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The Art of the Performance Review

Posted June 4, 2012 by Marcy Twete in On the Ladder

Yearly performance reviews are a process nearly every company and employee must endure. Though they’re not something anyone looks forward to, it’s important to think about your performance appraisal strategically. Given how busy we all are, this may be your only opportunity in a given year to negotiate a raise, get a promotion, and set goals for the following year. We’ve put together a list of important tips to remember when planning for your performance review.

  1. This year’s performance appraisal started the day after last year’s performance appraisal. As a best practice, you should be keeping a list of accomplishments, results on important projects, and perhaps even a “kudos” folder to store emails and clips with positive reviews you may have received throughout the year. Keep this running tab of your performance year round will make your review much less daunting.
  2. Ask for it. If you want a raise, you have to ask for it. No manager will simply throw a large salary increase in your lap. They want to see you know your own value. And it’s not enough to say “I deserve it” or “I’m in need of the money right now.” You have to prove your worth. Go into the review armed with statistics.
    • How much money did you bring into the company this year?
    • How much money did you save the company this year? Think about productivity statistics when answering this question.
    • What is the fair market rate for your skill set? Check Glassdoor.com, Salary.com, etc. for examples of what other professionals are making in your field.
  3. Have a game plan. The raise is one thing, but maybe it’s really a title change or promotion you’re gunning for. If this is the case, you must start this process prior to the actual review day. Create a proposal for your supervisor at least two weeks in advance. Propose your new title, new duties, and include explanations for staffing your old duties or title. Include the ways in which this change might benefit the company or the department. Present it to them via email and ask that they read it and consider discussing it at your performance review.
  4. Keep it professional. Money and stature in the company are emotional issues for many, especially women. And it’s all too easy to get a little choked up or angry when something doesn’t go your way. Sometimes no matter your performance, the company simple can’t afford raises or bonuses this year. Be prepared for the worst if you have to deal with it and use that opportunity to show your boss your professionalism.
  5. Dress for the job you want. Treat your performance appraisal day as a job interview. Dress appropriately, come prepared, take notes, and stay engaged. Show your boss you’re ready for new challenges.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."