Transform the Dreaded Employee Review

Employee_Review_Oct2013What emotions do you associate with your employee review? Fear? Anxiety? Stress? Anticipation? The thought of an annual performance evaluation can trigger a wide-range of negative responses, but it doesn’t have to.
You can transform this once-dreaded experience into a productive conversation between you and your boss. It’s really all about how you approach it. So, before your next evaluation, try these four tips to improve your employee review.

Check Your Attitude

The number one way to ensure you have a lousy review is to have a bad attitude about it. Instead, think about why you’re having an evaluation in the first place and all the positives that could come from it. This is your chance to meet one-on-one with your boss and talk about you, how you’re performing, and what you could improve on. These types of conversations are how you’re going to grow as a person and become more successful in your career.

Clarify Expectations
Before the day of your review, make sure you know exactly how your boss wants you to prepare. Some companies have paperwork that everyone is required to fill out, while managers may have their own specific forms for employees to use as well. Finding all of this out up front will help ensure you and your boss start off the review on the same page, and it can also help alleviate any anxiety about what will be discussed.

Reflect Back
As you prepare, take some time to think through the past year. If you keep a running to-do list or project sheet, scroll back through it and think about the major tasks you accomplished. Take note of the projects or tasks that you really enjoyed and disliked, the major things you did right and wrong, and anything you would change if you could. It’s also a good idea to review any paperwork or notes you have from your last performance review so you can highlight areas of improvement or goals that you met.

Think Ahead
You also want to reflect on the year ahead. Make a list of any professional, personal, or workplace goals you’d like to accomplish. If you want a promotion, make a note to ask what you need to do to get one. Consider ways you could increase your knowledge or expand your expertise. And think about any specific things you’d like to see change over the next 12 months. Also, as you prepare, consider how you can help make your review a dialogue instead of a monologue so you can get the most benefit out of it.
You don’t have to dread your next performance review. Take matters into your own hands and do your part to ensure it’s a positive experience for you and your boss. Plus, being prepared for your employee review will not only make you look good, it will also go a long way to building your manager’s trust in you.
What ways have you found to help make your employee review a more productive experience? Share your thoughts below.


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