5 things employees can do to prepare for their performance appraisal

Posted by Melissa Tham on 12-Apr-2018 00:00:00

For many of us, the annual performance appraisal feels like we are being put in the hot seat where we and our work performance becomes the hot topic for discussion with our bosses. It can be an uncomfortable session for most of us as we go through menial paperwork and go face to face with our direct supervisor. While supervisors have the upper hand as far as performance appraisals are concerned, employees can also set themselves up for success by actively preparing for the performance review. You do not have to play the passive role where you are only receiving feedback or future directions on your career path from your boss.

Here are some tips for you to prepare for the upcoming performance appraisal:

 1. List down your accomplishments

A lady whom I worked with in my previous job told me that one of the customers wrote her an appreciation letter to convey her thanks on assisting her with the entire application process for her house. I congratulated her on her accomplishment and told her she needs to let our boss know too. “No need for that, he will know it”. I tried to persuade her but realized that it was a lost cause trying to get her to promote herself. The truth is “if you don’t promote yourself, no one will”. While your colleagues and your boss might cringe when they see you brag about your achievements during team meetings, there are more tactful ways to do so. Try catching your boss at a time where he isn’t rushing off somewhere or caught up at work. Tell him as it is that you have received a commendation or compliment and forward a copy of it to him so that there is a paper trail. You are responsible for your career progress, so do not assume that your manager will be in the loop of your progress or achievements unless you show him the hard proof.


2. Conduct a self-evaluation

Some managers ask employees to evaluate themselves before the formal appraisal meeting. Not only can it be a constructive experience for the employee, it broadens the base of information for the manager to prepare for the official appraisal. Rather than wait for the manager to get started, evaluating yourself tend to make you think more critically about your progress and achievements. Doing so means you are rating your performance from your perspective in addition to what your manager has observed.  Self evaluations may include accomplishments, recognition and problems you have noted in the past work year. By conducting a self-evaluating of your work performance, you play an active role in the performance appraisal process.

 3. Prepare your areas for development

As you review your SMART goals that was set at the beginning of the year, together with your job description and job competencies, reflect on the areas where you struggled with or any areas where you felt could have been done better. At the same time, identify any areas where you would like to expand your skills or experience in or perhaps share with others as part of your career growth. You could also think about your career plans and be prepared to talk to your boss about how he or she can help you achieve your goals. Search for courses or certification programs within and outside your organization to help you continue to stay relevant at your job. Be prepared to share these findings with your boss so that he will know how to better support you at professional development.

4. Ask for feedback

What should I do differently for the coming year? What do you think went well this year? How can I improve my rating for this particular competency?

These are some of the questions you should prepare to ask your manager during the appraisal. Getting honest and constructive input from your boss will help you improve your performance and increase your motivation to perform better.

If you boss is not the type who is expressive or gives good feedback, ask him specific questions to prompt him for instances or examples where you can further hone your skills in.

 5. Draft your goals for the next 1 year

Don’t wait for your boss to tell you what goals you should set for the coming year. Be proactive and write down some possible SMART goals based on your current performance or your department or organizational goals. While drafting your goals, think about ways to gain new skills, more exposure and more responsibility to broaden your work experience. You can refine these goals when you discuss them with your manager during the performance appraisal.

We hope that this article is helpful. Do you have any tips you would like to add?

Let us know in the comments and please share this post with a friend/colleague if you enjoyed it!

Topics: Performance Management

Written by Melissa Tham