You might be expecting your manager to have a well-organized employee performance review ready for your upcoming meeting, complete with constructive feedback and a detailed plan for your year ahead. If you receive such a review, congratulations! You will be among the few who experience this level of rewarding and effective performance evaluation. However, it’s been my experience that that’s not typically the case.
Truth be told, your quarterly or annual review might make your boss pretty uncomfortable to the point where he or she really just wants to get it over with. Whether this is the case with your manager or not, it’s a good idea to be prepared with the following five questions. These questions will help guide the conversation, identify the areas you’d like to grow professionally and define the benchmarks and achievements required to secure your next raise and/or promotion.
What do you think I’ve excelled at this year, and what do you think I could improve upon? Hopefully you won’t have to ask this question and your manager will offer up this information during your employee performance review. If that’s not the case, then you should ask it to find out how they think you are performing overall. Don’t hesitate to request specific examples if their responses are vague. Platitudes will create frustration, and actionable plans arise out of explicit details and examples.
Are there any skills you think would be helpful for me to have in this role that I don’t have currently? This question opens the door to discuss what you would like to learn as well. Perhaps you have a course or conference in mind that would be a great opportunity for your professional growth. Talk to your manager about why your attendance would be beneficial for the company and your position.
When you think of the best employees who have worked for you, what qualities made them stand out to you? This is a great question because it shows your boss that you want to make his or her work life easier, and you are open to constructive feedback and improvement.
What are the goals you would like me to meet this coming year before our next performance review? Leave your discussion knowing exactly what you should be working on and what your manager expects of you at various intervals throughout the year. Document your goals, if they’re not already formalized as part of the review process, and keep track of your own progress.
What can I do to earn a raise within the next 6 months? If you’ve been doing a great job in your position, focus on selling yourself — gather the facts about what you are accomplishing for the company, rehearse it and go for it! Also note that many companies decide on raises prior to the performance review. If you haven’t broached the subject previously, you can ask for it now, but expect that it won’t happen overnight. It’s good to plant the seed with your manager, and then follow by continuing to produce amazing work and improving even more based on the performance review feedback they’ve provided.
Performance reviews don’t need to be a dreaded conversation – think of them as a valuable part of your professional growth plan. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be well prepared to make the most of your next employee performance review.
What questions have you found most helpful during employee performance reviews? I welcome your experiences and ideas.