How to Use Past Employee Reviews to Keep Improving

March 1, 2023


An employer and employee going over employee reviews.
Employee reviews are great for fostering healthy communication in the workplace.

Employee reviews may feel stressful in the moment, but there are several reasons why they are important. 

Employee performance reviews allow employees and their supervisors to discuss performance and expectations. A modern employee review is great at fostering a dialogue between employees and employers. Additionally, they also give workers measurable goals for future success.

But the value of an employee review does not end there. Even past employee reviews can be used by the employee to grow their skills for the future. Here are a few ways you can use your company’s previous employee reviews to grow as a professional.

How to Find Value in a Past Employee Review

Understand the Role of Performance Reviews

The first thing you need to understand about an employee review is why it is being conducted in the first place. Employee reviews do not exist to criticize workers or make team members feel like they need to work harder. Most modern employee performance reviews are conducted with a two-way, “open door” mindset. 

The goal of these employee reviews is to give employees and their supervisors a chance to discuss goals and performance. You can use your reviews to reflect on ways to grow your skills or put them to better use.

Identify and Align With Organizational Goals

Company employee reviews often put a strong emphasis on company goals. As an employee looking to advance in your career, you should try to align your goals with these organizational goals. If you ever feel like you are looking for areas to improve at work, reflecting on company goals is a good place to start. Your past employee reviews should highlight company goals, and also provide insight into how you can work toward them.

Lean Into Strengths

Once you’ve reviewed your employee reviews, two personal areas should stand out: strengths and weaknesses. 

Identifying your strengths is very helpful because it gives you something to focus on when seeking new opportunities. For instance, if you are credited as having good leadership or communication skills, you might be well-suited for management. Identifying strengths is a good way to create a roadmap for your future career goals and success in any situation. Even older reviews can be used as a valuable self-reflection tool.

Identify and Improve Areas of Weakness

On the other side of the card, you also have your weaknesses, or areas for improvement. 

It’s sometimes difficult to focus on or talk about your weaknesses at work. But doing so is one of the best ways to improve, both personally and professionally. On occasion, be sure to look at past employee reviews for this reason. Have you made strides to improve in certain areas? Are there any past weaknesses that have become strengths? And, have you developed any new weaknesses in the time since your last employee review?

Reflect on Growth

We touched on this point above, but another valuable use for past employee reviews is reflecting on your own growth. This can simply be used to boost your confidence at work, if nothing else. Reflecting on how far you have come can help you feel more confident when confronting current challenges. In some cases, it can also help identify solutions to those existing challenges. And, as mentioned previously, reflecting on your growth gives you a chance to identify new strengths or weaknesses you’ve developed.

Understanding the Importance of an Employee Performance Review

An employee performance review is a popular tool for many reasons. There are also several different types of employee reviews, which are all equally important. To learn more about the value and application of employee reviews, read about the different types of employee feedback. Or, browse ASAP’s entire inventory of professional communication resources for more helpful guides.

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