Performance appraisals are regular reviews of an employee’s job performance and overall contribution to a company with the aim of evaluating their skills, achievements and growth. Companies use these appraisals to understand employees’ strengths and weaknesses, provide feedback and development plans, and justify any promotion or termination decisions. Company policy decides how often they are conducted but they tend to be annual, semi-annual or quarterly. Here are a few steps to ace your next one.
Knowing what to expect
Do some preliminary research on how your organisation conducts performance reviews. Understand company values & job expectations so that you can calibrate your behaviour; know what they value more & understand what metrics they use to judge your performance.
Document & self-assess
Note all the KPIs and achievements you’ve had from the beginning of the time period, but instead of just listing all the activities you completed, try to talk about the values you added, what you learned and how you can grow with the outcomes and impacts. This gives managers an idea of how your skills have improved throughout the reporting period. Don’t just say - ‘I completed two projects’; instead, say - ‘My two projects helped bring in new clients, and also developed my quick-thinking abilities because I had to take a lot of instantaneous decisions’.
According to Dyuty Auronee, HR business partner at Unilever Bangladesh, “To have a constructive discussion with your line manager, you must be well prepared during your performance evaluation. Take note of everything that went well for you during the year and identify the things that could have been better. Also, do note down how and what support you expect from your boss to overcome those challenges.” On that point, it’s very important to retrospectively look at things that didn’t quite go right, and understand what could have been done to improve on those things. Have the right attitude and mind-set while working. It’s okay even if things don’t always go your way. Zarine Anan Khondoker, HR Management Trainee at Unilever Bangladesh says, “These evaluations are not 100% determined by the targets you meet. It’s about your attitude and the standards of behaviour you exhibit in the process. So even if you don’t meet your target or KPI that year for a reason that is beyond your control, you will be assessed on how you dealt with the situation and what you learned from it.”
Give and receive feedback
It’s important to take note of the feedback you receive from your manager, but what’s also important is to talk about what help and support you expect from their end to improve your performance in the future. For example, ‘Your feedback when I was starting out with X project really helped me find the right direction; more regular feedback like this will be really helpful for me’ is a feedback you can give to them.
Rushing and being ill-prepared for your performance review will really affect your ability to be compelling and to stand out from your peers. Practice beforehand so you have a concrete idea of what to say with substantial information to back your answers.
Tashfia Mamun is a final year business student from IBA, University of Dhaka and an avid dog lover. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.