Most organizations hold annual performance reviews. If your workplace doesn’t, recommend the process to management or initiate a conversation with your supervisor.
When done well, the performance review process is an opportunity for you to formally document and discuss achievements, assess skill growth and areas for advancement, and set goals for the coming year that align with the organization’s and your own professional priorities.
There should be no surprises during an annual review. Christina DeLucia, director of leadership programs at the Association of American Medical Colleges, emphasizes that to be effective, it should be a continuous process with open communication and a goal of employees’ continued development.
Try these approaches to maximize your performance review process:
Establish a two-way dialogue. Dedicate time, ideally weekly or monthly, to share updates and discuss insights and challenges with your supervisor about achieving your work portfolio and professional goals. Doing this throughout the year makes preparing for the annual review conversation less burdensome.
Document achievements. Maintain documentation of accomplishments, milestones, and praise or gratitude from colleagues or customers to share during performance review conversations. DeLucia calls this a “kudos folder.” It can also be a confidence booster during challenging situations.
Cate Valentine, leadership consultant and associate faculty with the Center for Creative Leadership, says it’s important to remember that feedback is always subjective, and it’s never the whole truth about you. If you feel the feedback is unfair or incomplete, don’t try to defend yourself in the moment. Propose a follow-up meeting so you can gather facts and discuss them with a cool head. If you think the process is flawed, make suggestions to improve it.