Career Advice

5 Reasons Why You Should Focus on Your Annual Performance Review

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It’s that time of year that many of us dread – the annual employee performance review process.  You know the routine – this is where your manager will review all of the great things you’ve done and, of course, the not-so-great or “could have been better” things. Now if you have a good manager, nothing in your annual performance review should be a surprise. Your manager should be communicating with you throughout the year regarding the good, the bad, and the ugly points of your performance. But not all managers are good managers (in fact, really good managers are few and far between), and many times the “bad news” is not heard until the annual review process.

The Performance Review process (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.Click To Tweet

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.

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”, 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.

Restructurings, 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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10/01/2023 04:31 am GMT

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