Let’s face it, nobody really likes performance reviews all that much. Even when things are going well, the process tends to generate quite a lot of anxiety for everyone involved. The reality is that your job performance (and the review of your performance) usually determines pay rises, promotions, and whether you get to keep your job!

The good news is that with the right preparation, you can put yourself in the best position to get the best possible review. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until performance review time to start thinking about it, start preparing now!

#1 – What is the criteria?

Performance reviews are ‘backwards focused’ in that it will be a review of performance that has already happened. It is likely you are going to be measured against certain criteria (e.g. position description), which means you need to know what this criteria is. Even if you think you are doing a great job, if you aren’t performing in the areas against which you will be reviewed, it won’t matter.

If you don’t know the criteria, you need to find out what it is by having a conversation with either your boss or someone that will know (e.g. someone in the Human Resources department).

#2 – What are your Supervisor’s expectations?

A common mistake we see is that a person knows the criteria against which they will be reviewed, but hasn’t had a proper conversation with their boss/supervisor about personal preferences and expectations. For example, if your job is to accurately process accounts receivable transactions, it would be worth knowing what your boss thinks ‘accurate’ means. Is this zero errors, a few errors, do they have any expectations?

If you haven’t had a conversation with your boss about their expectations, now is a really good time to do it. You don’t want to have any surprises when performance review time comes around.

#3 – Keep records

Performance reviews are often only conducted every 6 or 12 months, which is a really long period of time over which to judge average performance. What you want is for your boss to have an accurate record of overall performance over a period of time.

Regardless of whether they are keeping accurate records, you should be! One way to do this is to use the Diary (under the Tools menu in Fllair) to keep a record of important achievements and things you don’t want to forget. One way many of our members do this is to simply get into the habit of keeping a ‘Work Log’ at the end of every week about what went well, what didn’t go well, and what you don’t want to forget.

#4 – Check in with your boss regularly

Chances are that you are already having regular conversations with your boss and other members of your team. The strange thing is that sometimes these conversations gloss over the topic of performance. What you want to know is how your boss is perceiving your performance NOW, and whether there is anything you need to know now. You don’t want to find out at the performance review, because it’s too late to change anything at that point.

There is nothing wrong with saying something like this….. “Hi (boss), I just wanted to take a moment and ask you about your impression of my performance. Is there anything I need to know or anything that you are not happy with?”.

And keep a record of what is said (use your Diary again). By doing this, you should be in a position where there are no surprises at your performance review.

Need help?

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