The ever-important appraisal periods are upon us! Performance appraisals can leave you in a state of urgency: after hearing your manager’s feedback, you might start thinking about all the ways you can react, improve, or change moving forward. However, all this might be too overwhelming after all the information you have to process and the decisions you’ll have to make. Here’s an easy way to help guide your post-appraisal decision making process, from one employee to another!
1. What to do next
If you're unhappy with the results of your review or how it played out, ask for a meeting within a week of the date on your final written appraisal to discuss what happened. and how to better aid you reach your company goals. Different companies have different processes; if there’s an opportunity for you to get some feedback from your manager, take it. However, if there’s a process that goes on before you can talk about it, take the time to prepare your questions in advance. In either case, the advice you could get would be invaluable for you moving forward.
2. Get feedback on how the meeting went
If you feel like you either had a good review or there were no problems with it, but you still want to make sure that your manager agrees with your assessment of the situation, ask if they would be willing to give some feedback on how things went during the appraisal process and what they thought of how it turned out. This will give you a chance to discuss strengths and weaknesses as well as figure out ways to improve next year's review so that everyone involved can benefit from it. This feedback might also include tips on how to handle similar situations in the future.
3. Discuss your weaknesses and strengths with your boss
If you feel that negative comments were made during the performance appraisal which aren’t true, or feedback that doesn’t feel actionable (e.g.. Perceived over-assertiveness), then this is a good opportunity to discuss these issues honestly with your manager for their input on how to proceed. It will also be helpful to find out whether there are ways in which you've been successful; this will help take some of the pressure off yourself as well as make the overall conversation more productive. Taking self-appraisals, similar to ones on Performance+, are good opportunities for you to reassess your own standing, based on your managers’ own metrics, to see if you truly have been maximizing yourself. You could also take the initiative and ask about any learning or development resources that your manager might have.
4. Create an action plan for improvement based on your discussion with your boss
In general, creating an action plan influenced from your performance appraisals or reviews is best because this will ensure that everyone involved understands what needs to happen. Even if there were no problems during your performance review, it's still important to ask managers or mentors for actionable feedback on how to improve and reach your own personal and professional goals. To get the maximum benefit from this meeting, prepare a list of questions ahead of time so that you can be sure not to forget anything when there are issues which concern you most.
The action plan might include new ways for you to communicate your goals or ideas, specific projects that need to be done over the next few months, or even recommendations on who else should receive feedback about their work. You could even ask your boss to assign learning courses to you based on the needs that were collected from this meeting; take full advantage of this if it happens. Learning opportunities are some of the best resources a workplace can provide for you.
Ultimately, however, you must decide who will do what and when it needs to be completed to resolve any issues identified during the performance review. Even if you don't think that anything was wrong with your appraisal, having a plan will make sure that you can identify problems before they become full-blown issues and handle them as quickly as possible to prevent negativity from spreading throughout the company.
5. Exhale, and congratulate yourself!
No matter what happens, pat yourself on the back! You’ve gotten through the appraisal process, and now you have a plan moving forward. Now take a breath, take some time to relax, and get to improving!