How to prepare for a performance review

1 minute read | 10 January 2022

A performance review is the perfect time to demonstrate how hard you’ve been working. This is not the time for modesty, it is the time for you to take ownership of your work. It is also an opportunity to get a clear idea on what’s expected of you.
Many people find this process stressful, so we have created a guide on “how to prepare for a performance review”.

The Current Goals

The first thing you should start with is reviewing your current goals. If you haven’t been given performance goals or KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), use your job description and main responsibilities as a guide. By having evidence and a list of your accomplishments, your performance review will go significantly smoother. After creating your list of goals, note what you have accomplished in these areas. It is beneficial to evidence figures and percentages (if relevant).

Things you might want to include:

  • Skills you have learned
    • Example: I have improved the company’s operational efficiencies by using X software
  • Relationships you’ve built
    • Example: I have grown our customer base by X%
  • Projects you have completed
    • Example: I have developed and launched a new product

If you have undertaken training provided by your company or external courses, you should also include them and explain how it helped your performance. You should also have examples of how you showed initiative and how you have adjusted to a challenging situation. Depending on your career path, you should have specific industry competencies you can demonstrate growth in.

Set New Goals

Managers often like to know and discuss your professional goals for the year ahead so take some time to think about realistic but ambitious goals. When doing so, consider the following:

  • What skills would you like to master by your next review?
  • What responsibilities do you want to take on?
  • What projects are you passionate about pursuing?
  • What weaknesses would you like to improve upon?
Feedback and Critiques

Although we hope for the best, you should also prepare for a tough conversation too. Preparing for feedback entails both the good and bad. Your attitude when being faced with constructive criticism will say a lot about how professional you are, so don’t act defensive. Even if you are doing amazing work, you might still receive constructive critiques and your manager might highlight areas that you need to work on. If you are not sure what your manager is referring too, ask for specific examples so you fully understand what to improve on. When this happens, own up to your mistakes or the areas that you lack and be solution driven by showing drive to do better. Ask your manager how you can do better and ask for a performance improvement plan.

Extra Tips
  • Have a list of topics you would like to cover
  • If you are planning to ask for a salary raise, read this article (LINK) to get some good advice
  • Make sure you also ask about the company. Questions such as the ones listed below show a genuine interest in the company:
    • What are the company’s goals for this year?
    • What are the team’s goals?
    • Your goals for me?
    • How will I know if I’ve hit those goals?
    • What are the specific metrics I can track to understand whether I’m doing my job well?

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