Dreading your next performance review? Turn it into an opportunity!

Year end is often performance review time in many companies. Whether your organisation conducts performance reviews, annually, bi-annually or more frequently as we do here at Accru Melbourne, performance conversations should be viewed by employees as opportunities!

From the employee’s perspective your performance meeting is time dedicated to YOUR development. It’s your chance to reiterate what you are doing well and delve into what you need to do to develop and progress.

Some benefits of performance reviews for employees include:

  • You will receive valuable feedback on what you are doing well and what you need to focus on to progress further.
  • They provide an opportunity for recognition of your accomplishments.
  • They are a chance to revisit and review the responsibilities and tasks of the role.
  • Your performance strengths and areas for development are explored.
  • It’s your chance to revisit and reset goals.
  • You will receive valuable coaching and advice on personal and career development.

To ensure you get the most out of your review follow these tips:

Before the performance review

  • Ensure you are prepared. Keep track of examples and work performed since your last review and refer to these examples. Take the time to provide well-thought-out comments and examples. When providing examples be as specific as possible. Focus on your own behaviour not the behaviour of others.
  • Review your previous performance appraisals and goals.
  • Review your position description. Does it need updating?
  • Don’t rush the paperwork. If you dash something off in a hurry it will be evident during the review meeting. Ensure you complete the form well before the review meeting. This gives you time to reflect and alter it as needed.

During the performance review

  • Ensure you are early or on time for your meeting, bring along all required paperwork and a pen and paper to take notes.
  • Ensure there’s lots of two-way dialogue. You should be doing at least 50% of the talking. This is your chance to let your manager know how you are going, what you want to achieve etc. They want to know your thoughts too.
  • Be aware of your body language – ensure it is open and receptive. (No crossed arms).
  • Employ active listening skills – don’t talk over your reviewer. Really listen to what they say rather than simply formulating your next point. If unsure of their point, ask for clarification or summarise your understanding back to them – “If I hear you correctly you are saying…”
  • Setting goals is an important part of the review process. Each goal should be relevant to the work you do each day and should be mutually agreed upon by you and your manager. Ensure your goals are measurable.
  • Being open to constructive feedback – do not get defensive. Listen to it carefully and objectively. Acknowledge that you are taking it on board.

After the performance review

Once the meeting is over, this is not the end of the opportunity:

  • Ensure all post review paperwork is complete in a timely manner.
  • Ensure your role description is updated if required.
  • If upon reflecting on comments, you are unclear on any matters discussed, check back in with your manager for further clarification.
  • Continue to refer to your review and goals frequently so they are front of mind.
  • Don’t wait until the next review to talk about your performance with your manager. Regularly ask for feedback. Continue to document your achievements along the way and keep your manager informed. Taking time to check in regularly with your manager shows them that you are interested in performing well and have taken their feedback on board.

Performance appraisals are opportunities that allow you to grow and develop. Next time your review meeting rolls around, follow these tips to ensure you get the most out of the opportunity!

Interested in an accounting career? Read more about working with Accru here.

About the Author
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Accru Melbourne, part of the Accru group, is an award winning financial services organisation. Our highly personalised approach and dynamic advice makes us standout in the fast paced, ever-changing business world.
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