If you’re dreading your performance review, we invite you to be the leader you want your boss to be and take a bit of initiative.
“But that’s not my job,” you might say. Perhaps—we could debate that all day—but here are a few questions to consider:
- Do you want the best performance review possible?
- Are you interested in showing you’re buttoned up and on top of your game?
- Would it be useful to reflect on your own performance and make a proactive plan to do even better?
5 Ways to Help Your Boss Prepare Your Performance Review
No, you should not be asked to write your own performance review for your boss to sign.
But providing input to your review makes your manager’s life a heck of a lot easier— and there’s no one who has a better record of what it took to pull off this extraordinary year.
Here are a few ways to help your manager give you a more thorough review.
1. Crunch numbers, numbers, numbers.
Don’t just say what you did, calculate the business impact. If possible, calculate the ROI on your projects (of course this is a lot easier if you do it along the way versus pulling an all-nighter). If ROI is too much of a stretch, calculate percent improvement in key metrics.
You can even report the “soft stuff” in terms of numbers.
For example, rather than say you “invested in developing your team,” point out that three of your team members were promoted to other departments.
Don’t say you “conducted three team-builders.” Instead, share the impact on absenteeism, attrition, or your employee engagement results.
Note: if you’re finding this impossible this year, this is a great time to consider what metrics you want to move next year and capture the baseline data.
2. Gather additional perspectives.
The end of the year is a great time for a Do It Yourself 360.
Knowing where you stand with others will lead to a richer discussion with your manager. As Julie Winkle Guilioni recommends, come to your meeting with a “plateful of feedback.”
3. Come prepared to discuss your opportunities for improvement.
Of course, a better performance appraisal doesn’t mean you only celebrate the good stuff.
Imagine how impressed your manager will be if you approach your performance appraisal full of self-awareness.
“Here are three areas I’d like to work on next year and how I think you could help.”
This developmental discussion planner is a great tool to help you think through your strengths and challenges for your current and desired future roles.
Approaching your review with such confident humility immediately puts your boss in helping mode. The review will likely feel better and go more smoothly from both sides of the desk.
4. Listen deeply and carefully.
The best performance appraisal conversations are just that—conversations. Come eager to listen and learn from your manager’s perspective. Ask sincere questions to dig a level deeper to learn all you can.
Your performance appraisal is a great time to check for understanding as you recap what you’ve heard, decide next steps AND schedule the finish by setting up a time to follow-up on progress.
Often it’s the best performers who are too busy to “toot their own horn” and document their accomplishments well. It’s not bragging, it’s useful. Make life easier on your boss this performance appraisal season, and invest the time to prepare properly. Ultimately, your career and your future are your responsibility, so why not give yourself the best chance for a helpful review?