during the past year. This way, you can discuss your best work before any problems are brought up.

Be prepared to discuss shortcomings. Explain how you intend to overcome specific errors in the future – through training, greater attention to detail, and so on. Let the boss know that you’ll do everything you can to strengthen your work.

Discuss professional goals. Get your boss’s buy-in to enroll in a seminar to learn new skills, or to have the organization pay for a professional membership, or to purchase software or other materials that will benefit you and colleagues.

If you’re disappointed with your review and your raise, ask to schedule another review in six months, after you’ve had a chance to improve your performance. Or, ask for compensation outside of salary, for instance, a more flexible schedule.

Don’t forget to give the boss feedback. Tell the boss how he or she has helped you and what you value about your working relationship. 

Every review should foster better communication, establish clear expectations, reinforce good performance, improve substandard performance, and show you off to your best advantage.  

To learn more, view this 'Learn It On-Demand!' Webinar: Ace Your Performance Review: 7 Can’t Miss Steps to Success!, presented by Pam Green.


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