Approach Year End Performance Review in 5 Easy Steps

I am sure you agree with me when I say, ‘the annual year end performance review couldn’t have been at a worse time.’

It is that time of the year when a chill in the air sets the mood for all things fun and festive. With Christmas lights all around, upcoming holiday season and plans with friends and family, you have a lot going on. Amidst all this when you must deal with annual performance review at work, it can be stressful and hectic.  

The very thought of sitting with your manager in a cold and empty meeting room (or Zoom/Teams), being questioned about your yearly performance and getting rated on the same is quite anxiety-inducing.

I know how that feels! That’s the vision that rushes through your mind as soon as the performance review date hits your calendar.

Not anymore! Here are a few simple strategies that you can follow to convert this annual conundrum to a one-of-a kind opportunity.

1. Approach with clarity and confidence: When you enter the room, remember to maintain a relaxed and calm attitude. Stress and anxiety, even before the review begins, can prove to be your worst enemy.

2. Prepare ahead of time: The key to dealing with a performance review meeting smoothly and turn it in your favor, you must have your achievements cheat sheet ready. However, don’t be too detailed as that might put your manager off. Give him a high-level perspective of how you dealt with a particular situation and how the company benefited from the same.

3. A two-way dialogue: It is important to ensure the review meeting is a two-way dialogue and not a monologue by your manager. Ask open-ended questions that might encourage your manager to answer. A lot of positive feedback can come out during the conversation. Additionally, a two-way dialogue might allow you to control the conversation and assess yourself accurately. You might even get the opportunity to highlight your achievements from time to time. And also don’t forget to address your needs for the upcoming year. You might need your manager to support you more or maybe you might need to talk about boundaries.

4. Keep an open mind: Let your manager speak first and accept his feedback with an open mind. Give yourself 5-10 seconds before you start responding. The 5-10 second gap will allow you to gain your confidence in case you had any constructive/negative feedback. Remember, constructive/negative feedbacks are common at review meets. These meetings are designed to give you advise you on your performance and how you can get better at it.

5. Treat this as an opportunity: Finally, if all goes well, use this opportunity to voice your own needs. You can discuss about a promotion; a salary raise or even a new project that you might want to work on.

Performance reviews are essential for the successful operation of any organization. If done well, the year-end performance review can be motivating and encourage the employees to bring out their best. On the other hand, a critical performance review can discourage and employee, which in turn harms the overall performance of the organization. The situation is equally tricky for the manager who has to the delicate task of giving honest feedback yet not demotivate the employee.

Since there is no way you can avoid performance reviews, both for managers and employees, it’s best to adopt the strategies and handle the situation with confidence and positive energy. In turn, make it as productive and as positive as possible!

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