Employees: How to Prepare for Performance Reviews

Your annual performance review is coming and you’ve been psyching yourself up for weeks. You know you’ve done some great work over the past year, but you’re having difficulty recalling and organizing it. You want to remind your manager of your achievements, but you’re not entirely sure you should bring it up. These are pretty common concerns and you’re not alone if you’re wondering what steps you should be taking to ensure you go into your performance review prepared and confident to discuss your past and present performance.

The performance review serves a purpose not only for managers and decision makers, but also for employees. It’s a tool for tracking your progress and moving you forward in the most advantageous way possible. If you have a performance review in your future, here are a few tips for preparing ahead of time that will help you get the most out of the process:

Have a Plan

p>The main problem with an annual performance review is that often, it’s difficult to recall in perfect detail what happened over a year ago. For many people, just remembering what happened in the past few days is a challenge. Significant events can be tough to remember, which is why it’s critical to come up with a creative plan for tracking details more effectively. With potentially thousands of e-mail and documents streaming through day-to-day operations, it’s tough to sift through every piece of data. Make a plan for tracking relevant information, both from the employee and manager’s side more actively and make the conversation more effective in the future.

Come Prepared

As an employee, you need to be just as prepared as those reviewing your performance. That means taking all that information you’ve been tracking on what’s been going on over the past year and presenting it in a meaningful way. It could be a glowing recommendation you received from a client, a discussion, an e-mail or a simple conversation that you feel is relevant. If you’ve been assigned long term goals, be prepared to discuss the specific objectives you’ve reached along the way and any changes you’ve made affecting the overall strategy.

Think of It as a Useful Tool

Remember, the performance review is a collaborative discussion about how well the past year went. It’s not a personal attack, but a chance to talk about what worked, what didn’t work and what could be used as a model moving forward. The more you can intelligently bring to the table during the review, the better. It’s also a smart strategy to update your resume every couple of years, and a performance review can be a valuable tool for helping you accurately reflect your progress. Your resume is a calling card for your personal achievements and an important part of who you are as an employee. The performance review will help you keep it current and accurate.

As an employee, the performance review is your opportunity to have a meaningful discussion about what you’ve accomplished over the past year. Make certain to have a plan in place for tracking your achievements and have a plan for presenting what you feel is relevant to the conversation. It’s a tool that can help provide insight moving forward and keep you going in the right direction.

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