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How to Ace Your Employee Performance Review

Do you often feel nervous about your annual employee performance review? Even the thought of it can make your heart beat faster as uneasy feelings well up inside you!

The good news is there are steps you can take to prepare for a more relaxed and constructive exchange with your supervisor during your performance review.

Two employees conducting a performance review at work

Try these techniques year-round to ensure you ace your yearly review:

1. Understand how your job fits into the big picture.

Show your supervisor that you understand the goals of the company and how your job promotes those goals. Make yourself a valuable asset by working cohesively with your colleagues to increase productivity and profits.

2. Seek regular feedback.

Avoid letting feedback get saved up once a year. If your supervisor doesn't share his views very often, ask if he is satisfied with the way you're doing key tasks. Implement any suggestions that you receive to show that you're eager to improve.

3. Encourage two-way conversation.

Listen actively to what your supervisor says. Ask for clarification if you have any questions. Accept constructive criticism gracefully.

4. Take the initiative.

Identify needs and approach your supervisor with alternative solutions to choose from. Impress your supervisor with your willingness to go the extra mile. Look for opportunities to get additional training and broaden your skills.

Two professional women smiling in front of clear board with sticky notes

5. Be friendly and supportive.

You may not choose to socialize with your supervisor outside of work, but it's important to maintain a friendly and supportive atmosphere on the job. Having a cordial relationship will help make your performance review and all your communications run more smoothly.

How to Excel on the Day of Your Employee Performance Review

1. Take care of yourself physically.

Ensure you get a good night's sleep the night before and eat a nutritious breakfast. You'll be less sensitive to stress if you're rested and well-fed.

Young beautiful woman meditating in the beach sand with grass all around her.

2. Practice relaxation techniques.

Use the relaxation methods that work for you the day before your review and the day of the review itself. You could do some breathing meditation or listen to soothing music. Even taking a walk around the block can help.

3. Bring written notes and documentation with you.

Having written materials will help you look and feel more organized. You'll also be less likely to forget any important topics you want to bring up. Outline your accomplishments from the past year. Prepare responses for any criticism that you can anticipate and share discussion points for outlining your future goals.

4. Stay calm.

Even if the review turns negative, try to keep your composure. If you feel overwhelmed, let your supervisor know that you'll reflect on the information you've been given instead of making any hasty remarks that you might regret.

5. Evaluate the criticism you receive.

Welcome constructive criticism that can help further your career and make you a better employee. If you receive negative comments that you don't believe are justified, talk them over with a trusted friend or family member. They may help you to be more open-minded.

  • Remember that supervisors are human so they sometimes mix their personal preferences in with more valid observations.

6. Focus on the future.

Annual performance appraisals review the past year, but you also need to consider the coming years. Ensure you come out of your session with measurable and specific goals that you can focus on for improvement. Develop a timeline that will enable you to monitor your progress.

  • You'll achieve more and be all set to ace your next performance appraisal too.

Two employees celebrating work goals and achievements in the office

Performance reviews are often tense, and the current economic downturn increases the pressure on many companies. With the right preparation, you can improve the process for yourself and the people you work with to help build morale and productivity.

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