Performance Reviews Part II: the Employee Perspective

Performance reviews are often viewed as a necessary evil; considered at worst, a battle and at best, a total waste of time. With a change of attitude, however, and adequate preparation, a performance review can be a tool for professional growth.

10 tips for turning your review from a nightmare to a dream

The Preparation:
1. Begin preparing for your next review the day after your last one: A typical part of performance reviews is goal setting – establishing work-related goals that align with company goals. Don’t be caught in the trap of walking out the door and forgetting about the goals until their next review. Create a plan of action for attaining the goals. Evaluate your progress on a consistent basis. Ask yourself if you are on target for completion and, if not, what you need to change.

2. Create a file to take along to your next review: Keep a record of goals attained and all significant accomplishments. Connect with your boss when you reach new levels – this will keep your positives in his/her mind at the next review. Be specific about your actions, show how they benefitted your company. Date it and, when appropriate, include documentation from a superior. If a coworker commends your actions, request that they put it in writing, and then date it and keep it in a file.

3. Don’t hide problems that arise along the way: Discuss the glitches with your boss. Offer your suggestions for corrections and seek his/her input. Be remembered as someone who communicates, addressing issues and solving problems effectively.

4. Never stop learning: Take advantage of additional training, conferences, webinars, etc. and document them in your file. Regular participation will show that you want to move forward in your career. Documenting it will also give your boss a reason to agree to requests for additional tools or continued training at company cost.

5. Keep your social media presence clean: Yes, it takes effort to maintain an exemplary brand, but it takes even more to deal with black marks.

The Review
1. Know your role: Understand your job description and take your file as evidence that you are fulfilling it. Be prepared to stand up for yourself – but do it with confidence, not arrogance.

2. Be ready to discuss the future: Don’t arrive with just your file of accomplishments in hand. Bring in a new set of goals – goals that are reasonable, relevant, and work great as a project plan.

3. Be honest about the negatives: Everybody has his/her weaknesses. Be honest. Show what steps you are taking to change directions. Never blame coworkers or even circumstances for your mistakes. A sincere “I take full responsibility”, backed up by actions, is a winner every time and won’t come back to bite you.

4. Keep a positive attitude: Be engaged in the process. Take an active role in the conversation, but also be a great listener. Be positive about your position and the company. Maintain the heart of a servant leader who treats everyone with respect.

5. Speak up with confidence: If you need more office space, additional flexibility, training, a raise, now is the time to make your requests known. State your requests clearly, with documentation that supports your reasons, but don’t come across as demanding.

Being prepared and engaged makes the difference every time. Treat job reviews as an important tool for growth, rather than a negative must-do and that’s exactly what you will experience. Contact Springborn for positions in Bangor and Portland, Maine. We will match you with the best position for you – where maintaining a great attitude about reviews is easy.

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