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Making the most of your annual review

22 11 Blog (800x500)

Matt Darvill Blog, Work Life, Tips...

The end of the year is approaching, and this often signifies the review process within many organisations. Depending on your viewpoint and past experiences this might be a time that you like or loathe. However, it can be a mutually beneficial time for your manager and yourself to really make progress in your role, and understand the next steps for both parties. Here are some tips to enable you to get more from your next performance review.

Do you know the review process?

Even if you’ve had one at your current employer before, it’s worth just making sure that the process hasn’t changed. If your employer has an intranet, try and use it to find the latest process and content that it will cover. The goal of a performance review is to open up a dialogue if you have no idea what is going to be covered in the meeting; it will be of little benefit. By having the chance to prepare, you will be in a far better position to get real benefit from the process.

Collate your goals and duties

Your job description is a good place to start when preparing for the meeting. You can begin to understand what is expected of you in your role and clarify any uncertainty you may have. Once you are happy that you understand everything that is expected, you can begin to gather your main achievements from across the year. This self-reflection will help give you some clarity, as it’s impossible to recall everything you’ll want to say with no preparation.

Ask for examples

Being open in an annual review is of paramount importance. This is important on both sides, as any improvements that are suggested will need to be justified. So if you feel that some criticism is somewhat unwarranted, ask for examples so you can learn from the experience. Equally, if you have amendments to suggest, you’ll need to back these up with facts. This ensures that the process doesn’t become a collection of gripes, and there is real benefit for both sides.

List what’s on your mind

If the opportunity to discuss things in detail with your boss isn’t easy to arrange, then it becomes an ideal opportunity to discuss your questions, comments and concerns. Go through what you enjoy, what you’d like to do more of and how you’d like to grow within the company. There is the opportunity to state things that you don’t particularly enjoy, but ensure you’ve thought about a resolution in advance. The direction of the conversation needs to be towards how you are looking to make your positions and that of your colleagues a better one.

Ask how you can improve

The end result of this process is to find a way that you can improve in your role, and provide more benefit to your team and the organisation in general. Go into the review with the intention of gathering feedback and acting upon it. Find out what is working, what’s not working and how you can change it.

Remember that your annual review is not the only means of monitoring your performance, and it should be an ongoing process throughout the year. It is the time to put together a plan and specific objectives for the year ahead; which you can focus on throughout the year and frequently get feedback on.