Year-end performance reviews are always a stressful time for employees, but a high-performing worker should have a general idea of what’s going to be discussed and everyone should always be prepared. First and foremost, the easiest way to prep for this meeting is to reiterate your work responsibilities and possibly write up your own review. Self-awareness is a huge quality found in all successful workers and this process will also “…prevent you from overreacting to feedback because you know what to expect,” says Shawn Kent Hayashi, the founder of the Professional Development Group and the author of “Conversations For Creating Star Performers.”
Before the review, try to anticipate the negative points that will come up and prepare to voice the changes you will make going forward. Look over old notes, emails, try to remember conversations and your behavior surrounding certain situations you found stressful. Bringing up specific events will also show that you’re making an effort to learn from past mistakes. This will also present the perfect opportunity to ask for a pay increase (if you unarguably deserve one). By formulating your goals and how you propose to achieve them, you’re showing initiative. The smaller the company, the easier a pay increase should be to receive, but the larger companies take time to get approval for bumps in pay, so asking a few months before the review should increase your chances.
There shouldn’t be any unexpected topics brought up in your review, because it’s a recap of the conversations you’ve had prior to it. However, unexpected feedback can always linger around every initial compliment, so here is a few ways to shake the criticism. Take a deep breath and concentrate on not being defensive. ““You never want your performance review to be confrontational, so start by thanking your manager for the valuable feedback,” says Ms. Hayashi, whose company is located in Center Valley, Pa. Specificity is key at this point in the conversation. Ask your manager for specific examples of the characteristics or tactics they’re criticizing. Even if you don’t completely agree with what your boss is saying, ask for advice on the necessary changes to satisfy their expectations. See if they will guide you in developing better methods to avoid making the same decisions.
Once they conclude their main points of the evaluation, your biggest goal should be to discuss the aspirations you have for your future at the company. Long term commitment is the main ingredient in the recipe for a savory job. Show excitement and optimism about the company and your place in it. This is your time to be specific now and express where you see yourself in the months or years to come. Listing your ambitions creates loose expectations and ultimately a gauge of success for your employer to reference in future evaluations.