No one is particularly excited about job performance reviews. Even managers don’t exactly relish the opportunity to criticize their employees’ performance every year. Similarly, employees hardly enjoy the extra scrutiny of their work. Therefore, emotions can run high during the performance review season.
A job performance review can be quite stressful. It ranks right up there with a public speaking or moving houses, and it is certainly not among the favorite things for any professional. In fact, many employees find them quite inaccurate and many times, unfair. On the other hand, managers and supervisors consider them as mere formalities.
The very fact that a performance review plays a part in increasing your chances of promotion or even affects other areas of your job is enough to cause agitation and stress. However, when conducted well, performance reviews can help strengthen an organization’s overall performance. After all, employees’ individual performances determine corporate outcomes.
Either way, performance reviews are part and parcel of professional life, so you need to know how to handle them effectively.
Still not feeling up to par?
Here are three ways to get more confidence and ace your next performance review:
1) Be prepared at all times
Your manager or supervisor will likely not run into you in the hallway and say, “Hi, we need to do your performance review right now. Would you please walk into my office so that we can get it over with?” Many organizations have set calendar days or months for performance reviews. Either way, you will need to be prepared at all times.
Get into the habit of tracking your goals and your progress as you move along. You don’t want to scramble around and try to dig up everything at the last minute.
By keeping an ongoing log of your accomplishments will help you be more confident and prepared to take a performance review at a moment’s notice. You could include a bit more detail like specific results, some challenges you overcame, or even some clients’ testimonials.
That said it is also important to put down your achievements when they are still fresh. It will help you track your results and adjust accordingly as you move along and may also help you answer tough questions during the performance review.
When your performance review, then all you’ll have to do is just organize all the information, convert it into a presentation and take it with you to the meeting.
2) Remain calm
While this easier said than done, staying calm will score you some vital points. You will project an air of confidence, which will help you get a foot in the door. Anxiety and stress can eat away at you, especially when waiting for feedback from your manager.
Shove those negative thoughts to the side and take up some positive affirmations instead. Pick out one short affirmation that will help you stay calm and focused.
Envision a great outcome for the meeting with an affirmation that stirs up positive energy. Take a couple of deep breaths before you enter the meeting room and say to yourself, “I will ace this performance review!” When you go in, sit comfortably and check on your breathing regularly.
It also pays to prepare mentally before the meeting. Single out any potential problems that your manager might pick out and figure out how to address them beforehand. If they are out your hand, come up with creative or better ways on how to handle those issues. When they come up during the interview, you won’t panic or struggle to address them.
3) Thank your Manager
Note that your manager may just be as uncomfortable as you during performance reviews. Thank them for their time as well as their feedback and let them know that you appreciate their work. However, you do not need to turn into a schmoozer, as that could be counter-productive.
You’ll not want to come out like a wet noodle and in constant need of an extra helping hand. Just thank them at the beginning and the end of the interview. Consider also sending them a thank you note or email after a few days.
In fact, doing this at the beginning of the meeting helps to set a positive tone for the meeting. It will essentially send a signal to your manager that you are open to discussing anything that needs to be tackled during the entire review. This will also set the stage for open and productive communication. It may give you an opportunity to bring up some of the personal issues related to your work that you could not bring up during group discussions.
Is your next job performance review coming up soon or just concluded?
Share with us some of your own tips and tricks in the comments section.