Annual reviews can be incredibly stressful and often have…

by: Mohammad Hafiz

Annual reviews can be incredibly stressful and often have the ability to make full grown adults behave like nervous schoolchildren. Many workers just want to get their evaluations over and done with as quickly as possible and are therefore not utilizing this opportunity to improve their work setting, pay, or benefits. In fact, according to Forbes, only 55% of employees think performance reviews are effective at all. if

}Work appraisals are a chance for your employer to measure your contribution to the company, of course. But they can also serve as an opportunity for you to provide direct feedback to your supervisor and advocate for changes you need in order to be more productive, successful, and happy in your role. credit: 20th Century FoxListen carefullyMost reviews will follow a pretty standard format, your employer or supervisor will review your title, role, history, and standing in the company. They'll then go on to discuss particular observations or close inspections of your work. There will most likely be positive points made about your contributions and achievements and areas highlighted for you to work on improving. It can be difficult to hear criticism and not immediately react in a defensive fashion, so be prepared. That part of this process is to highlight ways to improve and move forward. Plus, the person leading the evaluation probably has guidelines of their own, in which they are expected to give you targets. Listen carefully and only politely contest points if they are inaccurate and you can prove otherwise. Prepare and have your notes in orderUnfortunately, many employees view these reviews as an opportunity for only their employer to have their say and do not prepare any points they wish to address. You can and should direct the flow of the conversation by preparing points you wish to discuss, areas of personal achievement you wish to highlight, and ways in which you have met targets or contributed to the success of the company. Have concrete examples ready to share that illustrate the points you are making, these could be graphs of profits, target data, customer compliments about you, or testimonials from suppliers. Conduct a self evaluationA good way to understand all of your accomplishments and what you add to the company is to conduct your own performance review. Highlight all the ways in which you have been excelling over the past year and areas in which you would like to narrow your focus for the coming months. Use this to formulate a plan for where you want your career to go and the steps you need to take to get there. If you don't ask, you won't getOnce you have explained all the ways you have excelled in your role, you are in an excellent position to negotiate a pay rise, additional benefits, or a new title. So many people are reluctant to have these discussions with their employers and feel embarrassed about asking for improvements to their work situation. However, performance appraisals are the right time to make your case, especially if you receive positive feedback. Seize the moment! Remember who is giving you the reviewIf you like and respect the person delivering your evaluation, then you are likely to find their comments helpful or at least necessary — even if they are not all positive. However, if you have a negative history with your superior or don't admire the person delivering the review, it will be difficult to take any criticism lightly. Try to remember that any negative comments are often just one person's opinion, but do take the points raised seriously and attempt to make improvements to show you are flexible and respond well to criticism. Follow upIf promises are made during your review make sure a time table is established, outlining exactly when any changes will be taking place. If they don't happen, follow up and ask for an update. Formal appraisals can be anxiety inducing, but remember to use the opportunity to steer your career in the best direction. Use your time to highlight your unique contributions and achievements. They can be an excellent venue to showcase your talents and prove to your boss just how amazing you truly are. credit: AMC

Get the FREE eBook...
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy