No matter when your company does its annual employee performance reviews, it’s never too early to prepare for it. Your annual employee performance review is an important opportunity to review your goals and accomplishments and receive feedback on your past performance and suggestions for improvement. Taking proactive steps early gives you time to collect data, find examples of your accomplishments and gather your thoughts. Here are three steps to take right now to truly shine and get noticed during your next performance review.
Keep a work journal
A work journal doesn’t have to be fancy; it can be as simple as a running to-do list (with dates) where you mark off what you accomplished and when. I like the bullet journal method, but any list will work. This will help you remember your own accomplishments over time, as well as have evidence of those accomplishments. Keep track of good and bad performance, customer feedback, performance reports, progress on goals, and anything else that supports your performance expectations and goals.
Come up with tangible goals
Having long-term aspirations and career hopes-and-dreams is always a good idea. Heading into your annual employee performance review with three tangible deliverables you’re confident you can meet within a year. And more importantly, be ready to show how you intend to get there. Managers appreciate forward-thinking and those who want to make improvements within the organization and for the organization. Have solutions ready for when problems are presented. Match impact with action. Think about how you can support the team and offer your skill sets as value-add to the entire organization.
Commit to being open-minded
Don’t forget to prepare yourself by committing to having an open mind. You may feel like you need to be defensive since performance reviews can be kind of tense or awkward. Instead, be open minded and open to hearing everything your employer has to say, good or bad. You might not hear all good news. If some of your weaknesses are highlighted or you’re given constructive criticism, accept it and use it to improve your work ethic for the following year. Being open minded to change, as well as both positive and constructive feedback, can allow the performance review to run smoothly.
Give yourself some credit for making it to this big milestone in your career. Sure, your performance review happens every year, and you may not even receive anything special except for a simple “Great work” from your manager, but you’ve made it through what was probably a busy, exhausting, or even tumultuous period—look back on it, pat yourself on the back for everything awesome you did, and know you’re going to kick even more butt after this review.
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