Survive Your Performance Appraisal

How do you feel when your manager lets you know that it’s performance appraisal time?  If you are like many employees, the thought of being formally evaluated gives you cold chills.  Here are some tips that will help you get through the process and maybe even benefit from it:

Be prepared.  Before your appraisal meeting, reflect on your performance over the past year (or whatever term is being evaluated).  What did you do well?  Where do you need to improve?  Writing down specific examples of your accomplishments and challenges makes it easier for you to have a meaningful conversation with your manager about your performance.

Listen carefully.  Since some managers rarely provide feedback, your performance appraisal is a valuable opportunity to get a sense of your manager’s perception of your strengths and weaknesses.  Pay attention to what they are saying and take note of areas where there is room for improvement.

Be positive.  During your performance appraisal, you will be talking about both your performance and your work goals for the next six months to a year.  Accept any criticism that you receive gracefully and demonstrate enthusiasm about your work.  Managers value employees who are serious about their career.

Take action.  It is important that you act on the feedback you receive at your performance appraisal.  Take concrete steps to address any weaknesses that were mentioned and regularly review your work plan to ensure that you successfully meet all of your goals and deadlines.

While performance appraisals can be stressful, they are an excellent opportunity to make an impression on your manager.  If you take some time to prepare for the meeting and actively engage in the process, you will stand out above employees who just go through the motions.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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