Tis the season for year-end performance reviews! As you prepare to summarize your achievements and meet with your manager for performance discussion, below are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Have a list of accomplishments with you
Make a list of all your achievements from this year. Think about what you did “exceptionally” and how this year was different from previous years. I usually start my achievement list at the beginning of every year and continue to update it throughout. Doing so will help you remember all your achievements and you are less likely to forget anything important when you begin writing your achievement card.
- Provide an update on feedback received last year
It is important to show that you take feedback constructively. Providing an update on how you have improved on some of the areas that you needed improvement will show your willingness to learn and grow. It also shows that you are willing to do what it takes to be successful.
- Reflect on goals
Having a goal-focused discussion will help your manager understand the steps that you have taken to accomplish the goals that you set for yourself and your department this year. It is always a good idea to refer back to the goals for this year and provide an update (completed, on target, etc.)
- Explain how you added value this year
Have a discussion on how you added value to your department, your clients, and the overall company. It is important to align your discussion and performance with overall department goals and the company’s mission. Using percentage, where possible, is a great way to highlight your performance. Example: “reduced time to hire by 5 percent by taking XYZ steps”
- Ask questions and take notes
Asking questions and writing them down, as needed, will help you understand what your manager is thinking and what is expected of you and your role. Example: what is working/not working? What do you think of my performance this year?
Taking feedback constructively shows that you are willing to overcome your areas of improvement. Questions like “what training or classes would you recommend for me to overcome this issue?” or “How would you have reacted to that situation?” will help you understand steps you can take to overcome your shortcomings.
- Thank your manager for the robust discussion and feedback
It is very easy to get defensive when someone offers feedback. However, showing that you take feedback constructively is very important. Instead of taking it personally, thank your manager for being honest and for providing candid feedback. Talk about how you plan to overcome this next year and end the discussion on a positive note. Every piece of feedback is valuable!
Preparing for year-end reviews can be time-consuming, but if you do it the right way, it is well worth it. Always remember, it is your responsibility to manage your career. Good luck!
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