Here's How You Can Make the Most of Performance Reviews

Here’s how you can make the most of performance reviews

In order to attract and retain the best talent, companies want to keep their employees happy and engaged. After all, job openings outnumber skilled professionals, so employers need to help their workers growth their careers, in order to retain these individuals in their organization.

Since successful business operations hinge on performance, employers are placing more focus on performance reviews. But as a study from MRINetwork found, many workers simply don’t find these reviews to be useful.

In fact, the 2018 MRINetwork Performance Management Study found the majority (54 percent) of employers are putting more of an emphasis on performance reviews with their staff, but interestingly, most employees don't feel the same.

When respondents were asked whether they see their employers placing more focus on performance reviews, only 13 percent said the importance of reviews is increasing, compared to 65 percent who indicated the emphasis on performance evaluations has remained the same.

Regardless of how your organization conducts performance reviews, it’s important for you to leverage these meetings as a way to gain insight about your performance, as well as how to propel your career within the company. Here are a few things you can do to make the most of these reviews:

Seek out a mentor

It’s always important to have someone at your organization to consult for advice or help when you have a question about something, or just simply want to bounce an idea off someone. According to Forbes, there are three different qualities to look for in a mentor, which can significantly enhance your performance at work.

These include: “a desire to develop and help others,” “current and relevant industry or organizational knowledge, expertise, and/or skills” and a “growth mindset and learning attitude.” By finding a mentor with these qualities, you’ll be continually learning and challenging yourself to drive your performance at work.

By asking a mentor for advice, especially ahead of a performance review, you’ll be more prepared to have a strong and valuable conversation with your manager. Plus, you’ll have increased confidence about your own skills and abilities.

Do your homework before your review

While performance reviews are typically thought to be one-sided meetings, they shouldn’t be. Instead, they should be more of a conversation, where you and your boss discuss your overall performance throughout the year, outline areas that can be improved and set new goals for the coming year. After all, this is the time when you can ask your boss questions, bring up concerns and more.

To get started, make a list of the things you'd like to discuss - in order of priority - and go from there. Just make sure that the items you mention are things that can help you perform more effectively or would be an asset to your team.

Seek out new projects and opportunities to illustrate your growth potential

In addition to working with a mentor and making the most of the performance review, it’s also important to be proactive and collaborate with others. Whether it's a major initiative or just providing some assistance based on your skillset, make note of when you've offered a helping hand, so you can point back to these instances in your performance review.

By doing so, you’ll be able to get strong feedback in your performance review for taking initiative, while also inspiring your manager to give you more responsibilities that could ultimately lead to a promotion and/or raise.

According to Forbes, it may be helpful to review your email ahead of a review in order to figure out what’s best to highlight. “Reflect on your successes over the past year.  If you’re stuck, look through your email and find all the of ‘thank you’s’ and notes of appreciation from coworkers, clients and your supervisor. Did you decrease time and increase efficiency on a project? Start a new initiative? Bring on new clients?” the publication notes.

In sum, these tips will help you make the most of your performance review, while also setting you up for success at your organization in the years to come.