The year is ending and performance appraisals are in full swing. It’s an important time of the year and one of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your performance appraisal is to actively prepare for it.
Whether the company you are in includes a self-evaluation step in their process or not, you don’t have to play a passive role where you are merely the recipient of feedback and direction from your manager. You can take the initiative to properly prepare for your appraisal meeting with your manager and ensure that your manager has a complete picture of your performance.
You can prepare for your performance appraisal as follows:
1. Gather information
Review your job description and your goals and use these as a base for preparing details on your accomplishments, strengths and development areas. Try to recall performance highlights and milestones, as well as any challenges you may have dealt with.
It may be helpful to review your last appraisal and feedback plus the ratings received. Doing this will give you a insight on how developed over the year.
If you’ve kept notes of your performance review these as well. Having this detail at hand will help both you and your manager get a broader, more objective view of your performance over the entire period, and avoid being biased by recent events.
2. Prepare a list of your accomplishments
Next you should prepare a list of your accomplishments. Try to capture the “how” not just “what” you accomplished so your manager has all details they need to understand your performance. Be sure to focus on the whole review period.
Further, highlight any training or development activities you completed.
Remember this is the chance to let your light shine as your manager may not be aware of all the great things you’ve done.
3. Do a self-evaluation
It’s a good idea to complete a self-evaluation so that you are prepared to share with your manager your own perspective. Go through each competency and goal listed, and rate your performance.
4. Review your skills and identify your development needs
List your accomplishments, and identify any areas where you struggled, or where others may have noted your performance lacked. You should also identify any areas where you would like to expand your skills/expertise as part of your career growth and progression. No one is perfect. Everyone should be continually learning and developing.
You should also think and be prepared to discuss your career plans plus what you need to develop to help you achieve these goals?
5. Prepare goals for the coming period
Be proactive and draft some possible goals based on your job description, your department or the organization’s higher level goals, your skills/abilities, etc. You might want to look for opportunities to expand your duties, broaden your knowledge, or take on more responsibility so you can review these in your meeting.
We normally come to our appraisal meeting with our manager feeling a bit defensive fearing criticism. Unfortunately, when we’re defensive, we don’t listen very well. So try to relax and let go of any defensiveness you’re aware of. Your goal should be to listen deeply to the feedback your manager provides you, as well as the goals and development plans they lay out for you.
Remember it’s your career! So make the most of the opportunity your performance appraisal offers to make your contributions known and to get meaningful feedback and direction that will help you grow.