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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Annual Review

07 Jan 2020

Eileen Moloney

Your annual appraisal shouldn't be viewed as an endurance test but instead as a stepping stone in your career. We outline how to get the most out of your performance review.

This time of year is all about new beginnings and where better to start than your annual review. Contrary to popular opinion, reviews aren’t deliberately organised by HR or your boss to terrify or criticise you. It should be an honest open process where you get to review your own performance, get constructive feedback and structure your goals and KPIs for the coming year. 

Here are 5 tips on how you can maximise your review for optimal results in your career.

1. Preparation is key
Your performance review is exactly that and while it shouldn’t be confrontational, it’s still not just a friendly chat so go armed! Take the time to sit down and go through previous reviews. At the very least, you’ll have a visual of your progress and be able to answer any queries during your review.

2. Outline your accomplishments
It’s always a good idea to list your successes for the year to show your boss where all your efforts have gone. They may not be aware of all your work on a day to day basis. Indeed, in some situations, your boss may also assume that someone else is responsible for something you’ve done so take the opportunity to remind them. You also could also be harbouring secret resentment about your efforts not being recognised when your boss simply doesn’t realise that you did the work. Studies have shown that people work less productively when they feel undervalued or recognised so make sure your boss knows what you’ve worked on over the year.

3. Quantify your work
Ensure that you can put a value to the business on all you’ve worked on throughout the year. It’s no use devoting time and effort to something that’s not going to make any difference to the bottom line or brand awareness.

4. Take feedback as constructive criticism
Feedback is, in most cases, meant well and intended to help you progress in your career. Even negative feedback, if delivered well, can really help improve your performance. Don’t just sit there mulishly and take criticism badly or as a negative judgement on your character. Ask for specifics and how they feel you could improve to achieve that task / goal. Remember, it may feel personal but it very rarely is. Listen to ALL the feedback, don’t just dismiss criticism as unwarranted and then think about how you can use this feedback to improve your performance in the future.

5.Discuss your future
Nothing either you or your manager say during your review should be a surprise as you should be communicating on any issues throughout the year. However, this is YOUR review so take the time to discuss your own concerns/ideas about where your future lies with the company. If you want to take charge of a particular project, take ownership of an area or even change paths within the organisation, now is the time to raise the subject. It will show your boss that you’ve given your future in the company some serious thought and that you want to maximise your contribution to the organisation.

When prepared for correctly, and when the process is gone through with both sides open to learning and improving, then your annual review will stop being something you just have to endure and will start to become a valuable tool in your career progression.

If you would like to know about salary ranges prior to going into your review or just simply want to explore your options, please contact us at Brightwater on +44 28 90 325325.