How to Ace Your Performance Review: Tips and Tricks
As the year draws to a close, many employees around the world find themselves gearing up for the dreaded performance review. It’s that time of year when your boss evaluates everything you’ve accomplished over the past 12 months – and determines whether or not you deserve a raise, promotion, or simply a pat on the back.
But don’t panic just yet! With the right preparation and mindset, you can actually turn your performance review into a positive experience. In fact, Henry at Binary Dollar recently wrote an article on how to ace a performance review, and shared some valuable tips and tricks.
Make a List of Specific Accomplishments
One of the most valuable pieces of advice that Henry shared was to make a list of specific things you’ve accomplished over the past year. This could include projects you’ve completed, goals you’ve achieved, or any other quantifiable results. By being specific and measurable in your performance metrics, you’re providing your manager with concrete evidence of your value to the company.
Don’t Forget the Unknown Accomplishments
However, Henry also emphasized the importance of not forgetting about the “hidden” accomplishments that your manager might not be aware of. This could include projects or tasks that you tackled outside of your job description, or times when you went above and beyond to help out a coworker or client.
Another great tip that Henry shared was to use numbers wherever possible. Managers love metrics and data, so by providing numerical evidence of your accomplishments, you’re making it easier for them to evaluate your performance objectively. For example, instead of saying “I completed a lot of projects this year,” you could say “I completed 15 projects this year, which represents a 25% increase from last year.”
Have an “Above and Beyond” Story
Henry also advised employees to have at least one “above and beyond” story to share during their performance review. This could be a time when you took on an extra project, stayed late to finish a report, or helped a coworker with a difficult task. By demonstrating your willingness to go above and beyond, you’re highlighting your commitment to the company and your team.
Don’t Forget About Weaknesses
However, there were a few areas where Henry’s advice differed from my own. For example, Henry suggested that employees should mention weaknesses during their performance review, and give examples such as “I work so hard that I sometimes forget to eat.” In my opinion, this type of response could actually do more harm than good.
Instead, I believe that it’s important to acknowledge areas where you could improve, but to frame them in a way that demonstrates your willingness to grow and learn. For example, you could say “I realized that I need to work on my time management skills this year, and I’ve been taking steps to improve by using a productivity tool and setting clear goals.”
Increasing Effort Before Review
Finally, Henry’s advice to increase your effort two months before your performance review took place raised an eyebrow for me. While it might be tempting to try to impress your boss with a sudden burst of productivity, this tactic could actually backfire. Good managers will be keeping track of your efforts throughout the year, and they’ll be able to see through any sudden changes in behavior.
Instead, I recommend focusing on consistent, sustained effort throughout the year. This will demonstrate your dedication to the company and your team, and will help to ensure that your performance review is a positive experience.
In conclusion, a performance review doesn’t have to be a scary or stressful experience. By following the tips and tricks shared by Henry at Binary Dollar – and by framing your accomplishments, weaknesses, and goals in a positive light – you can turn your performance review into an opportunity to show your manager how valuable you are to the company.