Performance Review Prep: Five reminders and ten questions for your next evaluation / by Jasmine Tate

Bon Jovi said it best: “We’re halfway there, livin’ on a prayer,” and we’ll make it. I won’t swear but I will help you prepare for the your performance review. I enjoy learning about my supervisor’s satisfaction and perception of my performance as much as I enjoy checking boxes on my to-do list and tracking my performance. Performance reviews are exciting to me because they allow me and my supervisor to sit down for an uninterrupted period to talk about me and how I can be better in my role. Quality Time is my love language, and I love personal and professional development. Depending on your relationship with your supervisor, it may not feel like Quality Time, but fortunately for me that has been the case with most of my supervisors. They are filled with two-way dialogue, head nods, laughs and good energy to place into our future at whatever company or organization we’re employed.

Here are five reminders and ten questions to help you prepare for your next review, whether its coming up soon or in the next six months.

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1. It should be preceded by preparation and a complete evaluation.

Your preparation for the review of your performance is just as important as that of your supervisor. If there’s a rubric in place, it’s best to sit down in advance of the day or week before your review to truly analyze your performance. By doing this you can be proactive in identifying wins and losses, strengths and weaknesses and areas for improvement. It can also prevent you from facing surprises. By answering the following questions you can also gauge your overall fulfillment and growth in your role, which I find to be beneficial at any stage in your career and multiple times per year.

  1. What do you like about your job?

  2. Do you feel that you are treated with respect and how?

  3. What is the best day you’ve had at work in the last six months and why?

  4. What has been the biggest success in your company or team in the last six months or year and how did you contribute?

  5. Do you feel your skills are being utilized to the fullest?

  6. Which skills do you think you could use more and how? Identify specific projects, programs or departments.

  7. What would you like to learn over the next six months or year? This could be skills-based, in relation to the company or general topics like leadership.

  8. What are you most looking forward to in your role over the next six months or year?

  9. What would you change about your role, department or company that would be beneficial beyond your personal interests or development?

  10. What element of your role do you perform best and how can you do it better?

Also, if you desire an increase in compensation you’ll be able to communicate ways your performance justifies an increase and view factors that could prevent you from receiving what you want. By preparing ahead of your review you can enter it more confident and comfortable with the conversation, which leads to the next point.

2. It should be a two-way conversation.

Whether you’re the leader in the working relationship or not, you should have something to say and express yourself during the review. While you definitely don’t want to be argumentative, defensive or disrespectful, you should definitely share which elements of your review that you agree and/or disagree with. Always be prepared to support your statements with facts and/or evidence. Also, just as your supervisor is evaluating your performance, if you have feedback on theirs, specifically on how they can be a better leader or help you achieve your goals and tasks, speak up. Most leaders, especially the good ones, will be open and appreciative.

3. It should provide clarity on where you are, where you want to be and what it takes to get there.

Your success is your supervisor’s success and the opposite is also true. Being able to review goals and progress will contribute to your success for everyone involved. By the end of your review you should understand your view on your performance as well as your supervisors and what can and should be done by both parties to reach desired goals.

4. It should identify expectations for the next six months.

With clear expectations, you and your supervisor can update or add to goals and strategize ways to achieve success in the next six months or year ahead. Although everything listed here in addition to other important factors that aren’t discussed are important, implementation is what matters most.

5. It should include action items.

Listen, ask questions, take notes, design an action plan and put it into work immediately. No matter how you feel when you leave your performance review, it should set the stage for the next step(s) toward reaching your goals this year and into the next.

Have you completed your mid-year review? Did you implement any of the tips above in your preparation and completion? Is there anything you would add? Share below.

Hugs & Handshakes

Jasmine C. Tate