Career Advice

5 Must-Know Reasons to Nail Your Annual Performance Review

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The annual employee performance review often fills many with apprehension. In a well-managed scenario, this is the time when your supervisor highlights your achievements as well as areas that require improvement. Ideally, a competent manager will have been providing you with consistent feedback throughout the year on both your strengths and weaknesses. However, not every manager excels at this. Consequently, for some, the performance review becomes the first occasion when less-than-stellar evaluations are brought to light.

So why leave anything to chance? The Performance Review (whether you are a manager or the “managed”) is a two-way street. While managers should be providing regular feedback throughout the year, employees should also be proactive in managing their review? Read on.

Don't dread your annual performance review! It's your chance to shine and set the stage for career growth. Learn the 5 key reasons why acing it can change your professional life. #PerformanceReview #CareerGrowthClick To Tweet

Your Career Path

As Yogi Berra once said: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going because you might not get there“. You should always keep your career path/plan up to date. As you progress through your career, your goals and objectives will most likely change based on the experiences (both good and bad) that you’ve had. But what good is an up-to-date path if you are the only one who knows the details? You should also discuss this with your manager so that she is aware of your long-term plans.

Bonuses and Raises

Let’s face it, other than wanting to save the world, one of the reasons most of us work is to earn a salary to pay our bills, fund our vacations and hopefully save for our retirement. The annual performance appraisal is a prelude to bonuses and raises. You need to discuss your bonus and salary expectations with your manager before your annual appraisal.  This too takes some research as you need to feel comfortable with “what the job is worth”, and what you are paid balanced with the value you add.  Aiming too high is just as troublesome (maybe more so) than aiming too low. There are tons of resources available online to help you strike the right balance.


There is, of course, some correlation between the previous topics and promotions. Promotions tend to lead to higher compensation and also represent one small step in your review is your expectation regarding promotions, even if you think it is a year off. This is your opportunity to find out from your manager what you need to do in the next year to get to the next level.

Change in Management

It happens all of the time. Your manager gets promoted or leaves the firm, there is a management shakeup at the top, whatever the change it can be unsettling. The point here is to not “put your eggs in one basket”, the “basket” in this case being your manager. Simply put, share the wealth. Ensure that other managers (and to the extent possible, senior managers) know who you are, know what you do, and respect your position in the organization.

Restructuring, Mergers, and other Weapons of Mass Job Destruction

If you are lucky, you’ve never experienced a corporate meltdown. There is really no way to prepare for major changes in the organization as you never know the “where what and when” that drives the change. Obviously, if your company or division is not doing well this is a telltale sign. So, you are probably wondering what this has to do with your annual appraisal. The advice here is similar to the topic above but goes a little deeper. Whenever there is a corporate restructuring, one of the main drivers as to who will survive is performance. How do you stand up to the “competition”?  To that end, those who have done well in preparing for their annual appraisals have the best chance of survival. Yes, hard work surely counts, but only if you’ve done a great job at communicating your successes and it is reflected in your appraisal does help in this case.

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04/12/2024 08:00 pm GMT

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