Annual Performance Reviews: How to Proactively Engage with your Manager


Performance reviews. Are you feeling anxious just hearing those two words?

Well, you aren’t alone. Traditionally, performance reviews are not one of the most comfortable meetings you’ll have. Performance reviews are most commonly conducted once a year and can be beneficial for both your employer and the employee if you go in with the right attitude and mindset. It’s important to be open to feedback whether it is constructive, positive or both. It’s also an important time for you to discuss how you feel.

Performance reviews allow managers to have a discussion with employees about their performance, pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, to provide feedback and much more. This is also a great time to review your goals and to set new ones for better performance in the future.

It’s good to remember that performance reviews are not a one-way street. The employee should engage just as much as the manager. Preparing for your next review will make it a more comfortable and productive meeting. It allows you to gather your thoughts, have a clear idea of what you want to say and provides you with more confidence going in.

During the meeting, there are a few things that should be discussed with your manager.

Self-evaluation: Provide an evaluation of your performance since the last review, highlight your achievements and areas where you could have improved. When discussing areas where you need to improve it is important to suggest possible solutions.

Goals: Old and new – Discuss the goals you have successfully achieved and discussed new goals you’d like to set for the future.

Team: Provide your thoughts regarding the team structure and your happiness within the team and more importantly your job.

Feedback: Don’t be afraid to provide feedback to your manager but also be open to their feedback. Ask what you can do better, which areas need improvement and how you can potentially help.

The Future: Discuss whether you are achieving your career goals, if you are constantly being challenged and if there is room to grow within the company.

Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the direction of the company, stability, and development. It is important to express that you are interested in the growth and success of the company.

A pay increase: Provide a list of additional responsibilities you would like to take on, areas you would like to explore, a list of accomplishments and achievements and provide the raise in value you expect. Make sure that your request is based on sound facts and market rates for your role and pay increase.

It is crucial that you are honest when discussing these things with your manager because in the end, it will result in your happiness. As an employee, you have the right to be happy at your job as well as express your feelings. This openness and happiness all result in a better working environment – something manager’s strive for.

During the period between your performance reviews it is important to constantly work towards your goals, note achievements, engage in professional and personal development, and continuously find ways to improve. It’s beneficial when you aim to achieve personal goals as well as company goals.

Performance reviews can be a stressful time, however, if you prepare and have the right mindset and attitude it can be insightful, inspiring and instrumental.

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