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Getting Ready for Your Annual Performance Review


As we approach year end, are you ready for the “big talk” with your manager? Did you dot the i’s and crossed the t’s on all your achievements for the year?


Even progressive companies, who conduct regular check-ins throughout the year, have an annual review to compile their team’s efforts into a year-end performance report.


According to Gallup, 21% of employees believe their performance matrix is within their control. This means 79% believe their performance matrix is out of their control. It is time to change this statistic.


Our previous blogs talked about SMART goals (Dec 2018: Setting Deliverable Goals) and provided tips on how to make your goals stick (Jan 2019: 10 Tips to Make Your Goals Stick). If you have been thorough, you most likely negotiated with your manager in advance the rating he/she ought to give you if you hit all your targets.


If not, don’t worry. Below are seven tips to help you prepare for your annual performance review and take control of your career:


1. Document Everything

Document your achievements against each goal throughout the year with historical stamps. Include dates, times, and relevant comments from peers, customers and external stakeholders. Keep records of any feedback, thank-you notes and praises.


2. Line-of-Sight

Link all your achievements to the company strategy, and organizational hierarchy. Your goals should align with your manager’s goals and upward all the way to the goals of your CEO.


3. Tangibles and Intangibles

Focus on tangible outcomes supported with statistics and completion dates, as well as intangibles such as teamwork, conflict resolution and customer service.


4. Structured Templates

Use structured review templates and best practices. If your company does not have a standard template, build one for yourself. You can use Microsoft Excel to build a simple template to track your achievements throughout the year.


5. Frequent Check-ins

Have frequent check-ins even if your manager does not schedule them, or call them so. Book time with your manger to report your progress and any challenges you are facing early on. Ask for help if needed. Make sure to involve your manager in the work you do, after all, they are accountable for your success.


6. Link to Development

Highlight learnings and development needs. This will show your maturity, eagerness to learn and ownership of your personal development. If you know of a particular training you want to take, make sure to mention it. Orient your review around achievements, and subsequent development needs to become even better, rather than focusing on mistakes and weaknesses.


7. Pave it Forward

Start thinking of what you would like to do the following year. What projects do you want to be involved in? What contributions can you bring to the company and the team? Build your strategic muscle and layout your long-term vision for your career. This will guarantee a succession plan that is aligned with your career aspirations.


I hope the tips above encourage you to take your review into your reins, and give you the confidence to showcase your achievements. For more information, checkout the Performance Development workshop, and remember we can always customize a workshop to fit your specific needs.

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