The employee performance review offers supervisors and staff
alike a rare opportunity to engage in an open dialogue, but in reality, the
process often inspires more dread than enthusiasm. For managers, the piles of
paperwork and hours of conferences that reviews require can subtract valuable
time from other pressing matters. Employees, on the other hand, often see the
review process as little more than a yearly ritual with no real significance.
But like so many other things in life, your performance
review is no more or no less than what you choose to make of it. Setting aside
a bit of time to prepare before your annual review may end up advancing your
career prospects dramatically.
At properties that are part of a chain, managers may be
required to conduct employee performance reviews based on a standard sequence
devised by the corporate leadership. Even those who have greater latitude in
the process may choose to stick with the established routine in order to save
However, even in the most structured review, you can subtly
influence the process and help steer the outcome in your favor by displaying a
quality that surprisingly few employees ever bother to cultivate:
self-awareness. Even if you've had some rough patches in your work performance,
you can alter the dynamic of your review in your favor by telling your boss
that you recognize and want to fix any problems.
For a variety of reasons, many employees are cynical about
reviews and aren't sufficiently invested in the outcome of their review to
prepare or plan for the process. Others take constructive criticism personally
and bristle at the very idea of being evaluated. By spending a little time beforehand
thinking about your performance and devising a few simple strategies for
improvement, you'll have a sizable advantage over many of your peers.
Whether or not your employer adheres to a set format in
performance reviews, sticking to a structure of your own design in the
discussion can help you demonstrate strategic thinking, eagerness to improve,
and value to the company. This strategy is easiest to apply in interview-based
reviews, but they can also be modified to fit almost any review format if you
keep a few basic structuring principles firmly in mind.
You can demonstrate self-awareness, eagerness to improve,
and value to the company in many ways during your review. The most effective
way to do it is to focus your answers on a few key challenges and strategies
for improvement that you've identified in your pre-review preparation. Experts
suggest that you tailor your answers, responses, and comments during the review
to fit this pattern:
All of the preparation in the world can't replace the one
factor that your boss will definitely be looking for: a sincere willingness to
accept responsibility for any shortcomings and commit to future progress. Top
it off with a reminder of how these plans will connect to the company's goals,
and a favorable appraisal is virtually guaranteed.