We've all been there.
It's the end of the year and your boss pulls you into her office for your annual performance review. She starts by telling you all the things you've done wrong over the past year. You sit there, squirming in your chair, feeling like a child being scolded.
Then she moves on to tell you what you need to improve on. Again, you feel like you're being scolded. Finally, she gives you a list of goals for the coming year. By the time you leave the office, you feel deflated and defeated.
Sound familiar? If so, you're not alone. In a recent survey by Adobe, 60% of workers said they dread performance reviews. And it's no wonder why.
But it doesn't have to be this way. Performance reviews don't have to be a dreaded, soul-sucking experience. In fact, they can be a great opportunity for you to learn and grow in your career.
Here are some tips to make performance reviews not suck:
Don't wait for your review to get feedback
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is waiting until your performance review to get feedback from your boss. If you wait until then, you're likely going to only hear about the negative things.
Instead, ask for feedback regularly.
Whenever you reach the deadline of a project, a goal, or anything else important in your role, ask your boss what you did well and what you could do to improve.
Making a habit out of asking for feedback will give you a chance to address any issues in the moment, while it's fresh, instead of waiting for time to distort things, or for these potential issues to become bigger problems.
Prepare for your review
Another mistake workers make is not preparing for their performance review. You wouldn't go into a meeting without preparing, so why would you do that for your performance review?
Take some time to reflect on your accomplishments and challenges from the past year. Think about what you could have done better. And come up with a few questions you want to ask your boss.
An approach that's growing in popularity is “Continuous Performance Management.” One easy tip to pull from that school of thought it to document things regularly, almost like building a portfolio for the inevitable review int he future. If you can keep track of your accomplishments, growth moments, as well as shortcomings and the learnings you can draw from them, you wont have to prepare at review time, you'll have everything you need already documented,
When looking back on your “review portfolio,” you'll likely be surprised by how much you've accomplished in that time.
Having that information ready to go will also allow you to spend any prep time using this next tip:
Focus on the future
When you're in your performance review, resist the urge to dwell on the past. Yes, it's important to reflect on your accomplishments and challenges, but the focus should be on the future.
Talk about your goals for the coming year and how you plan to achieve them. This will show your boss that you're always looking to improve and grow in your career.
It goes a long way to actually have some goals prepared. Ask your boss what they think about your goals and watch them light up!
Be open to feedback
No one likes to hear criticism. But if you want to make the most of your performance review, you need to be open to feedback.
Listen to what your boss has to say, even if it's tough to hear. Use that feedback to shape some personal development goals and improve your performance in the future.
Use it as an opportunity to learn
Finally, remember that your performance review is an opportunity to learn. It's a chance to get feedback and insights from your boss that you can use to improve your performance.
So, don't dread your performance review. Use it as an opportunity to learn and grow in your career.