A great performance review is always supported by adequate preparation and planning. It is however challenging summing up 12 months worth of work on a page. Despite all this, a performance review is a great opportunity to show how hard you’ve worked especially if it is conducted in a manner to support this.
There is nothing worse than being blindsided with mediocre results in a performance review when you thought you were putting in your best work. So alongside the mid-year and annual reviews you should schedule regular feedback. Rather than trying to cram everything in one discussion, there are three conversations you can have to help understand what improvements you need to make and support your performance review.
1. Quality of your work
Having a conversation with your line manager about the quality of your work will help you understand what your manager expects from you. It’s a good way to re-align yourself with their thinking and take on board any constructive feedback they might have. You can address challenges and barriers to meeting your targets and get input on other angles to pursue.
Finding out at this stage if your work is not to the expected standard not only means you have time to rectify things but will show you are able to receive and act on feedback. Your manager will probably look out for the implementation of changes so any marked improvements will not go unnoticed.
On the other hand any good feedback reinforces your insights on your strengths and will boost your morale and encourage you to keep performing better.
2. Stakeholder feedback
If you work on projects or with other teams in your organization then chances are your manager will seek out stakeholder feedback. They will want to know how other people perceive you, how well you have worked with them and delivered to what was expected of you.
The good thing is you don’t have to wait for this feedback to come to you. You can ask people you’ve worked alongside to provide this feedback. This can be a little nerve-wracking and you might be apprehensive about receiving negative feedback. The way to deal with this is to acknowledge the feedback and improve if you still have the chance or build bridges if you are no longer working together. Negative feedback isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it just shows you areas you need to work on and this will be a good way to raise your self-awareness. This in turn, will work to your advantage.
3. Career development
It’s good to have a short, mid and long-term plan for yourself but you must know how this aligns to the opportunities available to you. This conversation can help you with forward planning if you want to move into a different area of expertise or specialise in an area you are passionate about. This gives you time to explore what support you can get, what skills you should be developing and improving.
You can also express interest in specific projects or assignments or find out about opportunities that are coming up in this conversation. Having this conversation is a proactive way to manage your career and the opportunities available to you. A lot of people think that if they work hard they will be offered the right opportunities. The reality on the other hand, is no-one will know what you want until you start talking about it.
Showing interest means you have a better chance of being considered when the right opportunities come up. It also means you can make your own decision on whether you are still in the right place or it’s time to move on so your career doesn’t stall.
What other conversations do you have to prepare for performance reviews?