The prospect of having the spotlight shone on your performance at work doesn’t appeal to everyone. But an appraisal date shouldn’t loom like a grim spectre of doom. With the right input and good quality feedback from your manager it should be a positive framework to help you structure your career progression and develop to your optimum potential.
1. Put in the prep: Not the night before - spend time well in advance of the meeting looking through your notes and objectives. Consider examples of where you think you’ve performed well, and review the areas where you may have underperformed. Think about your boss’s reaction. Know what your company or department’s vision and aims are and think if you’re working in line with it. Be honest with yourself.
2. It’s a 2-way process: Make sure you have your say and view the meeting as an opportunity to discuss training and development that you’ve had in last year. Discuss how you can build on that to progress in the next 12-months. Remember any new objectives should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Discuss this with your manager on the day. Be honest with yourself.
3. Take disappointing news on the chin: So your boss doesn’t think you’ve done as well as you thought. Even though you may be at boiling point and feel defensive, try to stay calm and rational. Listen. Ask for specific examples of where and how you’ve under-delivered. Assess how this measures alongside your key performance indicators.
4. Stay positive: Be optimistic about the team and your role within it. Don’t get personal. If it’s a 360 degree appraisal, where you’re receiving feedback from your colleagues that you disagree with, counter the point with strong examples but avoid tit-for-tat remarks. Don’t spoil a unique session that’s all about YOU by bringing other people or issues into it. Be honest with yourself.
5. Engage in the process all year round: Your appraisal is a live document that you can refer to on an ongoing basis. Use it to assist your continued development and keep up your progression. If you’ve discussed training and it isn’t forthcoming, raise that with your manager.