How to Ace Employee Reviews

Launchpad HR Blog - Employee Review

Employee Reviews: How to Get the Best Out of THEM

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

Employee reviews. Performance reviews. Performance evaluations. Performance appraisals. Whatever you want to call it, this is one annual, bi-annual, even monthly activity that can make even the most seasoned professional feel nervous.

The good news is there are steps you can take to prepare for a more relaxed and constructive exchange with your supervisor or line manager during employee reviews.

NB: These tips could easily apply to the reviewing line manager as much as to the employee themselves. [Employers: talk to us about our appraisal services and i3 profiling which can aid smooth 360 and peer reviews]

What is an Employee Review?

A chance for employees and their line managers to discuss performance, address issues, provide future guidance, give feedback, and identify opportunities for growth, employee reviews should be viewed as an integral and important part of career development

Care should be taken to ensure that employee reviews develop the employee as opposed to demoralising them

What do Employee Reviews cover?

Employee appraisals will usually look at:

  • communication skills
  • collaboration and teamwork skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • quality and accuracy of work
  • punctuality, attendance, and reliability
  • ability to do the job

What will a good Employee Review consist of?

In order for an appraisal to be effective a supervisor should conduct the review face-to-face (not via email) at an agreed time and place. This should be during normal working hours, and not during your break time.

Ask your reviewer to provide tangible examples of any issue (positive or negative) that are raised. They should provide honest feedback and choose their words wisely.

Employee reviews should always end on a positive note.

What can you do to ensure a positive employee review?

Before the Employee Review Is Arranged

Throughout the year pay attention to the following to ensure you ace your yearly review:

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

    Demonstrate to your supervisor that you understand the goals of the company and how your job promotes those goals. Are you making 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 for once a year. If your supervisor doesn't share their views very often, ask if they are satisfied with the way you're doing key tasks. Implement any suggestions that you receive to show that you're eager to improve. Document these.

  3. Encourage a 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 line manager with your willingness to go the extra mile. Look for opportunities to get additional training and broaden your skills. Again, document any suggestion or changes you make.

  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 with your team and other staff members will help make your performance review and all your communications run more smoothly, especially if peer reviews make up part of your overall employee review.

How to Excel on the Day of Your 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. And nobody wants to hear a growling tummy during an appraisal. 🙂

  2. Practice relaxation techniques.

    Use 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 - just don't go too far.

  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 isn't as positive as you had hoped,  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.

  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 employee review / performance appraisal too.

Employee 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.

Ready to find out more?

Contact us today to see how we can help you (employee or employer) with your appraisal / employee review process.

We can help you:-

  • celebrate success;
  • energise the excellence within yourself and your organisation; and
  • reinvigorate best practice