Prepping for a Performance Review

Check out these quick and timely tips from GAA Career Coach Catherine Tuttle.

Prepping for a Performance Review

Why do we have performance reviews? Ideally, it’s so you and your supervisor are clear about how effective your contributions have been within your team/organization. It is meant to be a two-way conversation – a chance for you and your boss to review the work you’ve been doing, what has been going well, where you might want to improve, and identify opportunities for growth.

Whether formal or informal, there are certain best practices that if followed, will help you get the most out of your review.

  • Start by reviewing the goals you set the year before individually and/or as a team. What have you been able to accomplish? What have you been able to help your team accomplish? What have you not been able to achieve and why?
  • Be specific, write down key points and quantify your accomplishments where you can (revenue growth, process improvements, increased engagement, productivity, etc.). It can be helpful to keep a running list of your achievements throughout the year. Take time to assess your efforts after completing a big project and document your success. PS – this will also come in handy when you update your resume for a new opportunity.
  • Get outside feedback. Talk to people on your team about how you’ve made an impact (and be ready to return the favor). Often, we are blind to our own strengths and play down our accomplishments. Share your thoughts with others to make sure you’re not missing anything.
  • Be ready to share how you have tried to improve yourself proactively. Have you attended an online training? Did you start a certification program? Are you taking advantage of self-paced online courses through LinkedIn Learning or Coursera? Let your boss know about these things and how they relate to your current performance and future goals.
  • Try to leave your review with clear goals and expectations. Write them down, and perhaps email them to your manager as a re-cap to make sure you’re both on the same page. From there, track your progress throughout the year so you’ll be even better prepared for the next review. If your boss is open to it, perhaps you ask for a 6-month check-in to make sure you’re on track or if priorities have shifted.

Don’t have a formal review process within your organization? Think about following the steps above to create your own informal review. Schedule a time with your boss to ensure you understand the goals she or he has set for the team and how you can contribute. If you understand how your role and your team fit within the greater organization, you’ll be better able to prioritize your time and potentially offer to help with areas outside of your day-to-day responsibilities. These types of stretch assignments are key to growing your skill set, increasing your visibility within your company, and building a network inside and outside your organization.