How To Prepare for a Performance Review

Once a year, you get the opportunity to highlight your contributions to the company in the hopes of getting a raise in your salary. So don't go into a performance review without putting a little thought into it first, or you could be waiting another year for a chance at a salary increase. Prepare for a performance review by following these tips.

Step 1

Get feedback early. After every performance review, you'll receive valuable feedback about your performance the previous year. Take note of this information so that you can make positive changes in your work habits to impress your employer. Review your feedback often to ensure that you're on the right track, ensuring that your employer will see some major improvements in your work.

Step 2

Be prepared to discuss your shortcomings. Everyone has areas for improvement. Prepare for your performance review by thinking about any shortcomings or weaknesses you have that may have stifle your work throughout the year. Come up with ways that you plan to deal with these shortcomings (like working with a mentor or attending more training).

Step 3

Get written letters of thanks. If you're ever commended for doing a great job or going above the call of duty, ask the person to write you a quick letter about it. A formal note signed by a colleague, former boss or client will go over quite well during a performance review. Keep a performance review file of all positive feedback you receive and bring this file to your performance review so that you can highlight your contributions.  Take time to use a highlighter to point out the best paragraphs in the letters in case your employer wants to briefly skim them.

Step 4

Prepare a list of annual achievements. Throughout the year, keep track of the projects you have contributed to and the milestones or successes you have achieved. Also note any training or personal schooling you have taken that shows your commitment to your job. This list will serve as a summary of all that you have accomplished the past year and will ensure that none of your contributions go without notice. Plus, discussing your achievements will bring a positive tone to the performance review. Prepare for your performance review by adding this list to your performance review file.

Step 5

Prepare a list of goals. Employers also like to see that employees are driven to improve each year. Show your employer that you're always moving forward with your personal and professional goals by preparing a list of goals. This list may include training you hope to take, projects you hope to develop or lead or positions that you hope to apply for. Maybe you hope to publish an article in a professional journal or magazine. Show your boss that you have ambition by including a list of your goals in your performance review file.

Step 6

Give your file to your employer early. Remember to give a copy of this file to your employer at least a month before your performance review so that if he decides to complete the paperwork early, your letters of commendation and other documents will still influence his decision.

Step 7

Have realistic expectations. As you prepare for your performance review, make sure that you have realistic expectations for the outcome. Salary increases may not always be in the budget, but that doesn't mean that you still can't ace your performance review. Showcase your talents and skills during each annual performance review and eventually, your boss will award you with a just-deserved raise.


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